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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.


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 lakes that cross state lines. Lakes totally within boundaries of one state are excluded from the maritime law.

Lawsuits can fall under maritime law, which only allows personal injury claims stemming from boat accidents filed within 3 years of the accident.

If the injury occurred on a cruise ship, the statute of limitations can shrink to 1 year or even 6 months. Always read the fine print on the ticket!

Finally, if the boating accident resulted in death, the statute of limitations is 2 years, and in some circumstances, as short as 18 months.

Other statutes of limitations for boating accidents:

  • On waters governed by Florida law: 4 years
  • On waters governed by maritime law: 3 years
  • Boat accidents that result in death: 2 years (or sometimes 18 months)
  • Boat accidents on cruise ships: 6 months to 1 year

Suffered a boating accident in Florida? Call our Miami based office at 305.416.9805. We have extensive experience regarding boating accident cases.

After a boating accident, it's crucial to seek an experienced attorney to represent you. State and maritime law differ and your attorney will need to help you figure out which laws apply. This can make all the difference in your case. At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, our skilled boating accident attorney helps you assess the merits of your case by providing you with a free consultation. We handle cases in Miami and throughout Florida. Contact us online or call us today for a free, confidential consultation.

For questions and free legal advice to help individuals please call us

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.