Whether you’re fishing at a slower, more relaxed pace or riding your speedboat down the Gulf at a faster pace, boating can be a fun, exciting pastime, and especially so in a lively coastal peninsula like the State of Florida.
Unfortunately, what may be fun and lively in most cases can turn violent and deadly in other cases, and far too often, it does. Since 2015, the U.S. Coast Guard has consistently ranked Florida as the deadliest state for boating accidents in the entire country.
It’s a risky, deadly thing that boaters have to reckon with. It’s such a common reckoning, in fact, that the Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission recently put out a list ranking Florida’s Top 10 deadliest counties for boating accidents. On #3 of the list is the county where you can find our firm’s Boca Raton office: Palm Beach County.
Why does Palm Beach rank among the top 3 deadliest Florida counties for boating? These facts may be of interest:
- The majority of the vessels involved in Palm Beach boating accidents were motorboats (40 vessels)
- The majority of the vessels involved were less than 12 feet long (18 vessels)
- The majority of the accidents (20) resulted from negligent inattention
- The majority of the accidents (24) involved a collision with another vessel
Though it may be tempting to feel totally relaxed and carefree when boating, boaters should still exercise careful, delicate care when operating their boat, or any other heavy machinery for that matter.
Unfortunately, these FWC figures indicate that far too many Palm Beach boaters do not exercise an adequate level of care. So with that being said, what do you in the unfortunate event that you cross paths with a negligent, inattentive boater on the water?
What To Do After A Boating Accident
If you were struck by a negligent boater on the water, you should follow similar steps that you should follow after a vehicle accident on land:
- Assess if anyone needs medical attention or help back on board. If the boat is sinking, try to cling to falling debris and stay afloat with a life jacket until help arrives.
- If possible, try to steer the vessel to safety, administer first aid, and call 9-1-1.
- Try to obtain the names, contact, and insurance information of all parties involved in an accident.
- Seek appropriate medical attention as soon as you can.
- Report your boating accident to the U.S. Coast Guard.
The last point is required by law after most serious boating accidents. But after the dust has settled and you’ve recovered from your injuries, you should try to negotiate with the other party’s insurance company. But if a mutually fair settlement isn’t possible out of court, you should work with a trusted boat accident attorney to find a satisfactory settlement in court.
Learn How a Boca Raton Boating Accident Lawyer Can Help
At Demand the Limits , our firm is dedicated to supporting the communities we serve as effectively as we can, so it would be a disservice to our Palm Beach County clients if we didn’t help boating accident victims. If you or a loved one was involved in a Palm Beach County boating accident and is still struggling to find satisfactory justice, then consider reaching out to our firm today.