Boating Accident Claims

Being a Palm Beach Personal injury firm means representing all types of accidents involving injuries.

One of the more common types of accidents a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer may see involve boat accidents. The important thing for most clients is to know how liability will be treated since the accident occurred at sea.  If you or a loved one have been harmed in any boat accidents, you should speak with a boating accident lawyer to see if you are entitled to compensation. 

The first thing we see that often makes boat cases different than other types of Palm Beach Personal Injury cases involves the age of operator. If the operator is under 14 the owner of the vessel is liable. This is due to Florida’s dangerous instrumentality law. Florida’s dangerous instrumentality doctrine provides that the owner of an inherently dangerous tool is liable for any injuries caused by that tool’s operation.  In fact, the parent who signs the driver’s license application for a minor child can be held vicariously liable for the child’s negligent operation of a motor vehicle until the child is 18. 

The second difference in boat accidents is that you will be dealing with the coast guard. The good news is that handling the accident scene is much the same as managing the scene of any accident.

The third thing we see that often makes boat cases different than other types of Palm Beach Personal Injury cases is that involves the fact that ship owners owe a duty of reasonable care to passengers. Consequently, passengers who are injured aboard ships may bring suit as if they had been injured ashore through the negligence of a third party.

Because the passenger bears the burden of proving that the ship owner was negligent, it is important to find a boating accident lawyer who understands these laws. While the statute of limitations is generally three years, suits against cruise lines must usually be brought within one year because of limitations contained in the passenger ticket. Most U.S.. cruise line passenger tickets we see have provisions requiring that suit to be brought in either Miami.