West Palm Beach Boat Accident Attorney
West Palm Beach is virtually the boating capital of the country. Great year-round boating and beach weather make West Palm Beach’s docks, marinas, and open ocean waters congested, and at times dangerous. Drunk fishing vessel operators, reckless jet-ski drovers, and inexperienced powerboat drivers cause dangerous, and sometimes life-taking, collisions. In 2019, the most recent year for which there is data, the Coast Guard reported 679 boating accidents in Florida, according to the Miami Herald, ranking Florida number one in the country for boating accidents. In 55 of these accidents, 62 people lost their lives. The ocean, lakes, and rivers of Florida are similar to the roads—there are rules that all users must follow, and by breaking these rules and operating a motor vehicle boat negligently, that party is responsible for the damages they cause to other injured parties. If you or a loved one were injured, or if a loved one was killed, by a negligent boat operator, you need to speak with the West Palm Beach boat accident attorneys at Hale Law, P.A.
Required Safety Equipment in Florida
Here in Florida, there are specific types of safety equipment required for boat operators depending on the size and type of vessel, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, as follows.
- Vessels Under 16 to Vessels Less Than 65 Feet:
- One Type I, II, or III Personal Flotation Device for each person on board or being towed;
- Visual Distress Signal for high sea and coastal waters;
- Fire extinguisher
- A sound producing device, such as a bell, horn, or whistle;
- Backfire flame control for certain types of engines;
- Vessel lighting during periods of low visibility (fog) or during night; and
- Ventilation for certain types of boats.
Most Common Types of West Palm Beach Boating Accidents
Any collision between two boats, two personal watercraft, or a boat and a swimmer, paddleboarder, or kayaker, can cause serious injuries, including broken bones, burns, lacerations, whiplash, and traumatic brain injury. Serious injuries on the water also present the very real risk of drowning, which can result in death or brain damage. The most common types of collisions are caused by one or more of the following:
- Operator distraction;
- Improper lookout;
- Speeding or reckless operation;
- Operator intoxication (alcohol); and
- Operator inexperience.
Common types of boating accidents include the following:
- Running over a swimmer, water skier/wakeboarder, kayaker, stand up paddleboarder, or person in an inflatable raft;
- Two boats or jet skis colliding at speed;
- Dock collisions; and
- Passenger falling overboard or being thrown from their seat.
Contact Our Experienced Boating Accident Attorneys at Hale Law, P.A.
Injured victims of boating accidents deserve compensation for their pain and suffering, medical expenses, property damage, disability, and lost wages. If you were involved in any type boating collision, whether you were a simmer, boat occupant, or personal watercraft operator, call the West Palm Beach attorneys at Hale Law P.A. today at 941-735-4529 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer.