Florida Boating Accident Lawyer in Naples or Ft. Myers, Florida
Boating can be one of the most enjoyable outdoor activities in southwest Florida. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely dangerous when lacking the proper boating knowledge and/or exercising the proper safety precautions. All of the attorneys at the Law Office of Verderamo & Escobar are avid boaters. They all own watercraft and are routinely out on the water. They are knowledgeable of the maritime rules of navigation and many other aspects of seamanship. Our lawyers know what types of evidence are crucial in a Florida boating accident case and will move quickly to secure this evidence for your case. If you or a loved one has suffered a boating accident in Florida, do not hesitate to contact a Florida boating accident lawyer in Naples, Florida at the Law Office of Verderamo & Escobar immediately.
Florida boating accidents can result in serious injury or death.
Boating accidents can be very dangerous for many different reasons. Unlike car accidents, boats rarely have seat belts. Boat passengers are often moving about the boat rather than confined to a seat. Boat surfaces can be wet and slippery. Boats do not contain airbags. Boats can sink or capsize, thereby sending passengers into the water. Boating accidents typically occur out on the water where rescue response times are considerably longer than with car accidents. In addition to other types of injuries, boat passengers have to contend with the possibility of being lost at sea or drowning if they lose consciousness, are not wearing proper lifejackets, and/or do not know how to swim.
Florida boaters should take proper precautions to avoid accidents and injuries.
For all of the reasons mentioned above, boaters owe a duty to take special precautions to ensure the safety of their passengers and of other boaters. Boaters may be liable or negligent for accidents or injuries if they fail to follow these precautions. The following are just a few of the precautions that a vessel operator/ owner should follow to avoid accidents, injuries and possibly liability:
Avoid alcohol: A boat operator should avoid alcohol. Alcohol can impair a person’s ability to see, hear, walk, talk, operate vessels and make judgments. Drunk boating or BUI in Florida is a crime and carries stiff penalties. A boating accident case involving alcohol may expose the at-fault party to additional penalties called punitive damages.
Safety equipment: A boater should insure that the vessel contains proper safety equipment such as life jackets, noisemaking devices, flares, fire extinguishers, emergency radios, etc. . . . In an emergency, carrying the proper safety equipment can mean the difference between life and death. From a legal perspective, a small investment in this equipment can avoid a costly wrongful death case.
Avoid careless and reckless operation of a vessel: A boater should operate a vessel the way it was designed to operate avoiding speeds or maneuvering that jeopardizes the lives of others. Examples would be trying to jump another boat’s wake or operating at excessively high speeds with other boat traffic, skiers or swimmers present.
Operate the vessel within designated navigation channels: Florida waterways or channels are designed to safely guide boaters through safe waters. These channels are marked by navigational aids that come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors. A boater should be familiar with the meaning of these aids or markers and have a thorough understanding of how to use them for navigation. Otherwise, a boater runs the risk of getting lost or colliding with other vessels or objects (some of which are underwater and not visible).
Operating the vessel at proper speeds: Similar to cars on a roadway, boats must be operated at the proper speed for a given condition. Cars are expected to drive no faster than the speed limit and are expected to slow down under certain conditions such as rain, snow, ice or heavy traffic. Similarly, boats must operate in accordance with local speed regulations. Examples are “idle speed, no wake” zones, “slow speed, minimum wake” zones, “slow speed outside channel, 30 MPH in channel” zones. Other conditions such as wind, rain, choppy conditions, boat traffic and weather warnings such as small craft advisories can further affect the proper speed at which a vessel should be operated if at all.
Avoid overloading the vessel: Many vessels and personal watercraft (PWC) contain a maximum weight, maximum persons and maximum horsepower designations. Ignoring these warnings and overloading a vessel or PWC can result in capsizing or worse. It is important to follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for the safe operation of the vessel or PWC.
Do not place the engine in gear when swimmers are present: Many accidents occur when passengers are swimming to and from a boat after tubing or skiing. Oftentimes, the operator will forget to shut off the engine or to place it in neutral. Boats usually have powerful engines and the propellers can suck nearby swimmers in causing horrific injuries or death.
Use proper spotters: If tubing or skiing, one should designate a spotter (someone other than the operator) to maintain visual contact with the tube or skier being towed, unless use of a wide-angle mirror is permitted.
Contact a Florida boating accident lawyer in Naples or Ft. Myers, Florida.
A Florida boating accident lawyer at the Law Office of Verderamo & Nunez may be able to help you recover monetary damages for injuries suffered in a boating or personal watercraft accident. Depending on the circumstances, these may include both economic (lost wages, past and future medical expenses, etc. . .) and non-economic damages (pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. . .). In more rare circumstances, they may also include punitive damages. Call us now at (239) 775-1004 for a free consultation on how much your Florida accident case is worth.
The Law Office of Verderamo & Nunez is located at 2662 Airport Pulling Rd S Naples, FL 34112.