Ft. Lauderdale Boating Accident Lawyer

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    Ft. Lauderdale Boating Accident Lawyer

    As the victim of a recent boating accident in Fort Lauderdale, you can hold the negligent party responsible by filing a lawsuit for compensatory damages.

    Boating accidents happen for various reasons, such as operator inattention, alcohol use, speeding, and operator inexperience, among others. Such acts of negligence might lead to collisions between vessels, boats capsizing, or passengers falling overboard and sustaining serious injuries. There are many waterways in Fort Lauderdale where boating accidents might occur, from New River to Whiskey Creek. Regardless where your accident took place, report it to the proper authorities right away, such as local law enforcement. Then get medical attention and contact our attorneys so that we can determine liability for your injuries. We can then help you bring your claim within the two-year filing window for boating accident lawsuits in Fort Lauderdale.

    To get help with your case from our Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. now at (305) 204-5369.

    Top Reasons for Boating Accidents in Fort Lauderdale

    Boating accidents might take place for any number of reasons in Fort Lauderdale, whether because of negligent operation or poor boat maintenance. If a victim was injured on a boat because of someone else’s negligent or intentional wrongful act, they may be able to sue for injury.

    Of all reported boating accidents in Florida, the majority are caused by operator inattention. This means that the person responsible for operating the vessel acted negligently, whether by failing to evade an obstruction in the water or acting with reasonable care. Machinery failure, speeding, operator inexperience, and alcohol use are other top reasons for boating accidents in Fort Lauderdale, according to the 2022 Florida Boating Accident Statistical Report from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWCC).

    In addition to these being the top causes of boating accidents, there are also common types of incidents. For example, the majority of boating accidents in Florida in 2022 were caused by a collision with a vessel. Other top types of boating accidents include collisions with fixed objects, falls overboard, and flooding or swamping, among others.

    Your Chances of Being Injured in a Boating Accident in Fort Lauderdale

    Going out on the water presents an inherent danger to boat passengers in Fort Lauderdale. That said, there are some factors that might increase your risk of being injured in a boating accident.

    Fort Lauderdale is a popular tourist and vacation destination in Florida, where recreational boating is a common pastime. According to the most recent information from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 45,493 registered recreational vessels in Broward County, where Fort Lauderdale is situated. For that same year, ten reportable accidents resulted in injuries in the area. As a whole, Florida ranked as the top state for boating accidents in 2022, seeing a total of 723 incidents.

    The likelihood of boating accidents occurring typically depends on a few factors. First of all, does the boat operator have the proper experience? In 2022, operator inexperience was the top cause of 100 boating accidents and five fatalities in Florida. Not only is operator inexperience a main reason for boating accidents involving larger vessels, but it is also the biggest cause of accidents involving personal watercraft, like jet skis.

    On a commercial vessel, operators are more likely to have the necessary experience. While recreational boaters may also have experience, they do not need to be licensed, meaning there is the possibility that those inexperienced at operating boats might try to get behind the wheel, so to speak, increasing the possibility of an accident taking place in Fort Lauderdale.

    Most Common Waterways for Boating Accidents in Fort Lauderdale

    There are around 165 miles of intracoastal waterways weaving through the Fort Lauderdale that offer access to various neighborhoods, restaurants, sand bars, and state parks. Furthermore, boaters in the area have easy access to the Atlantic Ocean. Because of this, the city is a recreational boater’s paradise, and countless boat owners and renters take to the water each day. Unfortunately, the high number of boaters New River, Fort Lauderdale Beach, Lake Sylvia, Whiskey Creek, and other waterways in the area creates a greater opportunity for boating accidents.

    New River

    The New River is a tidal estuary with numerous tributary canals sprawling throughout urban Broward County. The river connects the intracoastal waterways to the Atlantic Ocean at Port Everglades. Boaters travellng on the New River can enjoy sheltered waters with access to various neighborhoods and restaurants.

    Accidents on the New River can happen at any time. Frequently, such accidents caused by drunk or distracted boaters. If you were injured because of a boating accident on the New River, our boating accident lawyers can help navigate the path to compensation.

    Fort Lauderdale Beach

    One of the largest areas of water and greatest boating opportunities in the area is located in the Atlantic Ocean directly off of Fort Lauderdale Beach. There are multiple ways to access the ocean, such as through Haulover inlet or through the inlet at Port Everglades. However, navigating the inlets can be challenging. Furthermore, once on the ocean, rising waves and sudden storms can create dangerous conditions quickly. Many inexperienced boaters can suffer accidents on the ocean off of Fort Lauderdale Beach.

    Lake Sylvia

    Lake Sylvia is a bit of a hidden gem known mostly to locals in the Fort Lauderdale area. It is an intracoastal lake-like waterway north of the city that is surrounded by a community of waterfront homes. The area is protected from the elements and provides a secure place to anchor while fishing, swimming, or relaxing on the water. Still, many accidents occur on the lake as a result of boaters’ negligence. If you were injured because of a boating accident on Lake Sylvia, then you may be entitled to financial compensation.

