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
- 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.
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.