Tampa Boat Accident Attorneys
If you sustained an injury in a boat accident someone else caused, do not hesitate to contact the Tampa personal injury attorneys of Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers to represent you. You might be entitled to compensation for your injury. We could file an insurance claim on your behalf and negotiate a settlement to compensate you for your medical treatment and other expenses.
Tourists and residents can enjoy outdoor activities all year in Tampa. The weather is perfect for spending time at the beach or boating on one of the many waterways in the city. Unfortunately, a range of factors can contribute to a boat accident and lead to injuries and fatalities.
Anyone who operates a vessel must pay attention to where they’re going and maneuver around others safely. Speeding, distractions, and other reckless behaviors can injure a passenger, swimmer, or occupant in another boat. The operator could be liable if their actions caused the accident.
At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, our boat accident attorneys in Tampa, FL, understand the challenges you face while pursuing legal action and treating your injury. It’s an overwhelming responsibility, especially if you don’t have help. We can represent you and provide the guidance and support you need. You don’t have to go through this traumatic experience alone. We will handle every step of the process so you can focus on your recovery.
Since 2007, Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers has represented injured clients in Tampa. We know what it takes to get the job done. Our legal team will fight for you and seek the justice and compensation you deserve. You can count on us to create a personalized strategy and try to resolve your case favorably. We will treat you as a priority and stay by your side until the end.
Call (813) 605-1100 for your free consultation.
Common Types of Boat Accidents
Boat accidents can result from a broad variety of circumstances. Someone could slip on a wet surface aboard the vessel, fall into the water, or get hurt during a collision. The boat operator could place their passengers in harm’s way and be liable for any injuries that happen during an accident.
The most common types of boating accidents include:
- Contact with a propeller – Boaters might not see people swimming while cruising along the water. Passing too closely could cause the propeller to crash into the swimmer and cause severe injuries or knock them unconscious.
- Capsizing – Vessels can capsize for many reasons. Typically, capsizing results from the sudden change in momentum or direction after the boat collides with another vessel. The passengers could drown if an overturned boat traps them inside.
- Fire – Fires often start on boats if there are faulty electrical components or exposed wires. The owner must have fire protection equipment onboard. Without it, the occupants could suffer burn injuries.
- Fall overboard – Anyone call fall into the water after a collision or if the boat hits a wave too hard. If someone falls overboard and doesn’t know how to swim, they could drown.
- Boat collisions – Two vessels could crash if a boat operator isn’t paying attention or becomes distracted somehow. Collisions are often catastrophic and can lead to debilitating injuries and fatalities.
- Slip and fall – Boats get wet. However, slip-resistant surfaces or materials should provide stable ground for the passengers. Anyone could slip on the wet surface and fall on the vessel or go overboard.
- Malfunctioning equipment – The parts and systems on a boat should function correctly. The owner must perform maintenance and repairs to keep everything running smoothly. Malfunctioning brakes, steering wheel, or other equipment could cause the operator to collide with another vessel.
- Drowning – Drowning commonly occurs in accidents involving boats. According to statistics, 75 percent of boating accident victims in 2020 died from drowning. Most of the fatalities were people who didn’t wear life jackets. The owner must have enough life jackets for everyone aboard the vessel.
- Docking accidents – When a boat approaches a dock, the operator should adjust their speed and proceed with caution. The vessel could crash into the dock if the operator doesn’t focus on the task at hand or approaches the area too fast.
Multiple laws are supposed to prevent boating accidents. However, some people don’t follow them. Negligence and intentional misconduct endanger the safety and lives of others.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents
Tampa is a popular destination for beachgoers, boaters, fishers, and swimmers. Tourists can take in the sights with a sunset cruise, fish on Tampa Bay, kayak along the river, or enjoy a day of recreational boating.
Peak season coincides with many holidays, which increases the chance of alcohol-related boat accidents. Boating under the influence is just as dangerous as driving under the influence. Alcohol impairs a person’s faculties and prevents them from noticing dangerous situations and reacting appropriately. Anyone could sustain an injury if a boat operator consumes alcohol before operating a vessel.
Although accidents on the water often occur during peak boating season, injuries and fatalities can happen any day of the year. The most common causes of boat accidents include:
- Improper lookout – The boat owner or operator should designate a lookout to direct them along the water and warn them of potential dangers. The lookout might allow distractions to pull their focus away from what they’re doing and fail to warn the operator, who could crash into a buoy, swimmer, or hazard on the water.
- Operator inattention – Boat operators should pay attention to their surroundings while navigating the water. Collisions can happen if the operator focuses on a conversation with a passenger, texts on their cell phone, or looks at the beautiful scenery instead of focusing on piloting the boat.
- Speeding – Many people don’t realize speed limits aren’t only for roadways. Boaters must also adhere to various speed limits. Boating on open water is enjoyable but could turn deadly if the operator travels too fast, especially around other vessels.
- Operator inexperience – Inexperienced boaters don’t know the laws and how to respond to emergencies. Florida doesn’t have boating license requirements. However, anyone born after January 1, 1988, and operating a vessel with at least ten horsepower must complete a boating safety course and obtain a Boating Safety Education Identification Card. People under 14 may not operate a watercraft.
- Boating under the influence – State law prohibits operating a boat while impaired by drugs or alcohol. A person is under the influence if they have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher or are impaired by a controlled substance, chemical substance, or alcoholic beverage.
You have a right to hold the negligent party liable for the injury you sustained, whether the boat operator or someone else is at fault for the accident. At Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers, we take cases like this seriously. We will immediately begin an investigation into the incident and determine whether you have a case you can pursue. We will aggressively pursue the maximum compensation available so you can heal and move forward with your life.
Common Injuries in Boating Accidents
Boating injuries can vary depending on the circumstances of the accident. Some people suffer minimal physical harm and recover quickly, while others sustain life-threatening injuries and require hospitalization and ongoing treatment.
The most common injuries in boat accidents include:
- Internal bleeding
- Loss of limb
- Burn injuries
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Back injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
- Disfigurement or scarring
Psychological injuries are also common after boating accidents. Some people develop phobias of the water or experience severe anxiety. Depression can result from injuries that cause permanent scarring or physical disabilities.
Compensation Available for Boat Accidents
Boat insurance isn’t a requirement in Florida. However, if the boat owner or operator has liability coverage, you could file a claim with their insurance company. The settlement you receive might compensate you for losses, such as:
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Medical bills
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Emotional distress
- Damage to personal property
You could file a lawsuit and recover punitive damages. You must provide clear and convincing evidence of the defendant’s gross negligence or intentional misconduct to receive this form of compensation.
Statute of Limitations for Boating Injuries
If you want to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party, you must meet a strict deadline. The statute of limitations in Florida allows four years to file suit. That means you have four years from the date of the accident to initiate your lawsuit for compensation.
If your loved one died in a boat accident due to someone else’s negligence, a wrongful death lawsuit might be possible. The statute of limitations period for wrongful death suits is two years. The personal representative of the deceased’s estate must file your lawsuit within two years of the date of death to pursue legal action against the negligent party.
Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers will be your advocate and protect your rights. We know the struggles you face and want to alleviate your burden by taking over your case. You should spend time attending your doctor’s appointments and focusing on recovering from this devastating experience. We can complete every necessary step while seeking compensation, so you don’t have to worry about the responsibility.
If you suffered injuries in a boat accident due to another person’s negligent actions, call Jurewitz Law Group Injury & Accident Lawyers at (813) 605-1100 today. One of our Tampa boat accident attorneys can discuss the circumstances of your case during a free consultation and advise you about your legal options.