The state of Florida is known for many things, the most notable being the ocean and beaches that surround it. Thus, it is no surprise that Florida has the largest number of registered vessels in the country. Unfortunately, Florida also has the highest rate of boating accidents. In five years, more than 350 people have died in accidents occurring in Florida waters. According to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), a total of 4,604 U.S. boating accidents were recorded in just one year. Those accidents and wrecks resulted in 672 boating deaths and an additional 3,153 non-fatal injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a Tampa-area boating accident or have lost a loved one, you may be entitled to damages.
Boats and Other Marine Crafts in the Tampa Area
There are many different types of vessels in which a boating accident can occur. Some of the most common types include:
- Charter Vessels
- Cruise Ships
- Motor boats
- Water Skis
- Jet Skis
- Casino boats
The wide variety of watercraft makes it difficult for any Tampa-area boater to be an expert across the board, and inexperienced drivers increase the likelihood of an accident occurring. While some of these crafts are piloted by professionals, many can be operated by anyone who has passed a basic boating safety course—a course that can be completed online and doesn’t include any actual hands-on experience. In some cases, even that basic level of preparation is not required.
Some common types of negligence that may give rise to a personal injury or wrongful death claim include:
- An inexperienced operator driving a boat or other watercraft
- Another person driving a boat under the influence of alcohol
- Faulty boat maintenance
Compensation may include payment of medical bills incurred, replacement of income lost during recovery and property damages. In addition, our experienced personal injury lawyers may be able to help you recover damages beyond your monetary losses, such as compensation for pain and suffering. During your free consultation, your lawyer will be able to further determine what kind of damages you may be entitled to.
There is a Time Limit for Filing Your Tampa Boating Accident Case
In the state of Florida, a personal injury victim is allowed up to four years from the time of the accident to file a lawsuit. Nonetheless, you should not delay in contacting an attorney. With the passage of time, witnesses may misremember key facts and details, or even forget completely. In addition, key evidence may be lost or destroyed in that time. It is ideal to work as quickly as possible to ensure your attorney has all the information necessary to successfully represent you.
Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Straight Away
It is of the utmost importance that you speak to a lawyer about your case as soon as possible. Many times when a person tries to put together his or her own boat accident case, simple mistakes or oversights destroy or seriously limit the claim. Often, these mistakes could easily have been avoided with the guidance of an experienced attorney.
It is never too soon after a boating and marine accident to contact a personal injury lawyer to get a better understanding of your rights and how you should proceed.
Take the first step toward a less stressful recovery by contacting us at 1-800-253-5523 or filling out the free consultation form on this page. It’s always good to have an experienced advocate on your side.