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Boca Raton Boat Accident Lawyer

Picture yourself enjoying a beautiful day out on the water — relaxing, soaking up the sunshine, and creating lasting memories. But what happens when that peaceful scene turns into a nightmare due to someone’s carelessness? With over a million registered watercrafts, it’s no surprise that Florida sees its fair share of these boating accidents.

Whether it’s a collision with another vessel or a rock, a boat flipping over or capsizing, an accident involving swimmers or water skiers, or passengers being thrown from the boat, the aftermath can be life-altering. If you or a loved one has been injured in a water vessel accident that wasn’t your fault, you have the right to seek compensation. This can help cover your medical expenses, provide for your pain and suffering, account for lost work, and other damages recognized by the law.

At The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft in Boca Raton, FL, we have over 25 years of experience in handling boating accident cases, which means we have the specialized knowledge of maritime Florida laws to guide you through the process. If you have any questions or concerns about your legal rights, feel free to call us at 954-927-3326 or contact us online,

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Causes of Boating Accidents in Boca Raton, FL

A boat operator or their passengers can get hurt due to a variety of reasons when on the water, but some causes are more prevalent than others:

  • Distractions, lack of focus, and failure to maintain a proper lookout on the part of boat operator, resulting in a boating accident
  • Operating a boat at an unsafe speed, which reduces the operator’s ability to react to hazards and increases the risk of collisions or losing control of the vessel
  • Lack of experience and knowledge about navigation rules, proper boat handling techniques, or how to respond in emergency situations
  • Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Mechanical failures in the form of engine failures, steering problems, electrical malfunctions, or faulty safety equipment
  • Ignoring adverse weather conditions, such as high winds, storms, or rough waters, or venturing into hazardous areas without proper precautions, leading to a boating accident
  • Failure to follow right-of-way rules, improper overtaking, or not yielding to other boats
  • Malfunctioning or non-functioning safety equipment (navigation lights, flotation devices) and neglecting regular boat maintenance, including inspections, repairs, and equipment checks.

Photo of Sinking White Boat

Types of Injuries in Boca Raton Boating Accidents

There are many different ways you can get injured on a boat depending on the circumstances and nature of the accident:

  • Head and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Drowning and near-drowning
  • Bone fractures, dislocations, sprains, and strains and other orthopedic injuries
  • Lacerations, muscle tears and other soft tissue injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burn injuries
  • Hypothermia
  • Emotional trauma (PTSD, anxiety, depression)

Who is Liable for Boca Raton Boat Accidents?

According to our experienced Boca Raton boat accident lawyer, in any kind of boat accident, liability can be assigned to many parties, depending on exactly what went wrong.

Boat operator

The person operating the boat has a duty to navigate safely and responsibly. If the operator’s negligence, such as operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, or reckless behavior, contributed to the accident, they can be held liable.

Boat owner

The owner of the boat may be held responsible for the accident if they carelessly entrusted their vessel to an inexperienced or unqualified operator, failed to properly maintain the boat or its equipment, or knowingly allowed the boat to be operated in an unsafe condition.

Rental company

If the boat involved in the accident was rented from a company, the rental company may bear liability if they failed to provide proper instruction, safety equipment, or a seaworthy vessel. Also, if the rental company knew or should have known about any mechanical issues with the boat but failed to address them, they could be held accountable.

Manufacturers and distributors

In cases where the accident was caused by a defect in the boat or its components, such as faulty steering, engine failure, or defective safety equipment, the manufacturer or distributor of that malfunctioning component may be held liable under product liability laws.

Other negligent parties

Depending on the circumstances, parties such as marina operators, maintenance or repair companies, or even other boaters who contributed to the accident through their negligence or failure to follow boating regulations could be held liable.

Photo of Slowly Sinking Boat

Filing a Boat Accident Claim in Boca Raton

Every case is unique, and the specific steps required may vary based on your unique circumstances. That said, if you want to make sure your claim gets approved, follow these steps for the best chance of recovering compensation for your sustained injuries and damages:

Seek medical attention

Your health and well-being should be your top priority. Make sure to get evaluated by a qualified medical professional for any injuries sustained in the accident, even if they seem minor at first. Documenting your injuries and receiving proper treatment is crucial for both your health and your claim.

