Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

When someone is injured in a Florida workplace accident, compensation may be available through several sources. One option for the injured employee is to apply for Florida workers’ compensation benefits. One good thing about workers’ compensation benefits is that an employee can obtain benefits without a showing of fault. However, these benefits are limited in that an employee can only recover economic damages. This means an employee is not able to obtain compensation for their emotional pain and suffering.

Another option for those who have been injured in a Florida workplace accident is to pursue a personal injury claim against their employer. However, as a general rule, an injured employee’s sole remedy against their employer is a workers’ compensation claim. Thus, many employees are foreclosed from pursuing a Florida personal injury claim against their employer.

That is not the case, however, for maritime workers. Under the Jones Act, those seamen who are injured or killed in the course of their employment may be able to pursue a claim against their employer. (Note: Florida railroad workers enjoy a similar benefit under the Federal Employment Liability Act.) It is important to note, however, that an employee who brings a claim under the Jones Act must establish that their employer was negligent. As a recent case illustrates, the duties that a maritime employer owes to its employees may be unfamiliar to those without advanced knowledge of the industry.

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Boating, like any other method of transportation, has its inherent risks. While most boats are safely constructed, and most operators are knowledgeable about how to safely operate a marine vessel, accidents can happen, especially when a boat is being operated by an inexperienced or intoxicated driver.In Florida, there is no special license needed to operate a boat. In fact, anyone born before 1988 does not need any certification to operate a boat. Those born after January 1, 1988 must obtain a Boating Safety Education I.D. card issued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission. However, once obtained, this card is valid for life.

Air boat tours are popular across Florida. While air boat operators are normally experienced, in Florida, there is no requirement that these boats have any safety devices, such as seat belts, airbags, or even windshields. These boats do not have brakes and are often operated at a high rate of speed. In addition, due to the design of these boats, they are capable of suddenly stopping short if driven over dry land.

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