Florida is the water sports lover’s paradise. With thousands of miles of coastline and millions of acres of rivers and lakes, there is no end to the possibilities for boaters. Sadly, with so many boaters in our great state’s waters, and with some of them being carelessly uninformed about the boating laws, people can be needlessly injured. One of the boat classifications that are extremely popular in Florida is Personal Watercraft or PWC’s. Personal watercraft are defined by the U.S. Coast Guard as an Inboard Boat less than 16 feet in length designed to carry from one to three persons and to be operated by a person sitting, standing, or kneeling on the watercraft. The very nature of personal watercraft allows people to move very quickly across the water while remaining relatively unprotected – injuries are common amongst those using this vehicle. If you have been injured in a boating accident involving some kind of a personal watercraft caused by the negligence of someone else, then you could be able to receive compensation for your injuries. There are many different kinds of boating accidents that you might find yourself in and many different injuries that you could receive. No matter how large or small your injuries maybe you could be compensated. When looking for boat accident attorneys, make sure that you get the best representation possible for your money by informing yourself.
According to the United States Coast Guard, PWC accidents have become the second most common type of water vessel accident, and are the number two leading cause of death in U.S. vessel accidents behind car accidents. Collisions are the most common accidents, followed by falls from the PWC and being run over. Defective machinery and improper maintenance also contribute to PWC accidents and injuries. People involved in PWC accidents may suffer from concussions, amputations, burns, spinal cord injuries and paralyzation, internal bleeding, or death due to blunt force trauma, drowning and other severe injuries. Unfortunately, the laws in place meant to keep people safe can be very difficult to enforce because of the sheer number of licensed and unlicensed boaters on the water. You should not be sentenced to expensive hospital bills and life of injury because of the reckless behavior of others. A boat accident attorney will help you navigate the waters of boating law and will help you
Boating can be a dangerous activity and minor injuries are common. If you get injured in a boating accident, you have to be able to prove that you were injured because of the reckless behavior of another in order for you to be able to recover damages from the person that caused you to be hurt. Just because you were hurt does not mean that those involved were negligent. Negligence occurs when someone fails to act in a reasonably safe way. The challenge with boating accidents comes when you and your boating accident lawyer have to prove that you were not just injured in a boating accident, but were injured because of the negligent actions of someone else. Many passengers are unaware of their rights, but if you have been injured while on a small boat due to the negligent actions of the operator of the personal watercraft you may be eligible for compensation.
If you are injured in a PWC accident because of another’s negligent actions you should document as much as you possibly can by taking photos of the scene of the accident, if and when possible, and taking photos of your injuries if possible. If you have any serious injuries go to the hospital immediately. You should go to the hospital primarily to receive proper treatment for your injuries, but it will also be easier to claim and to receive damages if a doctor is able to testify to the fact that you needed treatment for injuries that resulted from the careless behavior of the individual that hurt you. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a boat operator is required to file a report when a boating accident occurs and someone suffers from significant personal injury or damage to their property. This often does not happen, so most boat accident attorneys note that you may need to contact local authorities by yourself and ensure that the incident is properly reported. This will help you establish your case against the responsible party and will make your case stronger. Your accident report has to be given to either the applicable state agency regulating boats, the U.S. Coast Guard, or both.
If you or a loved one received injuries or were killed in the accident, then your report must be filed within two days of the accident, but the sooner you can submit it the better. If you only received property damage from the accident, the report can be filed a few days after the accident. It is a crime to not report the accident. Boating laws vary between states and can sometimes even vary within a state, it is imperative that you know your rights and that you know what to do to receive a good settlement to help cover the costs of your damaged property or your injuries. It would be smart to find a local, experienced boating accident lawyer to assist you with your claim.
With thousands of miles of coastline and millions of acres of rivers and lakes, the possibilities for boaters are endless. With summer in full swing, thousands of families heading out for a day on the boat; if you are among one of these families planning a boat day or two (or ten) then you might want to do some research so that you can add a boating accident lawyer to your boating safety plan. You should also familiarize yourself with all of your areas boating laws and be sure that you are up to date with all new or updated laws. If you find yourself in an accident resulting from the negligent actions of another involving a PWC act swiftly to ensure that you receive compensation enough to replace your damaged property and to cover the costs of your medical bills.