Tampa Boat Accident Attorney
Tampa is home to many places to enjoy recreational boating including Tampa Bay. While some locals own boats, other locals and tourists chose to rent boats for the day. Not everyone who is out on the water has the experience necessary to safely operate a vessel and when collisions on the water do occur, the results can be both tragic and catastrophic. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 766 boating accidents across the state in 2017 and 67 deaths that resulted from those accidents. If you or a loved one has been involved in a collision on one of Florida’s waterways, it is important to speak with a qualified Tampa boat accident attorney about your case.
Safety Equipment Requirements
According to the Manatee County Boating Guide, all Florida recreational boats are required to have the following equipment onboard:
- Personal flotation devices (PFDs) for every person onboard. Children under six must be wearing it at all times on boats less than 26 feet long;
- Fire extinguishers;
- Sound signaling device; and
- Visual distress signals.
Visual distress signals and sound signaling devices can prevent a collision from occurring in the first place, while fire extinguishers and PFDs can help prevent situations from becoming worse once a boating accident has already happened.
Types of Florida Boating Accidents
Most Florida boating accidents are caused by the operator’s inattention or failure to maintain a proper lookout for dangerous situations. Unlike driving, a boat operator does not need to be a certain age to or have a license in Florida. They merely have to take a boating education course, many which are taken online. Without more formal training, some boat operators take risks on the water without realizing that their actions could lead to serious injury. Common types of boating accidents that result in a personal injury case include:
- Two boats colliding;
- A boat collision with other recreational sport enthusiasts such as swimmers, kayakers, or water skiers;
- A boat passenger getting hit by a loose object on the boat deck in rough water;
- A boat passenger falling overboard and getting hit by the boat or drowning;
- A boat operator capsizing the boat;
- A watercraft that is rented lacks the proper safety equipment;
- Fires/explosions; and
These incidents can lead to drownings, brain injuries, broken bones, spinal trauma, amputations, and more. All boating accidents where the injured party is in the water, such as a swimmer or person that falls overboard, become more serious in nature because of the risk of drowning. Even a skilled swimmer could face death if they become knocked unconscious in the water.
Reach out to the Experienced Boating Accident Attorneys at Hale Law
If you or a family member has been injured in an accident on Florida’s waterways and it was the result of another party’s negligent behavior, you have every right to seek compensation through a personal injury claim. The Tampa boating accident attorneys at Hale Law P.A. can help you determine what your case is worth and assist you through the legal process. Contact us today at 941-735-4529 to learn more.