St. Augustine Boating & Watercraft Accidents
One of the best parts about living in St. Augustine is the amount of water that surrounds the area. However, the complexity of local waterways and the number of favorable boating days per year leads to an increased risk of boating accidents. In 2013, there were nine reported boating accidents and three boating fatalities in St. Johns County alone. This does not include unreported collisions with other vessels or objects fixed to the shore.
Boaters in the St. Augustine area find crowded waterways filled with everything from kayaks to large ships heading to the port in Jacksonville. Many boaters get caught up in the fun and fail to take the same level of care to stay safe as they would if driving in their cars. Because the waterways aren’t marked with clearly defined lanes as in the road, establishing fault in a boating accident is much more difficult than establishing fault in a traffic crash.
Additionally, many operators are also under the influence of alcohol from either drinks carried aboard their own boat or from stopping at one of many waterfront bars. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, contact an experienced boating accident attorney as soon as possible to help you build your case and receive compensation for your injuries.
COMMON CAUSES OF PERSONAL INJURY
Some of the most common causes of boating and watercraft accidents include:
- Operating while intoxicated
- Careless operating
- Failure to know or follow safety regulations
- Failure to observe the right of way
- Violating speed restrictions
- Losing steering by cutting engine power
These factors all help to increase the severity of boating accidents, and high speed collisions often result in serious injury or even death.
Small watercraft such as jet skis are at especially high risk for being involved in serious accidents. Their high speeds makes them more difficult to control and less predictable to other boaters. Jet ski riders also give up the protection of having the hull of a boat around them. When combined with a lack of experience or proper training in operating a personal watercraft, there is an increased probability of accidental injury.
This often leads to serious injuries requiring long-term treatment or even causing permanent disability. With the high cost of medical care, it’s vital to ensure that any settlement offered will adequately cover your treatment. Traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries can have a long term impact on a family’s finances. To help value your claim, you can contact our office at 904-251-1111 or 1-800-251-1111 for a free consultation with our legal team of personal injury specialists.