Melbourne Boat Accident Lawyer
Florida is a state for boaters. Indeed, many people come to Florida specifically to take advantage of the many opportunities for recreational boating. And between the state’s coastlines and inland waterways, there is an abundance of watercraft everywhere you turn.
But boats are also vehicles. And like any vehicles they can be involved in serious–even deadly–accidents. If you or someone that you love has been harmed through the negligent use or operation of a watercraft, the experienced Melbourne boat accident lawyers at the Pendas Law Firm can assist you in seeking compensation for your injuries.
Understanding Why Boat Accidents Occur on Florida Waterways
It should come as no surprise that Florida leads the nation when it comes to boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities. While some accidents are in fact unavoidable, most of the time a boat crash is the result of negligence or carelessness.
Here are some of the more common negligent acts that we find lead to boat accidents:
- Operator inattention – Although people tend to think of boats and other watercraft as “recreational” vehicles, they are still motor vehicles. This means that an inattentive operator can cause a boat accident just as easily as a distracted driver can lead to a car wreck. Operator inattention frequently leads to collisions with other vessels or fixed objects in the water.
- Inexperienced operators – Florida laws governing boat operators are not as strict as those for motor vehicle drivers. Indeed, anyone before 1988 is not required to have any sort of boating safety certification. So it is not uncommon for older, inexperienced operators to get behind the wheel of a vessel and cause a serious accident.
- Drunk boating – One area where the law is the same for boat operators and drivers is drinking. It is just as illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol as it is a car or truck. And many deadly boating accidents in Florida have been the result of drunk boating.
In addition to negligence on the part of a boat operator, there may be a number of other parties who may be potentially liable for a serious accident:
- Boat manufacturers, distributors, and retailers can be sued if a defect in the design or manufacture of the vessel led to an accident.
- Boat owners, including companies that rent their boats, can be held liable if they negligently entrust their vessels to someone who is clearly incompetent or unqualified.
- If the boat operator was acting within the scope of their employment, the employer can be found vicariously liable for their employee’s negligence.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
Personal injury claims arising from boat accidents often involve more complex legal issues than your more common car or truck accident. This is because many accidents that occur on waterways involve federal admiralty law. So it is especially crucial that you work with a skilled Melbourne boat accident lawyer before pursuing a claim against a negligent boat owner or operator. To schedule an initial consultation, contact the Pendas Law Firm today.