The breathtaking waterways of Florida provide a perfect backdrop for luxurious yachting experiences. From a sunset cruise on the Miami coastline to a daytime excursion in the Florida Keys, these popular vessels offer some of the state’s most popular and sought-after recreation. Regrettably, these waterway adventures can also result in serious injury or fatalities when operators and owners fail to reasonably protect passengers from harm. While numerous circumstances can lead to yachting accident injuries, some stand out as the most common causes.
How and why yachting accidents occur
Yacht captains and crew members owe passengers a duty of safety. This means that they are responsible for operating the yacht in a manner that decreases the likelihood of accident or injury, and in compliance with the law. When yachting accidents occur, investigations commonly uncover acts of negligence, such as:
- Negligent or reckless operation. This may include operating the yacht at excessive speeds, inadequate attention to surroundings, or failing to abide by boating rules. Inexperienced yachters often fail to operate their vehicles in an appropriate manner. Distractions may also lead to these problems. Just like car and truck drivers, yachters must pay attention to the operation of their vehicles. They cannot allow themselves to become distracted by electronic devices or even the yacht passengers.
- Unfortunately, intoxication and drug use are common on the waterways. When operators choose to drink alcohol, or participate in drug use, they become impaired. This affects their ability to react quickly and operate the yacht in a safe manner.
- Owner negligence. All yacht owners have a responsibility to maintain their boats in a proper manner. This is especially true when the owner invites passengers on board for paid outings. Improper maintenance can lead to malfunctions, resulting in steering problems, inadequate braking, or electrical issues.
- Crew or staff negligence. Injuries can also occur onboard the yacht, particularly when crew or staff members fail to adequately perform their duties. A wet stairway could result in a slip and fall. Blocked exits can create fire hazards. Passengers may even contract food poisoning from the negligent actions of an onboard chef.
When yachting injuries occur, victims may be able to secure compensation from various parties. The yacht owner, operator, or crew members may all hold some level of liability. At Yeboah Law Group, our knowledgeable Fort Lauderdale boating accident lawyers help yachting injury victims identify all responsible parties and hold them accountable for their actions. We handle cases on a contingency basis, so there are no upfront costs to worry about. Call us today at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.
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