As residents of Florida, we are blessed to have such close proximity to so many beaches, lakes, and rivers. Watercraft activities, such as boating, fishing, jet skiing, wave runners, and sea doos are a passion for the residents of the Greater Tampa Bay area. Many Floridians spend their weekends enjoying the Gulf of Mexico and the open Atlantic Ocean.
And while this is to be expected in the coastal State of Florida, what’s not expected is when operators of watercraft behave negligently and/or recklessly. According to the Statistics of the United States Coast Guard regarding boat accidents, there were 4588 accidents that involved 758 deaths, 3081 injuries and approximately $52 million dollars of property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. That roughly means that if you or somebody you know are in a boat accident, you have an almost 84% chance of being injured or worse, killed.
To make matters worse, these accidents are almost always preventable and are caused by the carelessness of another. Here are some of the major contributors to boat accidents.
- Excessive Speed
- Drug and Alcohol Impairment
- Driver not paying attention
- Reckless Boat Operation
- Lack of Experience
These actions can cause a boat to capsize, crash into another boat, or even catch fire. Alternatively, defective manufacturing may have led to the boat accident.
Tampa Boat Accident Attorney
Tampa Boat Accident Attorney Michael Meksraitis has over forty years of litigating boat accident claims. As a former Merchant Seaman, Mr. Meksraitis understands the responsibility that operating a watercraft carries. Michael Meksraitis knows how to investigate Florida Boat Accidents, can an also advise you on whether you have a case. Some of the factors we’ll investigate are:
- Was the Operator of the Boat in Compliance with Florida Law
- We the At-Fault Party in the Boat Accident driving at excessive speeds
- Did the driver of the vessel turn too sharply next to another boat or other watercraft
- Was the driver intoxicated or impaired
A Florida Boat Accident can limit your ability to live your life to the fullest extent possible. As noted above, 758 people died in boating accidents in 2011, with over 3,000 injuries. If you or somebody you know was the victim of a boat accident in Florida, you may have suffered burn injuries, or been knocked around the boat. Boats are able to attain very high speeds and in conjunction with being unrestrained, the victim of the boat accident may be left with spinal cord injuries, Trauma, and injuries to the head, neck, and back.
Boating Safety Tips
At the Law Offices of Michael J. Meksraitis, we hope everybody returns safe and enjoys their boating experience. Provided below is a few boating safety tips to keeping you and your family safe out on the water.
- Get a Free Safety Check with the United States Coast Guard. This will ensure that your vessel is up to date with the current safety regulations and has the necessary safety equipment. For more information, click here.
- Avoid and Limit the Use of Alcohol. Do not use alcohol if you are the operator of a watercraft as your reaction time and judgment are diminished.
- Use Lifejackets. Most fatalities in Florida Boat Accidents result from drowning.
- Enroll in a Boater Education Class
- Operate at a Safe Speed. For more information, click here.
- While we wish you all the best enjoying Florida’s waterways, if you are ever in need of a Tampa Boat Accident Attorney, please don’t hesitate to contact our office.