Every year, Florida is the national leader in boating accidents. While the state has taken some steps over the years to implement mandatory training courses and promote awareness of boating safety, the vast majority of boaters in the state still do not have — and are not required to undergo — any formal boating education. In fact, a recent report indicates about two-thirds of all operators involved in deadly accidents did not receive formal boating training.
Under the current laws, only boaters born after 1988 must take a class to be able to legally operate a vessel. The original idea was to require all boaters to take a class, phasing in the required training over a certain period of time to get all boaters the training needed for safe operation. However, state lawmakers at the time decided they would water down the law, which resulted in the vast majority of boaters in the state being exempt from the training requirements.
Experienced boat captains say the classes are critical for teaching people boating safety. Unfortunately, state lawmakers have not yet toughened the rules. In 2017, Florida reported 766 boating accidents and 67 fatalities.
Take action when injured in a boating accident
If you suffer an injury in a boating accident due to another person’s negligence, the steps you will take to file a personal injury claim are very similar to what you would do after a car accident. You must determine who was liable and prove it to a court to recover compensation. A skilled attorney can guide you through this process.
To learn more about proceeding with a boat accident injury claim, speak with a knowledgeable Florida attorney at Shapiro, Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez & Walsh.