With thousands of miles of coastline, beaches, and inland waterways, Florida is home to more recreational boats than any other state, with over 944,000 vessels registered in 2017. But with so many people on the water, it also means that Florida has more boating accidents than any other state—often tragic accidents that could have been avoided if it weren’t for negligent, careless, or reckless behavior.
Florida Boat Accident Statistics
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission maintains active statistics on boating accidents and cited 766 boating accidents statewide in 2017. Nearly a third of these involved a collision with a vessel. There were 61 fatal accidents and an additional 437 injuries. Seventy-four percent of watercraft involved in fatal accidents were smaller vessels of no more than 21 feet in length, and the number one cause of death in a boating accident was drowning.
HowFlorida Boating Accidents Happen
Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:
Not paying attention to the duties of piloting a craft is one of the biggest causes of boating accidents.
Failure to have a designated lookout to keep an eye on the craft’s surroundings leads to collisions and other accidents.
Alcohol or drug use.
Almost a quarter of all fatal boating accidents in Florida involved drugs or alcohol. Operating a watercraft while intoxicated is extremely dangerous and puts both passengers and other vessels at serious risk of death.
Sixty-seven percent of the watercraft operators who were involved in fatal boating accidents in Florida received no formal education in boating safety.
Disobeying rules of the water.
Violating navigational rules or other good practices of safe watercraft operation often leads to tragedy.
Compensation for Boating Accident Injuries
When innocent victims are injured by negligence in a boating accident, they may be able to seek compensation for a financial recovery. A personal injury lawsuit allows victims to receive damage awards for expenses such as:
- Emergency medical treatment
- Follow-up doctor appointments
- Physical therapy or rehabilitation
- Skilled nursing assistance or other long-term care needs
- Convalescence or nursing home expenses
- Lost wages from time spent away from work
- Loss of future wages if the victim can’t work at all
Victims are also often eligible to receive compensation for the pain and suffering or mental anguish they endured as a result of their injuries. In certain situations, an additional financial award for punitive damages may also be granted. Every accident situation is unique, so it’s important to consult with a personal injury attorney to determine your eligibility for this type of compensation.
Have You Been Injured In A Florida Boating Accident?
If you've been hurt in a boating accident you need to speak with an experienced Florida boat accident lawyer as soon as possible. Please contact us online or call our Coral Springs office directly at 954.755.7803 to schedule your free consultation. We proudly serve Florida residents including all of Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton, Miami-Dade County, Broward County, Palm Beach County and all points in between.