Carrollwood Boating Accident Attorney
With its endless miles of coastline, not to mention countless lakes and rivers, boating is one of the most popular outdoor sports in Florida. It’s also one of the most dangerous ones. Mostly to attract tourists, the Sunshine State has some of the weakest boater licensing laws in the country. Many boaters have little or no experience operating a watercraft. Making matters worse, a number of boat operators are impaired or intoxicated.
Regardless of their experience level, the same duty of care applies to all boaters. If a lack of care causes injury, a strong-minded Carrollwood boating accident attorney from Moore Law may be able to obtain substantial compensation for injured victims. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available in a few extreme cases.
First Party Liability
Collisions, falls, and “man overboard” drownings are the most common kinds of boat accidents in Florida. The liability issues in these three incidents are usually different.
Operator error causes most boat collisions. Although motor vehicles and boats both have steering wheels, they are very different motor vehicles. Perhaps most importantly, boats don’t have wheels. So, they are much more difficult to control, especially if environmental conditions are less than perfect.
Boat collision personal injuries include broken bones, head injuries, and internal injuries. Boat occupants are almost never restrained. Most boats don’t even have seat belts or airbags. As a result, even a relatively low-speed collision could cause a serious personal injury.
As for falls, many boats have wet decks which pitch violently. Most landlubbers are unprepared for such hazards. Boat owners are usually responsible for passenger safety in these situations. That responsibility includes installing handrails and other safety hardware. That responsibility also includes having, and enforcing, strict rules about moving around on deck when seas are high or the deck is wet.
Lifejackets prevent most drownings, but certainly not all of them. Frequently, these victims hit their heads and are unable to get above the waves.
Negligence is the common thread that connects these injuries. Basically, negligence is a lack of care. Boat passengers literally put their lives in the hands of boat operators. That’s a serious responsibility which, unfortunately, many operators don’t take seriously.
Third Party Liability
Typically, a separate company owns the boat and leases it to an operator. If these companies knowingly allow incompetent operators to use their bots, the owners could be financially responsible for damages.
Additionally, owners usually have a legal duty to ask questions in these situations. That’s especially true in Florida. The licensing standards are so low that pretty much every operator is most likely incompetent under the law.
Vicarious liability theories like this one, which is called negligent entrustment, are especially important in boat accident claims. Usually, the operators have little or no insurance. Most people are effectively judgement-proof. Third party liability gives these victims an additional source of compensation.
Reach Out to a Compassionate Hillsborough County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced boat accident lawyer in Carrollwood, contact Moore Law by going online or calling 813-510-5400. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no insurance or money.