Fatal Boat Accidents
Boating is one of the most-enjoyed recreational activities in South Florida. From cruise ships to private watercraft, boats are prevalent throughout the state. However, many boat operators fail to take proper safety measures, or do not have adequate training on how to maneuver such a vessel. As a result, fatal boat accidents are more common in Florida than in other places. Families who have lost a loved one in a fatal boat accident may be left with outstanding medical bills as well as loss of financial support that they must deal with on top of their grief. Miami boat accident lawyer Robert Dixon assists families in pursuing the appropriate wrongful death claims against those responsible for accidents that result in fatalities. Mr. Dixon and his staff at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon are dedicated to offering compassionate and experienced legal guidance to clients who have lost loved ones due to boating accidents throughout South Florida, including in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach Counties. The aftermath of a fatal boat accident is an emotional time, with legal action often being far from a grieving family’s priorities. However, in order to ensure the proper parties are held liable, it is wise to contact an attorney as soon as possible. If you have legal questions during this difficult time, please contact our office today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your potential claim.Fatal Boat Accidents in Florida Florida follows only Alaska when it comes to the amount of coastline per state, with 1,100 miles of sand and water. As such, it is also where many boaters take to the ocean, as well as other bodies of water within the state. In 2015, the American Boating Association reported 626 fatal boating accidents occurring nationwide, with 49 of those occurring in Florida, the most of any state. Additionally, there were 2,613 people injured in boating accidents in the United States that same year. Boat occupants, operators themselves, as well as swimmers may be killed as a result of a boat accident, often due to an operator’s actions. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, intoxication due to alcohol is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. Other factors that have been known to be involved in these devastating crashes include speeding, inexperience or lack of training, machinery failure, as well as insufficient lookouts. In situations where a boat operator’s level of experience was reported, over seventy percent of fatal boating accidents involved an operator without sufficient boating safety knowledge. Responsibility in a Fatal Boat Accident
Most fatal boat accidents are due to a driver’s negligent actions – whether it be by operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol or failing to obtain proper training or knowledge regarding boat safety. Negligence is established in a wrongful death claim when a plaintiff, usually a close family member of the victim, can show that the defendant breached his or her duty of reasonable care, causing the victim’s death, and resulting in damages. When intoxication of a boat operator is involved, a claim may be based on the simpler theory of ‘negligence per se’ or as a matter of law, which only needs a showing that the operator has violated a law designed to protect a certain group of people – such as Florida law making it illegal to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
Damages available in a wrongful death claim include any outstanding medical costs a victim accrued related to the injury leading to death, as well as burial or funeral costs and loss of support. The statute of limitations for a wrongful death claim in Florida is two years from the date of a victim’s death, which makes timing important to ensure legal rights are preserved and evidence collected.Miami Lawyers Representing Families of Boating Accident Victims
Losing a loved one in a sudden, fatal boat accident is overwhelming, and the financial aspect of that stress is only part of a long road to recovery. Legal action may be the only way to cover the costs associated with a loved one’s death. Miami attorney Robert Dixon helps families who have lost loved ones by taking on the legal burden so that they do not have to. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Robert Dixon represent clients from the initial investigation of the circumstances leading to a fatal boating accident until full resolution of a case. If you need legal assistance and want to learn more about our services, please call (877) 499-4878 or contact us online to schedule a free, no obligation consultation and speak with an attorney today. We represent clients in communities including Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Miami.