Boating Accident Attorneys in West Palm Beach & Stuart

West Palm Beach encompasses three square miles of water, making boating and other lake and ocean activities popular for residents and visitors alike. Unfortunately, not all boat operators engage in proper training or practices when driving such a large and complicated vessel, which can lead to serious injuries for their passengers as well as people on other watercraft. The boating accident lawyers at Donaldson & Weston provide legal assistance to people who have been injured on the water through the fault of another party.

Injuries from boating accidents range from broken bones and sprains to serious head trauma and even wrongful death. Making sure that the parties responsible for a boating accident are held accountable is important to ensure that the waterways are safe and that victims have the resources necessary to heal.

Our attorneys are passionate about helping injured parties and their families pursue justice and fair compensation. For a free case review, call 561-299-3999.

Why Are Boating Accidents So Common Around Palm Beach County, Florida?

There are approximately 40,000 boats registered in Palm Beach County. Although not all of their owners reside in the area, with so many boats traveling on the waterways, the potential for injuries in an accident increases.

West Palm Beach Canal flows into Lake Worth Lagoon, which then leads boats to the Atlantic Ocean. Clear Lake and Lake Mangonia are also popular destinations for boating activities as well as kayaking, rowing, and sculling.

Additionally, the city hosts the annual Palm Beach International Boat Show, bringing in crowds and yacht owners from around the world.

Statewide, Florida has issued 900,000 registrations to recreational boats as of 2013, ranking highest in the nation. Unfortunately, the United States Department of Transportation has listed Florida as the state with the highest number of boating fatalities nationwide as well. In 2013, from the 736 boating accidents reported, 420 injuries and 62 deaths were also cited. Boat operators, passengers, and nearby swimmers are all among the people susceptible to injuries or death in these kinds of incidents. The boating accident attorneys at our West Palm Beach firm are ready to help people who are hurt in these scenarios explore their legal options.

What Are Common Causes of Boat Injuries?

Often, a boat’s operator has acted negligently in causing a boat crash. The U.S. Coast Guard has listed alcohol use as the leading contributing cause in fatal boating accidents. Other common causes of these incidents include distracted boat drivers, inexperience, faulty machinery, and speeding.

Boat drivers can sometimes be held liable in personal injury lawsuits, which are usually brought on the basis of negligence. Victims injured by a negligent boat operator must show that the defendant breached the duty of care and that the breach caused the victim’s injuries, resulting in damages.

Liability could also be established by proving “negligence per se.” This may apply, for example, if the boat driver was impaired by drugs or alcohol, similar to a drunk driving accident case.

Negligence per se requires a showing that the defendant acted unlawfully. Under Florida law, it is illegal to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol. This statute is in place to keep swimmers, boaters, and others enjoying the water safe from harm.

If liability and causation can be established, victims may recover damages for medical bills, loss of income, diminished earning capacity, and pain and suffering. Boating accidents can leave victims severely and sometimes permanently injured.

The West Palm Beach boating accident attorneys at Donaldson & Weston assist people in pursuing the compensation they need to get their lives back. Our firm can help investigate the events leading up to the accident in order to determine who is liable.

Speak with a Boat Accident Lawyer in West Palm Beach

There are deadlines for filing personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits, and important evidence might eventually become unavailable. It is important that you seek legal counsel as soon as possible. For a free consultation, call our office today at 561-299-3999.