What Are Boat Operators Responsible for in a Boating Accident?

Holding Operators Accountable for Boating Accident Injuries or Death

When a boat operator’s negligence or wrongdoing results in serious injury or death, they must be held accountable. After a boating accident, it may be difficult to know who should be held liable and how to start a claim for money damages against any and all responsible parties. 

At Mase Mebane, we represent individuals and their families who have been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a boating accident. Our attorneys are experienced trial lawyers who have recovered millions on behalf of our clients. When you are hurt because of someone else’s negligence, you need a experienced maritime legal team who will fight for you and your recovery.

Call (844) 627-3529 for a free consultation. You should never have to settle for less than your case is worth. Get the legal help you need today.

Common Boat Operator Conduct Resulting in Liability

In a boating accident, there may be multiple parties that can be held liable. One of the most common parties is the boat operator. Boat operators have a duty to ensure that the vessel is safe for passengers. 

A boat operator may be held responsible for damages if:

  • They failed to reasonably provide for the safety of the passengers;
  • They failed to follow applicable boating laws and guidelines;
  • They operated the vessel while intoxicated (boating under the influence);
  • They operated the vessel in a reckless manner;
  • They entrusted an incompetent individual to operate the boat (negligent entrustment);
  • There were an inadequate number of life-saving devices onboard the vessel; or 
  • They are inexperienced or have had insufficient training for operating the vessel.

Boat Operator Requirements After an Accident

Boat owners and operators must follow both state and federal navigation rules, including those put forth by the United States Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). According to the most recent data available through the FWC, there were over 450 boating injuries in the state in a single year. The majority of injury victims were occupants of the vessel. 

Boat operators must report any accident that results in personal injury beyond immediate first-aid, the disappearance of any person under circumstances that indicate death or injury, or property damage of $2,000 or more. 

Furthermore, it is unlawful for the operator of a vessel to leave the scene without rendering aid to those injured and reporting the incident to the proper authorities.

Filing a Claim for Boat Operator Negligence

Boat operator negligence occurs when an operator fails to operate a vessel in a “reasonable and prudent manner.” This includes operating a vessel without regard for other vessels on the waterway, in violation of posted restrictions, and any other action that could endanger passengers, swimmers, other vessel operators, occupants, or people outside of the vessel.

Contact Mase Mebane for a Free Consultation

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Florida, contact our office immediately. We have successfully handled hundreds of boating accident injury and death cases and can help you. Call (844) 627-3529 or fill out our online contact form to get your free consultation. 

At Mase Mebane, our attorneys have tried hundreds of maritime injury and death cases, obtaining favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients. When you are injured, you need an attorney who is not afraid to take your case to trial to get the results you deserve. Call today to get started.