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.
Air Boat Accident Claims One Florida Woman’s Life
Earlier this month, a recent graduate from the University of Miami was killed in an air boat accident. According to a news report covering the tragic accident, the crash occurred on a Saturday afternoon as the woman was taking a tour of the Everglades with her family. The tour was booked through an air boat tour company.
Evidently, the driver of the boat departed from the tour’s usual route for a brief moment because another boat had broken down on the trail. As the boat returned to the trail, it stopped abruptly, sending those on board flying off the vessel. The woman was pinned underneath the boat’s engine cage and died from her injuries. No one else was seriously injured in the crash.
Police are currently conducting an investigation into the fatal boating accident and have not determined whether any charges will be filed against the boat’s operator.
Pursuing Compensation After a Serious Injury or Death
Tour companies are responsible for their passengers’ safety. Thus, if a driver is negligent in the operation of the boat, or the company fails to keep the boat in safe working condition, the company may be liable for any injuries caused as a result. Anyone injured in a Florida boating accident should reach out to a dedicated Florida boat accident attorney to discuss their case.
Have You Been Involved in a South Florida Boating Accident?
If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a South Florida boating accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Regardless of whether you were on a tour at the time or were operating your own vessel, there may be multiple parties liable for your injuries. The experienced personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Friedman, Rodman & Frank have decades of experience representing injured Floridians in all types of personal injury cases, including boat accidents. Call 877-448-8585 to schedule a free consultation today.
More Blog Posts:
Florida Appellate Court Determines Water Company May Be Liable in Slip-and-Fall Case, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 4, 2017.
The Importance of Following All Procedural Requirements in Florida Personal Injury Cases, South Florida Personal Injury Lawyers Blog, published May 17, 2017.