Watercraft and Boating Accident Safety and Law August 15, 2017 More than 2,900 people were injured and more than 700 lost their lives to recreational boating accidents last year, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Office of Auxiliary and Boating Safety’s annual “Recreational Boating Statistics” report. Although Jacksonville’s abundant waterways and miles of shoreline are some of our area’s greatest assets, they can also pose a danger when there is a chance that a day on the water will end in a boating or watercraft accident. If you or a loved one suffers injuries or damages from such an accident, the experienced boating accident attorneys at Harrell & Harrell, P.A., can help. Causes of boating and watercraft accidents. Accidents on the water may be due to a number of factors, such as: Careless boat driving or poor judgement Collisions between boats Collisions with docks or decks Distracted driving Negligent or inexperienced boat operators Falling overboard or being thrown overboard Explosions or fires Faulty equipment Drug or alcohol consumption Speeding As with any type of personal injury, accidents on the water can leave you with devastating injuries. Regardless of whether you or your loved one was the passenger or the operator of the boat or watercraft, you may be entitled to pursue restitution for damages caused by the accident. Damages that may be recovered may include, but not be limited to, pain and suffering, earnings, and medical costs. Reduce the risk of boating accidents. Even the most experienced boat and watercraft operators should always strictly follow these safety rules to protect themselves and their passengers: Have a floatation device on board for every passenger. Don’t exceed the maximum load capacity. Inspect your boat or watercraft before every use. Stay aware of propeller safety. Keep a fire extinguisher on board and be sure it functions properly. Never use alcohol or drugs while operating a boat. Check the weather forecast before every trip. Learn about safety equipment you are required to have on board Call our boating accident lawyers for a free consultation. Our attorneys are well-versed in the boating statutes and laws in Florida and are ready to consult with you to determine if you have a case. To schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced boat accident lawyer, contact us online or call 904-251-1111 or toll-free at 1-800-251-1111.