Dolman Law Group is an award winning Clearwater car accident and personal injury law firm. Matthew Dolman has been selected as a Florida Super Lawyers in 2013, 2014 and 2015 by his colleagues. Mr. Dolman has been nominated as a top 100 trial attorney and top 40 under 40 by National Trial Lawyers. He is a lifetime member of both the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocacy Forum.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Liability for BUI Boating Accidents
Boating is a favorite
pastime for Floridians. Visitors and residents alike enjoy taking a boat out on
the water to enjoy the day with their friends and families. Unfortunately,
anytime any type of motorized vehicle is involved, there is the risk of an
accident and, anytime people are around water, there is risk for serious
drowning incidents. Boating accidents have the potential to leave boaters and
swimmers with severe injuries that can often be catastrophic or even fatal. One
of the most common causes of boat accidents is boating under the influence
(BUI) of alcohol or a controlled substance.
BUI is not only against Florida law,1 but can have serious consequences. Despite the risks,
drinking and boating often go hand-in-hand. Relaxing on the water often
involves alcoholic beverages—even for the person operating the boat. According
to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),2 alcohol is a factor in about 20
percent of fatal boating accidents and the resulting deaths could likely have
been prevented if the boat operator had not been intoxicated. Anyone who
sustains injuries or loses a loved one in a BUI boating accident has the legal
right to obtain substantial compensation from the negligent boat driver.
Causes of BUI accidents
should know that drinking alcohol can cause errors in judgment and lapses in
concentration. Any boat driver who has been drinking runs the risk of doing any
of the following:
- Failing to
properly observe right of way laws or violating other boating regulations that
result in a collision with another vessel.
- Taking a turn
too quickly or turning too sharp, which can cause boat passengers to be ejected
into the water.
possible weather hazards and staying on the water in adverse conditions.
- Driving too
fast or in a manner that causes the boat to capsize.
- Failing to
properly notice swimmers in the water and driving the boat over them.
- Not paying
attention to skiers or tubes.
All of these accidents can
result in serious injuries or death of people in the boat with the drunk
driver, in other boats, or in the water.
Legal claims from BUI
If you suffer an injury
because a boat driver was intoxicated, you have the right to file a legal claim
against the negligent driver for personal injury. If you sufficiently prove
that the driver was intoxicated and caused the accident, you can recover for
your medical bills, wages you lost during your physical recovery, your pain an
suffering, emotional trauma, any permanent disabilities you suffered, and
possibly punitive damages depending on the specifics of your case.
If your family member
passed away because of a boat accident caused by an intoxicated driver, Florida law3 allows you to file a
claim for wrongful death. If you prove the negligence of the boat driver, you
can recover for funeral and burial expenses, as well as loss of companionship,
loss of financial contributions, and much more.
Cases arising from boating
accidents can be complicated because they often involve maritime law, which is
a specific set of laws that regulate incidents involving vessels on navigable waters.
At the Dolman Law Group, our attorneys have the understanding necessary to
handle any case involving personal injury or wrongful death under maritime
laws. Not every personal injury attorney knows how to apply these laws to a
case, so you should always select a lawyer who has extensive knowledge of these
complicated maritime laws.
Contact an experienced
Clearwater boating accident lawyer for help today
Anyone injured by a drunk
boat driver should contact an experienced Clearwater boating accident attorney
as soon as possible. This type of case requires evidence of the driver's
intoxication, which can include a criminal conviction for BUI but can also
include circumstantial evidence, as well. We will conduct witness interviews
and gather the evidence needed to ensure that you receive the full amount of
compensation you deserve under the law for your injuries or your wrongful loss.
Boat accidents can be frightening, but the Dolman Law
Group is here to help injured
victims as much as possible, so call for a free consultation at 727-451-6900
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33756 727-451-6900