Fort Lauderdale Boating Accident Attorney’s
Broward County has more than 300 miles of beautiful waterways open to boaters and watercraft enthusiasts. Boating is one of the most popular recreational activities in Fort Lauderdale – a fact that comes as no surprise to locals and tourists. Sunny skies, sparkling waters, and exciting places like the Everglades and Deerfield Island Park attract thousands of boaters every year. Boating isn’t always just fun in the sun, however. Boating accidents can turn an adventure into tragedy. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik have seen the unfortunate aftermath of these situations and want to help.
Fort Lauderdale Boating Laws and Safety Regulations
Many people mistakenly believe that operating a water vessel comes with less stringent rules than driving a motor vehicle. Boats can be just as dangerous as motor vehicles, and they require the same amount of diligence and care by operators. Boating also comes with waterway laws and safety regulations that boaters and passengers must obey on the waters of Broward County. These rules include:
- Watercrafts must remain at least 200 yards offshore, except during launch or return to a designated boat launching area.
- Watercrafts may not anchor or interfere with others’ use of the channel area of a waterway.
- Watercraft operators cannot have more than a 0.08% blood alcohol concentration level while boating.
- Watercraft owners must properly maintain their vessels at all times. This includes equipping boats with proper lights, safety, and emergency gear before launch.
Boaters also have the responsibility to act as reasonable and prudent persons would in the same situation. Boaters should pay attention to weather conditions, undergo proper training before operating a water vessel, watch the waterway at all times, and understand all boating rules and requirements before launch. Any type of negligence on the boater’s part, resulting in a collision, can make the boater liable for resultant damages.
Types of Damages in a Boating Accident
Depending on the severity of the collision, a boating accident can result in thousands of dollars in property damages. It could also result in serious passenger injuries, as well as injuries to swimmers or divers nearby. Accidental drowning can occur as a result of a boating accident, especially when head injuries in the crash render a person unconscious in the water. Some boating accidents in Fort Lauderdale have even resulted in death.
The amount your boating accident case could be worth depends on the severity and types of damages. The Fort Lauderdale courts can grant boat accident victims compensation for past and future medical costs, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, and all costs relating to a loved one’s death in the event of fatal injuries. The at-fault boater likely has insurance that will cover your damages. Florida’s “no-fault” laws apply in boating accidents as in car crashes – accident victims would first seek compensation through their own insurers, and then go to the other boater’s insurer for additional coverage.
If you need legal assistance with insurance settlement negotiations or if you believe your case has merit as a personal injury claim in Florida, visit an attorney for counsel. It’s possible that you could receive a greater award in a PI claim compared to accepting an insurance settlement offer. For more in-depth information about what your individual boating accident case could be worth, talk with an experienced attorney at the Law Offices of Chalik & Chalik today.