Clearwater Boat Accident Lawyer

Were you injured while boating in Pinellas County?

There are many places to go boating in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg area. In fact, there are more than 50,000 registered boats in this area of Florida alone. Boaters use the Intracoastal Waterway to get to popular destinations such as Tarpon Springs and Honeymoon Island. Due to Florida's weather, boating is popular year-round.

Clearwater draws people who love to fish, boat for recreation, ski, tube and more. While this is a popular hobby for fun and relaxation, it can also be dangerous. As Florida natives, the Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Roman & Gaynor know the dangers of boating and can advocate for the rights of the injured.

Florida Boating & Personal Watercraft Laws

Boating in Florida is in large part regulated by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The FWC has regulations regarding boat registration, accidents, careless operation of vessels and much more. When boaters do not heed Florida boating regulations, serious accidents can occur and victims are entitled to seek a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent party.

Boat Accident Laws
In the event that a vessel is involved in a serious accident that results in injury to another person that is more serious than can be remediated with simple first aid, the boat's operator must call either the FWC, police or the local sheriff. Just as it is illegal for a drivers involved in an accident to flee the scene, it is illegal for a boater to leave the scene of an accident involving injury or excessive property damage.

Reckless and Careless Operation of Vessels
Boating that is determined to be reckless or careless can be charged as an infraction or a misdemeanor, depending on the circumstances. Reckless or careless operation is defined as boating that does not take into consideration the safety of others or actions that willfully disregard the safety of others.

Boating Under the Influence
It is against the law for a person to drive under the influence of alcohol (at or above .08 percent for those over 21 and .02 percent for those under the legal drinking age). Not only is boating under the influence a crime, violators can face civil actions from victims and their families.

Maximum Capacity for Boats
Rather than being dictated by Florida statute, the weight capacity is dictated per vessel by the manufacturer. It is not only against the law to overload a boat with people, but it is extremely dangerous.

Personal Watercraft Regulations
These regulations include equipping people in tow with flotation devices, hours for legal boat operation (illegal once sun goes down), wake zones and age restrictions. If you would like to learn more about Florida boating regulations, visit the FWC's website.

Clearwater Injury Lawyer for Clearwater Residents & Tourists

Whether you are a resident of Clearwater or were visiting when you were injured in your boat or personal watercraft accident, a Clearwater personal injury attorney at Roman & Gaynor can help you. If you suffered a serious injury while out on the water either because of a boater's negligence or a defect with your watercraft, our firm can fight for your right to financial compensation.

Call today to discuss your case in a free initial case evaluation.