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.
Sean is an outstanding professional, transparent and very diligent; he personally dedicated time and attention to my case; he always responded my calls promptly, keeping me informed all the time.
His knowledge and advises are very accurate and valuable. Definitely, great lawyer.
I would highly recommend Sean Cleary. Not only is he a very knowledgeable attorney he takes the time to explain the law to ensure you understand every aspect of your case. He is also very sensitive to the needs of you and or your family during very trying times.
From day one, Mr. Cleary had faith in my case. He paid attention to every detail with great professionalism. He did not shy away from any challenges and went the extra mile to provide what he promised.
I suffered a slip and fall while on a cruise which required surgery for a compound fracture of my femur. Mr. Cleary worked tirelessly to obtain compensation in my case, as events like mine are difficult to litigate sometimes. He is a fantastic advisor and I recommend him to anybody in need of a lawyer without hesitation.
From 2015 to 2016, the Coast Guard registered 4463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2903 cases of injuries, and approximately $49 million dollars of damage to property as an effect of recreational boating accidents. The fatality count was 5.9 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational ships and represents an 11.3% increase from 2015's death rate of 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels.
How Can The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary Help?
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.
Recreational boating accidents are not uncommon in Miami area as they are quite frequent in the U.S. territorial waters. The most common types of vessels involved in these incidents were open motorboats, personal watercrafts, and cabin motorboats.
The top 5 first accident types feature collision with another recreational vessel, flooding/swamping, impact with fixed objects, grounding, and skier mishap.
As with any recreational activity, there is always the risk of being involved in an accident. In addition to filing a state boating accident report, people may also pursue appropriate action, such as boating insurance claims or a boating accident lawsuit.
The 2012 top 10 known primary contributing factors of boating accidents according to the USCG were:
navigation rules violation
the force of wave/wake
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.
Common Boat Injury Questions
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Boating Accidents in Florida? »
The statute of limitation for boating accidents in the state of Florida is four years from the date of the accident. However, depending on the type of legislation your claim falls under and the type of party you are making the claim against, some claims need to be filed sooner, within 3 years, two years or even 6 months.
Most boating accidents occur when the weather conditions are improper, or due to a distracted and reckless operation of the boat, alcohol or drugs consumption, equipment failure, inadequate passenger behavior, or operator inexperience. Boating accidents that happen under these circumstances can have serious consequences such as severe injuries, boat damages, and even death.
What Damages Can I Recover from a Boating Accident Lawsuit? »
The damages that can be recovered from a boating accident lawsuit can include the victim's medical expenses, loss of wages, loss of earning capacity, property damages, pain and suffering, and other types of damages to an amount that depends on the severity of the injuries, liability and circumstances of the accident.
In a boating accident, one of the following parties can be held liable: the operator of the boat, the owner, the manufacturer, the rental company, or even a passenger. However, it is important to keep in mind that there are cases when, due to unforeseen circumstances, liability can be difficult or even impossible to determine.
The most common boating accidents are those in which the vessel’s operation leads to personal injury, property damage, death, a missing person, total vessel loss. Boating accidents can also include capsizing, carbon monoxide poisoning, collisions, ejection from the vessel, electrocution, falling overboard, fires, explosions, flooding, swamping, grounding, and sinking.