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Maritime Laws and Reporting Boat Accidents


With a picturesque coastline and abundant waterways, the state of Florida draws countless boaters each year. Residents and visitors alike take advantage of the endless opportunities for recreation and exploration throughout the waters of Palm Beach County. But along with the joys of boating are the responsibilities of adhering to maritime laws and regulations.

Having an understanding of maritime law and the reporting requirements for boat accidents is essential for ensuring your safety and the safety of others on Florida’s waterways. Whether you’re a seasoned boater or enjoying your first voyage, remember to prioritize safety at all times, and should an accident occur, connect with a Delray Beach personal injury attorney who is well-versed in maritime law.

Lawyers Can Guide You After a Boating Injury

Reporting boat accidents promptly and comprehensively is essential to protect your interests. Informing officials of boat incidents is a key first step to following the rules and regulations that govern activities on navigable waters, including lakes, rivers, and oceans.

Whether you’re cruising along Florida’s coastline, navigating its inland waterways, or enjoying the state’s numerous lakes, you fall under maritime jurisdiction when operating a vessel. According to Florida law, a boat operator must report an accident if there was a loss of life, an injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, disappearance of a person, or property damage exceeding $2,000.

Prompt reporting of boat accidents is essential to ensure compliance and facilitate the investigation process. If you are wondering who you should contact, begin with the nearest law enforcement agency. Boat operators involved in accidents have also reported incidents to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). All boat accident reports must be made no later than 10 days after the incident.

When reporting a boat accident, there is essential information that must be provided to authorities. This includes the following details.

  • Date, time, and location of the accident.
  • Names and contact information of individuals involved.
  • Description of injuries or property damage.
  • Vessel registration information.
  • Circumstances leading to the accident.

Because reporting a boating accident is required by law, there can be legal consequences, including fines, penalties, and potential liability in civil lawsuits, if you fail to file a report. Additionally, non-compliance may hinder the investigation process and impede the ability to hold responsible parties accountable for their actions.

Legal Recourse for Accident-Related Expenses

By adhering to maritime laws and promptly reporting accidents, you can promote accountability, prevent future incidents, and ensure that everyone involved receives the support and compensation they deserve. After a boating accident injury, monetary funds for medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages may be in reach.

Consult with an experienced Delray Beach personal injury attorney to understand your rights and explore your legal options. Legal professionals are available when you want to seek justice and recover damages.

What type of boat were you on when you were hurt? Share the details of your boat accident injury with the talented attorneys at Earnhart Law, professionals with over 30 years of legal experience. Call 561-265-2220 or contact us online today.

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