Boating Accidents

Boating Accident Lawyers in St. Augustine

Florida is #1 in Waterway and Boating Accidents

Boating accidents on the ocean, St. Johns River, or inland waterways are not an uncommon occurrence. In fact, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) reported over 730 boating accidents and 55 boating-related deaths in Florida in 2015. Statistics like these are the reason Florida leads the nation in boating accidents. With over 8,000 miles of coastline, it is bound to stay this way for a while.

Compensation for Victims of All Types of Boating Accidents

At Canan Law, our top-ranked attorneys have over 60 years of combined experience. We handle boating accident and injuries cases, as well as wrongful death lawsuits stemming from waterway collisions.

We have successfully represented clients (and their families) who have suffered injury as a result of:

  • Water skiing and other towed water sport activities
  • Accidents resulting from inadequate boat maintenance
  • Falling overboard
  • Collisions with other vessels
  • Drowning
  • Boating while intoxicated (BUI) accidents

The Importance of Boating Safety

As the temperatures rise and Florida’s waterways become more congested, boating accidents become more frequent. With 2,000 marinas, 1,700 miles of rivers, more than 3 million acres of lakes, and 8,000 miles of coastline, Florida is a mecca for boaters. Unfortunately, Florida is also home to the highest number of boating accidents.

In 2011, the most recent year for which state data is available, there were 67 boating fatalities in Florida, a 24 percent increase since 2008. Boating injuries also rose 12 percent during that same time frame, with 431 in 2011.

Recently, two St. Johns County men were killed and a local woman seriously injured when their motorboat struck a dock near the Pelican Reef neighborhood. The accident occurred at approximately 10:15 p.m. on Sunday during Memorial Day weekend. According to witness interviews, the boat was traveling at a high rate of speed prior to the collision and none of the occupants were wearing life jackets.

Boating accidents are attributed to a variety of factors including speeding, reckless operation, inexperience, and alcohol impairment. Accordingly, many Florida boating accidents are preventable. Below are several key tips to remain safe on the water:

  • Never use drugs or alcohol before or during boat operation.
  • Use and maintain the right safety equipment including life jackets, fire extinguishers, boat lights, and emergency supplies.
  • Watch the weather and take appropriate steps to avoid boating in inclement weather.
  • Tell someone where you are going and when you will return.
  • Take extra precautions when navigating at night or in reduced visibility; boaters should always operate at a slower speed and be on the sharp lookout for lights of other vessels, channel markers, and docks.
  • Do not overload your boat.
  • Follow the rules of the waterway.

Whether sailing, speed boating, fishing, or just relaxing in the sun on a boat, your safety is dependent on other people following the proper safety precautions. When they fail to do so, it can lead to serious injury or wrongful death.

Personal injuries that occur on the water often involve hospitalization, doctor visits, rehabilitation, medication, and even surgery. And the medical expenses associated with this care can be astronomical. If you are an accident victim, you should be reimbursed for all damages and costs associated with the accident and compensated for your lost wages, pain, and suffering.

If you or a loved one has been in a boating accident, our lawyers can help. Contact the North Florida personal injury attorneys at Canan Law. Our firm represents clients throughout the northeast Florida area, including St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra, St. Johns, and Palm Coast, and offers a free initial consultation.

Our Experience

We know how to thoroughly investigate and prosecute the nuances of a boating accident case. We often take some of the following actions to advance your case further:

  • Research the history of the vessel involved and similar incidents in that area
  • Review the boating operator’s driving history and credentials
  • Investigate the scene of the incident and interview witnesses
  • Research case law for similar instances to support your legal argument
  • Review police and Coast Guard records of the incident
  • Review medical records and documents regarding your injuries
  • Consult expert witnesses

Take a Step Forward — Contact Canan Law for Help

Whether your boating accident occurred in the ocean, the Intracoastal Waterway, or a river, creek, or canal, the experienced lawyers at Canan Law know how to help you get the compensation you need to move forward with your life.

Call our attorneys today at (904) 849-2266 or contact us online to talk to us about what happened and what we can do to help you.

Hear From Past Clients

    He Earned My Respect & Trust

    “Andrew came highly recommended by a friend who is a lawyer. In the courtroom, he is incredibly prepared. In giving advice, he steers his clients down the right road. I feel like was looking out for my best interest.”

    - Chip S.
    Very Grateful

    “Everyone at Canan Law was friendly and hospitable. Attorney John Westfield was very professional.┬áHe listened very well and always had our best interests in mind. Most importantly, he was prepared in court.”

    - Markell F.
    Thank You For Everything You Have Done

    “Their entire team was very professional and knowledgeable about my specific case. They took time to explain in detail what they were doing every step of the way. I was EXTREMELY satisfied with the end result.”

    - Hamid B.
    I Couldn't Be Happier

    “A wealth of talent at this firm. Responsive and direct; they valued my time and money. My outcome was exactly what I expected despite the many changes that I presented them.”

    - Steve K.
    Very Pleased with Every Aspect

    “I was very pleased with every aspect of Canan Law. They walked us through a difficult situation and were available and courteous throughout. I felt they heard and understood me.”

    - Dana P.

The Firm You Can Trust

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