Key West Maritime Law Attorneys Discuss Boating Accidents and Injuries

Protecting the rights of those injured at sea and throughout South Florida

Maritime law and Admiralty law govern commerce and navigation on navigable waters and oceans. It includes commerce, contracts, cargo, boating accidents, salvages, liens and municipal seizures, bankruptcy of ships and more. U.S. maritime law is based on British maritime law with the difference being that the jurisdiction of U.S. maritime law also includes inland navigable waters. (Inside Miami Law)

Maritime law is complicated and it is different from Florida state laws. Often when a person is injured in a boating accident, or while they are a passenger aboard a ship, they are unaware that their accident claims fall under the purview of maritime law.

When you work with a Key West maritime law attorney from the Yeboah Law Group, P.A., you enjoy the benefit of working with a legal team with demonstrable experience helping clients who were injured in a boating accident or while a passenger on board a ship. You do not need to worry about upfront costs because we take cases on contingency.

Boating accidents in Florida

People come to Florida for our gorgeous weather and our beautiful waterways. Because the state is surrounded by water on three sides, boating is a common pastime in Florida, whether on the ocean or inland waterways.

When you have a lot of people on a lot of boats, you are going to find a lot of accidents. People suffer serious injuries and there are fatalities on yachts, speed boats, jet skis, pleasure fishing boats and personal watercraft.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, although Miami-Dade County had many more registered boats (66,422) Monroe County (29,106 total vessels) had 105 reportable boating accidents in 2016 compared to 67 in Miami-Dade. There were 714 reportable boating accidents in Florida in 2016 with 67 fatalities and 421 injuries.

The most common types of boating accidents in Florida in 2016 include:

  • Collision with a vessel – 181
  • Collision with a fixed object – 174
  • Flooding/ swamping – 65
  • Falls overboard – 45
  • Grounding – 43
  • Capsizing – 35

(For a complete list of accidents visit the Florida Fish & Wildlife website)

Examples of different types and causes of boating accidents

There are so many different types of boating accidents and factors that can cause collisions between two or more boats or between a boat and a fixed object. The following are just a few examples:

  • Crashing into another vessel or personal watercraft
  • Collision with a fixed object
  • Hit by a boat’s propellers
  • Speeding
  • Defective boat design
  • Overloaded boat
  • Man overboard
  • Failure to keep a lookout
  • Ignorance of navigational rules
  • Crashing into another boat’s wake
  • Inadequate boating training
  • Failure to follow safety rules

Common injuries from boating accidents

Here are some examples of the most common types of injuries from boating accident injury claims in Key West:

  • Drowning
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken bones
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Electrocution

Is drunk boating illegal in Florida?

It is illegal to operate a boat in Florida if you have a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or greater (Florida Statutes 327.35)

Questions and answers about injuries at sea

Seamen and other workers on ships are not covered by workers’ compensation, but by laws such as the Jones Act. Here are a few common questions related to workplace injuries at sea:

What is Maritime law?

Maritime law, also called Admiralty law, governs actions which take place at sea. Cruise ships, merchant vessels, container ships, environmental and conservation ships – indeed, any public or private vessel upon which an injury is sustained, or a crime is committed, may by subject to maritime laws. This area of law also applies to the seamen who work on the vessels, not just the passengers who travel on them.

Most maritime laws are federal, though some cases will invoke more “common laws:” precedents set by specific rulings. Among the most common claims we handle are those involving the Jones Act. Under the Jones Act, crew members and seamen may bring an injury claim against their employer if the negligence of said employer, or of another employee, is responsible for the injuries. We represent workers and passengers who have been injured while on the ship, or while engaged in offshore activities related to the ship.

Working with a Key West maritime law attorney

The laws which govern your boating accident depend on where you are at the time of your injury. You could be dealing with Florida state laws, or with maritime laws, which are complex. Therefore, it is vital that you choose an attorney who knows which laws apply to your accident injury, and who has experience handling these cases and helping clients obtain justice.

Schedule a free consultation with a Key West maritime law layer today

At Yeboah Law Group, we understand the complexities of maritime law and how it affects how your will recover compensation after an injury on the water, or how you will resolve your dispute. You are welcome to call us today at 1-800-TELL-SAM or complete our contact form to schedule a free consultation.

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Types of Cases We Handle

Our Key West attorneys handle a variety of cases, including:

Car AccidentsTruck AccidentsMotorcycle Accidents
PIP DisputesWrongful DeathNursing Home Negligence
Product LiabilityPremises LiabilityEmployment Discrimination
Maritime LawKey West

Key West Office

Yeboah Law Group, P.A.

2011 Flagler Ave
Suite 526
Key West, FL 33040

[available by appointment only]

Phone: 305-783-2927
Secondary phone: 1-800-835-5726