Miami Admiralty & Maritime Accidents Lawyer — Sean M. Cleary
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One of the things that I think makes me an effective lawyer in these types of cases is that I've actually engaged in a lot of the activities where I represent clients.
Sean M. Cleary
In 2012, the Coast Guard registered 4515 accidents that involved 651 deaths, 3000 cases of injuries, and approximately $38 million dollars of damage to property as an effect of recreational boating accidents. The fatality count was 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational ships and represents a 12.9% decrease from 2011's death rate of 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
Florida is surrounded by three bodies of water: the Atlantic Ocean, the Straits of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico. With almost a million vessels registered in the state, Florida leads the nation in the area of recreational boating business. The mild climate and the vast surroundings of water are always inviting Floridians and visitors to engage in all sorts of activities, which unfortunately sometimes can lead to tragic events.
Underestimating the dangers of watercraft, many people refuse to acknowledge how important it is to respect navigation rules and the safety measures when operating a boat or a recreation ship. That's why Florida has the highest number of fatalities and injured people with many of the victims drowned due to not wearing a life jacket, improper loading of passengers, machinery failure or excessive speed and alcohol use.
If you have been a victim of a boat accident, we strongly advise you to get in touch with a personal injury lawyer that can thoroughly investigate your situation and prepare a solid case for filing a lawsuit.
At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we handle boat accidents with the highest professional and legal standards so that our clients can receive compensation for their physical and emotional suffering. Mr. Cleary has vast experience in applying boating accident laws, and our working plan is always concentrated on acting promptly and transparently to gather the necessary information and evidence as quickly as possible. We talk to witnesses, go to the scene of the accident and investigate the vessel together with prominent boating experts who can help us better understand what went wrong.
Quick action is always recommended as the statute of limitations for boat accidents states that a lawsuit can be filed within three years of the accident or two years if the boating accident resulted in death. Contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary at 305.416.9805 today to discuss your case and initiate proper action.
Boat Accidents Statistics
Compared to 2011, the number of accidents decreased 1.6%, the count of deaths decreased 14.1%, and the count of injuries decreased 2.6%. Almost 71% of all fatal boating accidents victims drowned, and of those, approximately 85% were not reported as wearing a life jacket. Operator inattention, operator lack of experience, improper lookout, machinery failure, and excessive speed rank as the top 5 primary responsible factors for accidents.
Alcohol was listed as the leading factor in 17% of deaths. The most common types of vessels implicated in reported accidents were open motorboats with 47%, personal watercraft with 19%, and cabin motorboats with 15%. The 12,101,936 recreational vessels registered by the states in 2012 represent a 0.59% decrease from 2011 when 12,173,935 recreational ships were registered. There were 662 boat accidents in Florida in 2012, out of which 48 were fatal, with a total of 50 victims.
Boat Accidents Liability
The top 5 first accident types feature collision with another recreational vessel, flooding/swamping, impact with fixed objects, grounding, and skier mishap. The primary contributing factor to boat accidents is operator inattention, closely followed by operator lack of experience, machinery failure, improper lookout, disproportionate speed, navigation rules violation, alcohol use, the force of wave/wake, weather and dangerous waters.
Considering these factors, some examples of the parties that might be held responsible for boating accidents include:
The boat operator
A passenger who acted in a reckless manner
The owner of the boat
The manufacturer of the boat
The rental company
Boating accident victims should consider that boating injury cases are subject to the maritime law rather than state personal injury laws. That means that these cases are handled differently and settled according to other laws than personal injury cases.
Boating Laws in the State of Florida
Florida legislation demands mandatory boating security education for some segment of the population. Operators of vessels powered by motors of 10hpor more who are 21 years of age, or younger are required to complete a boating education course. Also, those convicted of a criminal boating infraction, a non-criminal boating safety infraction that had, as a result, a boating accident or two non-criminal violations regarding boating safety within a 12-month period are required to enroll, attend and successfully go through a classroom boating safety course.
The issuance of a license/certificate is dependent upon passing an exam in Florida with a score of at least 80%. Florida providers of education who offer boating education courses include the State Agency, US Coast Guard Auxiliary, US Power Squadrons, the Public School System and various private companies. The state allows certification of minor boaters. There is no minimum age someone can be certified in Florida, except for personal watercrafts (PWCs), which require a navigator to be 14-years-old. Florida does not require mandatory boat operator licensing.
Children under six years of age have to wear a USCG-approved Type I, II, or III PFD at all times while on any ship less than 26 feet in length that is under way. Also, each person on the board of a PWC, and anyone being towed behind a ship must wear a USCG-approved PFD. The penalties for violating PFD regulations include a $50-$80 fine, conditioned on the county where the violation occurs, but the violations are considered as non-criminal infractions.
The BAC level where a person is considered intoxicated in the state of Florida is a blood/breath alcohol level of 0.08 or greater. The Blood Alcohol Content level for minors at which they are considered intoxicated is 0.02.
My wife and I were referred to Sean Cleary by another Attorney. He was very highly recommended and, I must say, very deservedly so. Sean is very diligent in his work; his preparation is phenomenal, and his presentations are something to behold. He is very accessible if you have any questions. He always takes the time to fully explain in language you can understand. We highly recommend anyone needing help...talk to Sean Cleary.
According to the US Coast Guard, a boating accident involves one or more of the following events: a person aboard a boat dies or is severely injured, a person while on board disappears and death is suspected and a vessel causes or sustains damages. Boating accidents most often involve...
There are more than 12,000,000 boats registered in the US and each year more than 4,700 recreational boating accidents take place, causing the death of more than 700 individuals. Even if boating accidents are not fatal in most cases, passengers can still suffer severe, debilitating...
What Is A Boating Accident and What Types of Boating Accidents Can Occur?
A vessel is considered to be involved in a boating accident whenever a death, missing person, personal injury, property damage, or total vessel loss results from the vessel's operation, construction, sea-worthiness,...
How Can I Prevent Injuries and Deaths from Boating Accidents?
Wearing a life jacket is the main thing to consider when boating . Drowning was the number one known cause of death in 2012. Out of the total number of 459 deaths caused by drowning, 379 deaths occurred when the life jacket was not worn. Do not consume alcohol or take drugs...
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Boating Accidents in Florida?
The statute of limitations depends upon where the accident occurred. Many accidents on a boat, personal watercraft, or ship fall under Federal Maritime Law, also called Admiralty Law. This law governs what happens on the navigable waters of the US, which includes rivers and...
Should I Contact an Attorney If I Have Been Injured in a Boating Accident?
Definitely yes. Consulting an attorney who is well versed in Florida boat accident laws is highly recommended to sort out the jurisdiction and time limits for filing a lawsuit. Mr. Cleary has vast experience in applying boating accident laws and our working plan is always...