Report the accident

Next, you must report the accident to the designated authorities in specific situations. When the accident happens on the water and involves capsizing, collision, injuries needing more than basic first aid, death, or significant property damage exceeding $2,000, you must immediately notify one of the following agencies:

  • The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Division of Law Enforcement
  • The county sheriff
  • The local police chief, if applicable

When you report the accident, make sure to provide the authorities with accurate and detailed information about the incident’s location, the people involved, and any witnesses present. This notification helps kick-start the necessary investigation and ensures proper documentation of the accident, which plays a vital role in establishing who was responsible.

Gather evidence

Collect as much evidence as you can to support your boating accident claim. This may include taking photographs and videos of the accident scene, the damages to the boats involved, and your injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses who saw the accident and gather any other relevant documentation, such as accident reports and medical records.

Consult with a Boca Raton boat accident lawyer

Florida’s legal system is highly intricate, and having a skilled Boca Raton boating accident lawyer on your side can make all the difference. They can provide invaluable guidance on Florida law throughout the claims process, check the details of your case, help gather evidence, and handle the legal paperwork and filings on your behalf.

Notify insurance companies

Contact your insurance company to report the boating accident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with accurate information about what happened and follow their instructions for filing a claim. If the accident was caused by another party’s negligence, their insurance company may be involved as well. Your boat accident lawyers can help communicate with all insurance providers involved and negotiate on your behalf.

Document damages

Keep a record of all your damages, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and any other related costs. Retain copies of bills, invoices, receipts, and any other relevant documents. These records will help your boat accident attorney maximize your claim for compensation.

Photo of Sunk White Boat

Negotiate or file a lawsuit

With 25+ years of experience handling boating accident claims, we at The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft have earned quite a reputation for our negotiation skills with insurance carriers, both big and small. During this stage, we will use the evidence gathered, calculate your damages, and present a strong case for compensation. If they are not willing to offer a fair sum, we may recommend filing a lawsuit to pursue your claim in court.

Keep in mind that the statute of limitations for these cases is typically four years from the date of the accident, so don’t delay in taking action! If the deadline expires, you may lose the opportunity to obtain any compensation.

Put Your Case in Capable Hands: Contact a Proven Boca Raton Boat Accident Lawyer Today

At The Law Offices of Scott J. Senft, we have represented boat accident victims involved in a wide range of unfortunate situations with all types of watercraft, including:

  • Commercial boats
  • Kayaks / Canoes
  • Cruise Ships
  • Motorboats
  • Yachts
  • Sailboats
  • Cabin cruisers
  • Runabouts
  • Airboats
  • Fishing boats
  • Jet skis and wave runners
  • Paddleboards
  • Inflatable boats

Whether you were enjoying a commercial boat trip, were a passenger on a friend’s boat, or operating your own fishing boat, attorney Scott J. Senft and his entire legal team is dedicated to helping you secure your rightful compensation through your personal injury lawsuit, or the unfortunate loss of a loved one (i.e., wrongful death lawsuit).

We start by offering free consultations, where you can have all your questions answered and discuss your rights and expected outcomes directly with a leading Boca Raton personal injury lawyer. We will take care of all the necessary work, handling communication with doctors, hospitals, witnesses, insurance providers, police, and other attorneys.

We will thoroughly investigate your accident and build a solid case to increase your chances of receiving additional compensation from insurance companies or other parties involved. Call us at 954-927-3326 or send us a message here to schedule a free evaluation today.

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Motorcycle accident - $250,000

Motorcycle accident due to a distracted driver

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Scott J. Senft - South Florida's Top Personal Injury Attorney

Was born in Brooklyn, NewYork. He received his Bachelor of Science from University of Florida in 1988 and his Juris Doctorate from Georgia State University College of Law in 1991.

For over 25 years, The Law Offices of Scott J Senft have served South Florida as one of the top personal injury law firms.  If you or a loved one has been involved in any type of accident, do not hesitate to reach out immediately.
What should I do if I was involved in a car accident and I have no way to  come to your law firm's office?
If you have been involved in any type of accident, like a motorcycle accident, where an injury has occurred, please contact us and we will send someone to meet with you immediately.  It does not matter where you live, we will have a personal injury attorney or one of our accident investigators  travel to your location at your earliest convenience.  Do not wait after your car accident, contact one of South Florida's top auto accident lawyers today!

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