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Boating Accident Lawyer in Fort Lauderdale

Helping Victims of Accidents on Lakes or Oceans

The large state of Florida is one of the highest ranked states for the number of registered vessels, having over 941,589 registered boats. Florida also ranks for having a higher percentage of square miles of inland waters out of all the states in the U.S. and its largest lake, Lake Okeechobee, covers more than 730 square miles. Many Floridians enjoy recreational boating in these lakes and rivers on weekends and holidays. However when a lake gets crowded, there is a much greater chance for confusion and subsequently, collisions.

Driving a boat is similar to driving a car in that the driver must understand the rules governing right of way and safe travel. The state highly recommends taking a boating safety education course before taking a boat out on a lake, river or ocean. If you or someone you know has been injured in a boating accident because the other driver was being reckless or negligent, contact an attorney immediately. A skilled Fort Lauderdale injury lawyer can help you file a claim for your boat accident and may be able to help you seek compensation for your injuries.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents

Florida game wardens and Marine Safety Enforcement Officers are assigned the task of keeping recreational boaters safe. Some of the most common citations that game wardens issue are for drinking while driving. The state of Florida rules that anyone who has a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher while operating a boat can be arrested for a BWI (boating while driving). A person who is arrested for a BWI may be fined as much as $2,000, jailed for up to 180 days or both. This may seem extreme, but not when you consider that alcohol plays a role in 50 percent of all boating accidents.

Game wardens also commonly issue citations for not having lifejackets on board the boat. State laws required all children under the age of 13 to wear a life jacket while in a boat less than 26 feet in length. Out of all boating fatality drowning victims, nearly 85% were not wearing a life jacket. When a boating accident occurs, there is a greater chance of fatality because of the speed that boats travel and the opportunity for drowning.

Most boating fatalities in Florida involve the following factors:

  • Weekends between noon and 7 p.m.;
  • An open, uncovered motorboat;
  • A boat operator between 26-50 years of age; and
  • The victim falling overboard

Regardless of whether your boat accident involved a fatality or not, it is important for you to contact a Ft. Lauderdale personal injury attorney to talk about your case.

Helping Victims of Drowning & Injury

In the year 2010, 152 boating accidents occurred in Florida, resulting in 136 injuries and 27 fatalities. A boating accident can be a surprising and traumatizing experience, especially for younger children. With the help of a Ft. Lauderdale personal injury at Weinstein & Scharf, P.A., you can recover from your accident with helpful legal counsel and the compensation you need.

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