    Whiskey Creek

    Lastly, some boating accidents also occur on Whiskey Creek. This is a sheltered waterway lined with mangroves within Dr. Von D. Mizell-Eula Johnson State Park. The creek offers excellent opportunities for surf fishing, kayaking, and wildlife observation. Accidents often occur on Whiskey Creek because boaters fail to notice swimmers, paddleboarders, and kayakers sharing the waterway. Victims of boating accidents on Whiskey Creek can contact our lawyers for help building their cases against at-fault parties.

    Injuries Commonly Sustained by Boating Accident Victims in Fort Lauderdale

    Boating accident injuries are often so serious because victims are often far from medical attention and are exposed to unique dangers, such as open water. Common injuries sustained in such accidents range from broken bones to traumatic brain injuries.

    With certain types of boating accidents, like falls overboard, victims might sustain several injuries. For example, suppose a victim was thrown overboard because of a collision with another vessel, and they hit their head. The head injury could cause them to go unconscious, preventing them from being able to swim once in the water. Because of that, the victim in this example might sustain anoxic brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen. That is to say, there might be an initial injury, such as an impact on the head, and a subsequent injury due to the chaotic nature of boating accidents in Fort Lauderdale.

    Any boating accident, regardless of its cause, might lead to serious injuries for victims. You should not assume that, just because you do not feel injured immediately, that is the case. The adrenaline victims feel following traumatic events like boating accidents might cause them to ignore various injuries, including severe ones. Because of that, victims should always seek medical care following accidents on the water.

    What to Do Before Filing Your Boating Accident Claim in Fort Lauderdale

    Before you file your boating injury claim in Fort Lauderdale, there are several steps you must take. These include reporting the accident to the necessary authorities and preparing your case.

    According to Fla. Stat. § 327.30(2), all boating accidents that cause injury, death, disappearance, or at least $2,000 in property damage must be reported to the authorities, including local law enforcement and the FFWCC. Regardless of the admissibility of police reports as evidence in civil claims in Florida, it will be important to document the incident thoroughly. Our boating accident lawyers can review the police report for your incident to gain a deeper insight into its events.

    If you were hurt as a passenger on a commercial vessel, it will be important to review your passenger ticket in detail. Sometimes, before purchasing these tickets, passengers are required to sign liability waivers. This can might it harder for victims to sue for injury. Other times, commercial boating companies include stipulations within passenger tickets, requiring them to bring claims in seemingly odd jurisdictions or under certain time constraints. Identifying and reviewing these possible caveats immediately will be necessary for the success of your claim in Fort Lauderdale.

    Determining Liability for Boating Accidents in Fort Lauderdale

    Boating accidents might occur under very different circumstances. While liability might be somewhat clear in one case, it might require a thorough investigation to determine in another.

    Generally, the boat owner will be liable for any accidents that take place on their vessel. For example, if you were hurt as a passenger on a commercial boat, and the operator’s negligence was the cause, the employer and owner of the vessel could be held liable because of vicarious liability.

    Similarly, if a victim was hurt on a recreational boat and the operator was under the influence of alcohol, causing them to crash into another vessel, the operator would be liable for the victim’s damages.

    Our attorneys can review your telling of events, speak to eyewitnesses and responding law enforcement, and gather additional evidence that points to fault. This can allow us to hold any and all parties responsible for your injuries accountable in Fort Lauderdale.

    Time Constraints on Filing Boating Accident Lawsuits in Fort Lauderdale

    The statute of limitations will begin accruing in your case as soon as the boating accident in question occurs. This will mean you only have a short period of time from the date of the incident in question to sue for injury in Fort Lauderdale.

    Generally speaking, the filing deadline for claims regarding boating accidents in Florida is two years, according to Fla. Stat. § 95.11(4)(a). This comes as a somewhat recent change to the statute of limitations for negligence claims, which was previously four years. Because victims now have half the amount of time to sue for injury, it is even more important to initiate the recovery process as soon as possible.

    This is important for several reasons. First, if you attempt to file your claim outside of the allotted time period and there is no valid reason why your case was delayed, you will likely be unsuccessful. Second, filing long after your accident, even if you do so before the deadline, could cause issues with your case. If you are claiming damages for serious injuries, doing so immediately can make you appear firmly committed to your recovery. Filing too far down the line might make proving certain elements of your claim more challenging.

    Once you have filed your lawsuit, you no longer have to worry about the statute of limitations. This will be the case even if you engage in settlement negotiations with the negligent party. The filing deadline refers to how long you have to file your case with the court, not how long you have to finalize your lawsuit and recover damages in Fort Lauderdale.

    Call Our Fort Lauderdale Attorneys About Your Boat Accident

    By calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369, you can set up a free case assessment from our boating accident lawyers.

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