Statistics Show Dramatic Increase in Miami Boat Accidents

With 1,350 miles of coastline between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, plus thousands of inland lakes, streams, and canals, it is no wonder boating is popular in Florida. The temperate climate allows enthusiasts to hit the water year-round, but the grim reality is that boat and marine accidents are a common threat. Unfortunately, statistics from the US Coast Guard reveal some disturbing trends. There were more than 4,400 boating accidents reported in 2021, claiming the lives of almost 660 victims and causing injuries to thousands of victims. 

Though there are many specific causes behind marine accidents, they share a common element: These incidents are the result of negligence by boat operators. Fortunately, Florida personal injury laws apply, and they may provide you with remedies if you were hurt or lost a loved one. A Miami boat accident attorney will guide you through the legal process, though some additional data is informative.

Additional Statistics on Marine Accidents

To appreciate the risks of fatal and injury-causing boat collisions, it is useful to review trends and data reported by the US Coast Guard:

  • Alcohol was once again the leading contributing factor to marine crashes, causing more than 100 deaths – approximately 16% of all fatalities.
  • Other causes of boat accidents include operator inattention, lack of experience, failure to keep a proper lookout, and excessive speed.
  • In incidents where the cause of death was known, 81 percent of victims died because of drowning.
  • Of the fatal drownings, 83% of victims were not wearing a personal floatation device (PFD).
  • In almost 190 boat accidents, the victim was struck by the vessel’s propeller. Two dozen people were killed, and more than 190 individuals suffered injuries because of the propeller.

How Florida Boat Accident Claims Work

If you were injured in a collision, your remedies work in a similar fashion to auto crashes. You will file a claim under the insurance policy carried by the at-fault boat operator. You might expect to fill out a few forms, but keep in mind that the insurer is a for-profit business. Paying out compensation to you is a loss, so the company will fight your claim at every possible opportunity. You might receive a denial or lowball offer to settle, at which point you will need to file a lawsuit in court.

Through settlement or litigation, it is possible to recover for such losses as:

  • Costs for medical care, including hospitalization, surgery, emergency treatment, and others;
  • Lot wages;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Scarring and disfigurement; and,
  • Other losses that affect your quality of life.

Discuss Your Options with a Miami Boat Accident Lawyer

It is useful to understand the basics of the legal process, but you should rely on an experienced attorney for assistance after a marine collision. Gerson & Schwartz, PA, is knowledgeable about the laws, so contact us to learn more about your remedies and compensation. You can call (305) 371-6000 or visit our website to schedule a free case review at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.

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