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Common Causes of Florida’s Boating Accidents and Liability


If you were injured aboard a boat, recreational vessel, or personal watercraft (PWC) in West Palm Beach or elsewhere in Florida, you have legal rights.

With a West Palm Beach boat accident attorney, you can recover damages from those responsible for causing your injury. Find out who can be sued in a Florida boating accident by watching our video.

Florida has the perfect weather for boating, which is why, unsurprisingly, the Sunshine State has the highest number of registered recreational boats in the U.S. However, Florida is also No. 1 in terms of boating accidents across the country.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sunshine State sees from 700 to 800 boating accidents per year. These accidents result in about 70 fatalities each year.

If you or your spouse, parents, or child has been injured in a boating accident, speak with our West Palm Beach boating accident lawyer at Pike & Lustig, LLP.

Fatal Boating Accident in Florida Kills a 1-Year-Old Child and Adult Woman 

A fatal boating accident in Florida’s Martin County has claimed the lives of a 1-year-old child and an adult woman.

According to The Palm Beach Post, the boating accident occurred after a boat the woman and the child were on crashed into a buoy in the Intracoastal Waterway near Sandsprit Park.

The 28-year-old woman, who is not the child’s mother, and the 1-year-old boy died after they were pulled from the water by a Marine Unit. According to a Martin County Sheriff’s report, the woman, who was wearing a life vest at the time of the crash, and three others were thrown into the water after their boat slammed into a buoy.

How Do Florida Boating Accidents Occur? 

There are different causes of boat accidents in West Palm Beach and elsewhere in Florida, including:

  • Operating a boat vessel or watercraft while intoxicated
  • Lack of experience
  • Careless operation
  • Boat maintenance problems
  • Defective boat
  • Failure to obey the rules for safe boating
  • Lack of safety equipment aboard the boat

Leading Causes of Boat Accidents in Florida and Liability 

There are three types of the negligence of a boat operator that are more likely to lead to an accident than others:

  1. Operator inattention. Just like in auto accidents, where distracted driving can lead to motor vehicle collisions, boat operator inattention can cause boating crashes.
  2. Inadequate lookout. Unlike in motor vehicle collisions, where there is a strict flow of traffic and painted lines on the road, boating traffic can come from virtually any direction – the front, behind, and both sides – when operating a boat. That is why the boat operator must be on the lookout at all times.
  3. Operator inexperience. Operating a watercraft may seem straightforward even if it is your first time driving the boat; nonetheless, operator inexperience is actually one of the leading causes of boating crashes in Florida.

Besides negligence, you may be able to recover damages after a boating accident on the basis of product liability as long as you can prove that the boat manufacturer, retailer, seller, distributor, or another party failed to ensure that the product was safe for consumers or did not warn of risks.

Either way, it is crucial to understand the statute of limitations for boating accidents in Florida. A West Palm Beach boating accident attorney can assist you in determining liability in your crash to pursue compensation for the medical expenses, loss of income, diminished earning potential, pain and suffering, punitive damages, and others.

Contact Pike & Lustig, LLP, to talk about your case. Call at 561-291-8298 to determine what and who caused your boating crash.



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