Who's At Fault When Boats Collide?

Multi-boat accidents make up the majority of boating accidents in Florida. Just as in a car accident on the road, if you are injured as result of someone else’s negligence on the water, you are entitled to compensation for any losses you sustain as a result of that person’s negligence.

Rules of the Water

The rules of the road and rules of the water share many similarities. Just as on the road, the water will often have lanes of traffic, speed limits, and the duty of boaters to yield to oncoming traffic. Boat operators must also be aware of their surroundings, not engage in distracted boating and not operate a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the point that their normal faculties are impaired. Also, boat operators can be liable not only to people in other boats, but also their own passengers if these passengers are injured as a result of the boat operators negligence.

Determining who is at fault in a boat accident

Often, the question of who is at fault in multi-boat accidents is determined in the same manner as car accidents. These factors can include the location of each boat in relation to traffic lanes, the speed of each boat, the boat operators’ actions in response to the presence of other boaters, and the ability of a boater/operator to avoid collisions.

If you are injured in a boating accident that was not your fault, please contact Michles & Booth today to determine your rights going forward. We are here for you and will work hard to make sure we get the best result possible for your claim.

About the Author: Clayton Taylor is not only a trial lawyer with experience in boating accident cases, he is also a United States Coast Guardsman currently serving in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. He is a passionate recreational boater, and his knowledge of the water and Coast Guard training can often be a significant benefit to clients involved in boating accidents.


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