If you love the great outdoors, there are few better places to live in Florida than Wesley Chapel. With the beautiful year-round weather, it is the perfect location to enjoy boating along Florida’s Gulf Coast. But owning a boat requires responsibility. Even the most experienced boat owners find themselves in trouble by failing to exercise caution. The statistics are frightening. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, there were 671 recreating boating accidents throughout the state in 2015. Those numbers increased in 2016. Those numbers are almost double than those in California and New York. The leading causes of death were drowning and failure to wear a flotation device.
The Fine Line Between Safe and Dangerous Boating
There are currently 931,450 registered boats in Florida–more than any other state in the nation. Whether you live in Panama City Beach or Key West, boats are a major part of Florida’s lifestyle. However, boating is not much different than driving. Among the biggest dangers are distracted boating along with the use of drugs and alcohol. Last year, the sports world was shocked Miami Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, along with two of his friends, was killed in a boating accident off the coast of South Florida. It was later discovered Fernandez has traces of cocaine and alcohol in his system.
Distracted boating is also a major concern. The use of cell phones, GPS, systems and electronic devices can make boating just as hazardous as driving. According to the Coast Guard, boating fatalities increased 12 percent from 2015 to 2016. Among the contributing factors were:
2. Operator inexperience
4. Improper lookouts
Boating should always be a fun activity. Unfortunately, it is easier to get away with drunk boating than driving. There simply is not enough law enforcement along Florida’s waterways to keep up. If you have been injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of others, it is important to seek representation from a knowledgeable and experienced Wesley Chapel personal injury attorney. It can often make the difference between recovering the settlement needed to account for medical expenses, damages, and lost wages to get shortchanged.
Differences Between Boating Accidents & Car Accidents
Not all motor vehicle accidents are the same. One of the biggest mistakes is choosing a personal injury attorney that lacks experience in maritime laws. Even filing a boating accident claim is much different than for car accidents. Unlike automobile accidents, boating accident along the waterfall under federal maritime laws instead of state personal injury laws. The process of getting the settlement accident victims deserve is much different. Wesley Chapel personal injury attorneys David and Gwen Walkowiak understand the challenges of boating accident victims. Over the years, they have helped many injured boaters recover the maximum compensation to account for their expenses and lost wages. They utilize an aggressive and comprehensive approach to protect the rights of accident victims. To learn more, contact the offices of DHW Law in Wesley Chapel and schedule a consultation to discuss your case.