Posts Tagged ‘florida boating accidents injury lawyer’

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Florida Boating Accidents Can Be Avoided With A Boater’s Safety Course

February 12, 2010

The United States Coast Guard 2008 report on Florida boating accidents shows 616 accidents of which 50 accidents involved fatalities that killed 55 people. In addition, there were 371 non-fatal injuries and over $22 million dollars worth of damage due to boating accidents. 106 of these accidents involved collision with a fixed object, 20 from striking a submerged object, and 190 were due to collision with another vessel. 25 people were forcibly ejected from their boat and 45 people were injured falling overboard. Across the country, over two-thirds of boating fatalities were due to drowning and 90% of the drowning victims were not wearing life jackets.

The primary causes of the accidents, injuries and property damage are operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, no proper lookout, operator inexperience, and passenger or skier behavior. Many accidents also involve consumption of alcohol. In fact, alcohol was a leading contributing factor in 17% of the boating fatalities in 2008.

Effective January 1, 2010, Florida law now requires that persons born on or after January 1, 1988, complete a NASBLA-approved boater education course prior to operating a vessel powered by a motor of 10 horsepower or more (this includes personal water craft such as jet skis and wave runners). The law also requires that persons affected by this legislation have in their possession a boater safety identification card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and photographic ID while operating a vessel. Florida does not have a "boating license."  The Boating Safety Education Identification Card is proof of successful completion of the educational requirements and is valid for life.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission offers several ways to take an online boater’s safety course. They also offer on-site classes and correspondence courses so boaters can complete requirements as conveniently as possible.

For personal safety, everyone onboard your vessel should be wearing a personal flotation device (PFD). Florida law requires that:

  • The owner and/or operator of a vessel is responsible to carry, store, maintain and use the safety equipment required by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
  • All vessels are required to have onboard a wearable USCG-approved personal flotation device (PFD) for each person.  The PFDs must be of the appropriate size for the intended wearer, be in serviceable condition, and within easy access.  The State of Florida urges all people onboard a boat to wear a life jacket.
  • Vessels 16 feet in length or longer must also have at least one USCG-approved throwable Type IV PFD that is immediately available in case of a fall overboard.
  • A child under the age of 6 must wear a USCG-approved Type I, II or III personal flotation device while onboard a vessel under 26 feet in length while the vessel is under way.  "Under way" is defined as anytime except when the vessel is anchored, moored, made fast to the shore or aground.

Florida boating accidents can in the blink of an eye and for numerous reasons: you can slip and fall overboard slipping on the deck or from inattention, drinking on the boat can contribute to a fall overboard, bad weather can contribute, and being hit by another boat can cause a fall overboard. In most instances, the passenger either does not have enough time to grab a life jacket before falling overboard or is unconscious and unable to put on a life jacket, so it is important for all boating passengers to wear a PFD at all times.

Florida boating accident lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, has operated boats throughout South Florida, the Bahamas and Florida Keys for over 30 years.  If you or a loved one have been involved in Florida boating accidents, get advice from the experienced Florida boating accident lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph M. Maus, to determine your rights.  For a free, no obligation consultation, call Toll Free 866-556-5529 or log onto http://www.mauslawfirm.com today.

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Florida Boating Accidents and Deaths on the Rise

September 12, 2009

The United States Coast Guard recently released its study on boating accident which occurred in 2008.  Unfortunately, the study indicates deaths occurring in boating accidents are on the rise.  The Coast Guard reported that boating fatalities increased from 5.3 per 100,000 registered recreational boaters to 5.6 in 2008.  The Coast Guard recorded a total of 709 boating deaths in 2008, 3,331 boating injuries, approximately 54 million dollars in damage to property, all arising out of 4,789 boating accidents.  The primary causes of the accidents, injuries and property damage are operator inattention, careless or reckless operation, no proper lookout, operator inexperience, and passenger or skier behavior. 

Florida boat accident attorney Joseph M. Maus also points out that many of the accidents involve alcohol consumption.  The Coast Guard’s report indicates that alcohol consumption was listed as the leading contributing factor in 17% of the boating wrongful deaths that occurred in 2008.   

The number of recent Florida boating accidents did improve in one category relating to those boating accidents caused by alcohol use.  In 2007, Florida had more alcohol related boating accidents, and alcohol related boating wrongful deaths, than any other state.  But, California now carries the banner for 2008 as the state having the most alcohol related boating accidents and boating wrongful deaths. 

Simple precautionary measures can be taken to drastically reduce the likelihood of Florida boating accidents, injury or boating wrongful death, say Attorney Maus.  For starters, over 2/3 of the boating accident wrongful death victims drowned. Of those victims, 90% were not wearing a life jacket.  Boating accidents occur very suddenly and usually do not give the driver or passengers time to react.  The simple use of Personal Flotation Device (PFD) could be the difference between life and death during a boating accident.   

Most states, including Florida, offer boat owners and operators a boating safety course.  However, very few boat operators take advantage of these classes.  Only 10% of the boating wrongful deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received a boating safety instruction course. 

There are many factors which contribute to serious boating accidents in Florida.  These include the items mentioned above such as wearing a PFD, and attending a boating safety course.  However, in order to fully investigate the cause of Florida boating accidents or injuries, you need to consider the location of the accident, navigational markers and rules governing the area, the tides, wind, time of day, type of boats involved in the accident, and many other factors. 

Florida boating accident lawyer, Joseph M. Maus, has operated boats throughout South Florida, the Bahamas and Florida Keys for over 30 years.  If you or a loved one have been involved in any serious Florida boating accidents, get advice from the experienced Florida boating accident lawyers at the Law Office of Joseph M. Maus, to determine your rights.  For a free, no obligation consultation, call Toll Free 866-556-5529 or log onto http://www.mauslawfirm.com today.

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