A Boating Accident Attorney can provide the support you need after an accident. McDermott Law Firm, P.A., has supported and defended clients in the Tampa Bay area since 1961, and we are ready to do the same for you. We specialize in protecting the rights of the injured and the accused. Our law team can provide you with the information and guidance you need when dealing with a boating accident case. Florida has one of the highest percentages of boat-related incidents in the United States, so it is better to be prepared with the name of a trustworthy lawyer if anything happens.

Understanding Boating Safety Laws

The state of Florida has the highest number of individuals participating in recreational boating activities. It makes sense, therefore, that Florida is also the leading state in boat-related accidents. If you were involved in a boating accident in the Tampa area, it is important to know which specific laws apply to your case. An experienced Boating Accident Attorney can provide you with a clear understanding of how Florida state laws can affect your case moving forward.

The first thing you need to know is if the incident is “reportable” according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s law enforcement division. This agency is responsible for enforcing the safety laws when it comes to recreational boat activities. The incident must meet one of the following criteria in order to be reportable:

  • A person dies;
  • A person disappears under circumstances that indicate possible death or injury;
  • There is at least $2,000 aggregate property damage to the vessel or other property;
  • A person receives an injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid; or
  • There is a total loss of the vessel.

Types of Boating Accidents

While the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports that the most common type of accident is colliding with another vessel, there are still many different types of incidents that may be reportable. A Boating Accident Attorney can determine if your case is reportable and the kind of accident you are dealing with as well. Other examples of incidents with legal repercussions include:

  • Collisions with fixed objects. There are multiple objects in bodies of water that boaters must avoid such as buoys, docks, and even sandbars. Hitting a fixed object or land can cause a sudden jolt that results in vessel damage or even a passenger being thrown overboard.
  • Wake damage. The waves created by a boat (also called wake) can be quite large if the vessel is large enough and moving fast enough. If another boat comes too close, or approaches from the wrong angle, this can be extremely dangerous.
  • Hitting a wave. Similar to hitting another vessel’s wake, hitting a large wave at the wrong angle or speed can cause damage to the vessel or harm those on board.

Safety Tips for Boating in Tampa

The following are important safety tips that you should keep in mind while enjoying time out on a boat. Following these guidelines can possibly help prevent the need for a Boating Accident Attorney.

  • Stay sober while operating a vessel. You can face additional charges if you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the incident.
  • Monitor the capacity of your boat. Too many people on board can result in capsizing or swamping.
  • Make sure there is a flotation device on board for each passenger.
  • Check the weather forecast before heading out on the boat. The weather in Tampa can be very unpredictable, and you want to make sure you are prepared.
  • Include a fire extinguisher in your safety kit. You may have to put out a fire, even on the water.
  • Use caution and remain alert while on the water, at the marina or dock, and have your passengers do the same.

Boats are an enjoyable way to have fun, but they are motor vehicles that require safe operating procedures and have the potential for danger, so use caution.

For a Boating Accident Attorney in Tampa, Call McDermott Law Firm, P.A.

At McDermott Law Firm, P.A., we are prepared to help our clients with their legal needs in the Tampa area. Any kind of legal proceeding can cause stress for those involved. Additionally, depending on the details of the case, it may be complicated, legally. Having an experienced professional by your side ensures that you have the guidance and support you need from beginning to end.

To schedule a consultation with McDermott Law Firm, P.A., in Tampa, contact us online or give us a call at 727-367-1080. A Boating Accident Attorney can make sure you are ready for what lies ahead. Trust the McDermott Law Dogs® to fight for you!