The Importance Of A Boca Raton Watercraft Accident Lawyer
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), Florida has almost 1 million registered vessels, more than any other state. Unfortunately, the state also has the highest number of boating fatalities in the U.S. each year.
Why You May Need a Boca Raton Boat Crash Lawyer
In order to avoid boat crashes, it can be helpful to understand the risks. Some of the leading causes of Florida boat accidents include:
1. Inexperienced operators
Inexperienced boat operators often cause accidents. Although some cases involve willful disregard for the safety of person or property (a first-degree misdemeanor), often inexperience leads to not following posted restrictions or misunderstanding circumstances such as the presence of a divers-down flag. Careless operation is a non-criminal infraction.
2. High Speeds
Speeding watercraft vessels are involved in many accidents. Posted speed zones labeled “Idle Speed – No Wake” require vessels to operate at minimum speeds. Operators must also be careful not to create an excessive or hazardous wake.
3. Weather conditions
It is the operator’s responsibility to monitor weather conditions at all times. Conditions can change rapidly, particularly in states like Florida. It’s important to check safety equipment, listen to the forecast, and carry a float plan at all times and beware of high winds.
4. Equipment failure
Watercraft owners must properly maintain their vessels to prevent equipment failure. Always check navigational lights in case the vessel is out after dark. Maintenance should also include carbon monoxide checks, as this deadly gas causes watercraft emergencies.
Sometimes boating accidents occur even when the operator acts responsibly. When a boating accident involves an injury, the operator is required to give notice to the FWC, county sheriff, or police chief because leaving the scene of a boating accident is illegal. You can also call a Boca Raton boat crash lawyer.
The 2012 Boating Statistics Report stresses the importance of boater safety training. There were 55 boating related fatalities in 2012, many due to drowning. The FWC states that life jackets could have prevented a large number of these deaths.