Marion County Boat Accident Lawyer

With over 8,000 miles of coastlines, three million acres of lakes, and about one million boats registered with the state, Marion County is a prime spot for recreational boaters. Unfortunately, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission statistics, Florida has seen more boating accidents each year than any other state in the country. In fact, the number of accidents in Florida is almost double compared to the next highest state.

There are specific laws that govern the operation of a vessel in Marion County and the liability of a negligent party in a boating accident. Know that a dedicated Marion County boat accident lawyer can help you recover damages that can compensate you for your injuries after a boating accident. Read on to learn more about how a skilled injury attorney could advocate for your best interests today.

What Can Cause A Boating Accident?

Oftentimes, a car accident occurs because someone was negligent or careless. The same is true for collisions involving boats. Some common causes of boating accidents can include:

  • Colliding with another vessel or fixed object
  • Capsizing
  • Grounding
  • Skiing or tubing accidents
  • Driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs

Similar to driving an automobile, driving a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in Marion County. Under Florida Code Section 327.35, if someone is boating under the influence, they may be subject to penalties ranging from a $500 fine to a maximum of nine months in prison. Reach out to a weathered injury attorney to learn more.

The Rights of Injured Parties

Because of the risks associated with driving a boat, Florida considers all vessels dangerous instrumentalities. According to Florida Code Section 327.32, any operator of a vessel shall, during any utilization of the vessel, exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injuries to others. If a boat’s captain fails to uphold that standard, a professional Marion County boat accident lawyer can help individuals recover compensation for their losses.

Under Florida law, operators of a boat are held to a very high standard when it comes to anyone suffering injuries under their care. For instance, according to Section 327.30 of the Florida code, if a boat was involved in an accident, it is the duty of the boat’s operator to render to other persons affected by the collision…such assistance as is practicable and necessary in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision.

What Laws Govern Boating Accidents in Marion County?

Depending on whether someone suffered an injury during their employment or if the injury happened when the individual was merely a guest on someone’s boat, different legal doctrines apply. For instance, the Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. Section 883, would apply to the negligence of an employee working under a maritime employer. However, the common-law legal doctrine of negligence will cover guests of a boat operator.

In addition, different laws will govern a boating accident depending on where on the water the accident occurred. If the accident happened close to shore, Florida and federal law will generally apply. However, if the accident happened way offshore, international maritime laws may govern. An experienced Marion County boat accident lawyer could prove to be a valuable asset in these situations by using their extensive knowledge of the laws in question.

How a Marion County Boat Accident Lawyer Can Help

Boating accidents add an entirely new level of complexity to an injury case. Whereas other injury cases deal with clear jurisdictions, boating cases depend far more on the unique factors of the accident.

Because of the legal intricacies involved in boating accidents, it is advised that you contact a Marion County boat accident lawyer to help guide you through the legal process. A qualified attorney can help protect your legal rights and determine the potential sources of compensation to help your recovery. Reach out to a knowledgable Marion County boat accident lawyer today for your initial consultation.