Whether they are hitting the beach for a day on the water or curling up on the sand with a good book, tourists are flocking to the Florida coast every year for vacations. Most people come to Florida to experience our beautiful beaches and spend time on the water. This has contributed to the growing business of renting party boats.
A party boat is a boat or a ship rented out by passengers to take them out on the water for a few hours. Usually, the people on party boats spend their time, of course, partying. Everyone might be there for a good time, but sometimes things go awry and people get hurt. Someone injured while onboard a party boat may have a viable personal injury claim and should consult with our Florida attorney for injuries on party boats. Reach out to Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. by calling (866) 386-1762. Talk to our staff about scheduling a confidential and free and legal consultation.
The Difference Between a Party Boat and a Private Charter Boat in Florida
Party boats and charter boats may seem like the same thing, but they are a bit different. Charter boats tend to be a bit smaller than party boats and are usually more restrictive about the number of passengers. A charter boat is rented out by one private party and the price is often paid as a whole rather than per person. You are also in control of where your boat goes and for how long. If you feel like calling it quits after only a few hours, the ship will return to shore.
Party boats, on the other hand, are a little different. Much like private charter boats, party boats can also take people out for a day of fishing. However, the cost can be charged per person and multiple parties could end up on the same boat. Think of it less like renting a boat and more like booking a fishing excursion. Other people can book the same excursion for the same boat. However, there are also party boats that really put the emphasis on “party.” These party boats might act more like a mini cruise than a fishing expedition. They have a set course and a departure time with fun activities along the way.
For all their differences, charter boats and party boats have a few key things in common. They must be operated by a crew that is qualified to run a boat. If licenses or permits are required, the captain and crew must be properly licensed or certified. When unlicensed or unskilled crew members are on a ship, things tend to go wrong and injuries may occur.
How Maritime Law Applies to Injuries on Party Boats in Florida
A lawsuit for injuries sustained on a party boat may fall under the jurisdiction of maritime law. Your party boat may have departed from a Florida marina or harbor, but once it is in the open waters of the Florida coast, maritime law takes over.
Maritime law is a body of law that has historically applied to ships on the open ocean. However, over time this body of law has expanded to encompass boats and ships on any “navigable” waters. Navigable waters may be any body of water or a waterway like a canal or a river used as a mode of interstate or foreign trade or commerce. Even if that is not how the water or waterway is currently used, it is sufficient that the water could be used in such a manner. Also, the events which led to your injuries should be connected to traditional or regular maritime activities.
Different courts have reached different conclusions as to when and how to apply maritime law. It is best to seek the advice of our Florida attorney for party boat injuries to discuss whether your case will be decided under maritime law or the regular state law of Florida.
Contributing to Your Own Injuries on a Florida Party Boat
When assessing your personal injury claims, we must also consider whether your own actions played a role in your injuries. Look back at your behavior while you were on the party boat. Were you drinking heavily? Did you wear a lifejacket? Did you abide by boat safety rules? Do you think any of your actions were risky or careless? The answers to these questions will affect the outcome of your case. If you were only partially responsible for your injuries, you might still be able to win your case, but your damages may be reduced. If your injuries were totally the result of your own actions, you might be out of luck.
The Dangers of Party Boat Rentals in Florida
Party boats can be a fun and exciting way to spend your vacation in Florida. However, there are numerous risks and dangers associated with boating and, more specifically, the party boat industry.
Any kind of boating can be dangerous if certain safety measures are ignored. For example, there should always be life -jackets onboard and any crew should be trained and experienced with boat safety. The best way to safely operate the boat will change depending upon the body of water and the day’s weather conditions. If the crew onboard your party boat is unqualified to operate the vessel, you may have a negligence claim for your injuries.
While party boats are a booming business in Florida, not all party boats operate legally. Ships and the crews that work them must all be properly certified to carry passengers on the water. Some businesses operate without properly licensed crew members or on boats that do not meet legal standards to cut costs. Having shoddy employees and equipment is a great way to cause injuries to passengers. Contact our Florida attorney for party boat injuries if you believe your party boat did not meet legal operation standards.
Get in Touch With Our Florida Lawyer for Injuries on Party Boats for a Consultation
If you or a loved one has been injured while onboard a party boat, do not hesitate to call our Florida attorney for party boat injuries. You can call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762 today. Ask about a free consultation with our legal team regarding your injuries.