How a Quick Decision Can Lead to Serious Injury or Death on South Florida Waterways
Florida has over 1,200 miles of coastline, from secluded sandy coves to trendy tourist destinations. Vacationers come to enjoy fun on the warm, clear water, including snorkeling trips, boating excursions, charter fishing, and dive tours. Before booking, consider avoiding the top mistakes that can lead to a dangerous situation on Florida’s coastal waters.
At Mase Mebane Seitz, we represent people injured in boating accidents in Miami and throughout South Florida. Our trial lawyers know tourists can be particularly vulnerable to serious accidents and injuries while enjoying a vacation. If you are injured on a boating excursion in Miami or the surrounding area, contact our office at (844) 627-3529.
Hiring an Illegal Charter or Boating Excursion Operator
Unbeknownst to many Miami vacationers, numerous charter companies and businesses offering boating tours or excursions are operating illegally. It is important to ensure that the company you hire is fully licensed with trained staff and crew, and operates legally. All charters and vessels operating in the state must comply with state and federal regulations.
Companies that fail to comply with legal and licensing requirements may not have adequate safety gear onboard and may not have enough insurance coverage in the case of an accident or injury. In addition to specific licensing requirements by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for liveries, commercial boating, and charter operations, the U.S. Coast Guard requires all operators of for-hire vessels to carry specific licenses.
2. Failing to Check Reviews
Online reviews can tell a lot about a company. If there are even a few bad reviews, it may be worth considering another operator. You can also conduct a quick online search to determine whether the company has had any previous accidents or poor safety reports.
Steer clear if online reviews indicate any of the following:
- Not having enough life jackets;
- Despite signs of inclement weather, the excursion still went on;
- Failing to give pre-rental or pre-ride safety instructions;
- Exceeding load capacity or not specifying load capacity;
- A vessel that looks damaged, experienced equipment failure or took on water.
3. Getting on a Vessel With an Operator or Crew Member that Has Been Drinking
It may seem obvious, but you should never get on a boat operated by someone who has been drinking. Alcohol is a leading cause of boating fatalities in the state. When using a charter company or hiring a boat tour operator, you rely on them to safely navigate you to and from your destination. Boating under the influence puts you and everyone onboard at risk.
Injured in a Miami Boating Accident? Contact Mase Mebane Seitz!
If you are injured in a boating accident in Miami, contact Mase Mebane Seitz to discuss your legal options with a distinguished attorney. We will work to get you the compensation you deserve after an accident.
When you are far from home, it can be difficult to know who to trust and how to hold someone accountable for your injuries. The attorneys at Mase Mebane Seitz have recovered millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements on behalf of our clients. Call (844) 627-3529 for a free consultation.