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Florida Boating Accidents: The Importance of a Wrongful Death Attorney

A group of friends drinking on a boat our on the ocean.

The tragic Florida jetski accident in January 2023 which took the life of Charlotte FC star Anton Walkes was an eye-opener for soccer fans globally to the dangers of boating. While Florida locals were equally saddened by the incident, most were already well aware of the dangers posed by recreation on the water. 

In our vibrant coastal communities, the unfortunate truth is that water-related deaths aren’t uncommon. In fact, Florida constantly leads the US in recreational boating deaths and it accounted for over 10% of the national total in 2022. 

However, what many are only beginning to acknowledge–both here in Florida and in the wider US–is the critical role that accountability plays following an accident on the water. Negligence is a leading factor in boating deaths, but the victims and their families often go unreimbursed or under-reimbursed. This is our experience at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, where we specialize in getting justice for the families of wrongful death victims. 

If one of your family members has been involved in a fatal accident on the water, make sure you pursue the proper compensation you deserve. With extensive experience in wrongful death cases and over $1 billion in settlements and trial verdicts, our wrongful death attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein can help you following a Florida wrongful death. Call us today at 305-371-2692, or schedule a free consultation online.

The Role of Negligence in Accidents on the Water

Recreational boating accidents have a long and close association with negligence. Each year the US Coast Guard analyzes all known accidents on the water, identifying the main factors behind each. Among the top ten causes of accidents in 2022 were: inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, machinery failure, alcohol and the violation of navigation rules. Each of these has a strong association with negligence; whether it be on behalf of the boat operator or owner, its manufacturer, or the operator of other vessels involved in the accident. This suggests the importance of full and proper legal investigation following each and every boating accident. 

Fortunately, the victims of boating accidents are gradually opening their eyes to this. The aftermath of recreational boating accidents is becoming more carefully investigated each year, with the real value of reported damages trending upwards. 

Source: US Coast Guard, 2022 Recreational Boating Statistics, adjusted by US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Consumer Price Index.

For the sake of victims, this trend will hopefully continue for some time. At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, we believe there is some way to go before the victims of recreational boating accidents and their families receive the full and just compensation they deserve. 

The Value of a Wrongful Death Attorney

Recreational boating accidents resulting in death often involve negligence and the opportunity for wrongful death actions. But they can be challenging to bring to law. Following such an accident, a competent wrongful death attorney can make a world of difference. 

Identifying parties to the accident

After a wrongful death, parties to the accident must be identified. This is a prerequisite for compensation. But when it comes to accidents on the water, this can be a sensitive and complex process. Let’s take a look at why.

In our experience of recreational boating accidents at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, we find that the party bearing the primary responsibility is often near to the victim: a friend, family member, colleague or other close affiliate. Investigating their role in the accident can place particular demands on a wrongful death attorney. At DDRB Lawyers, we’re well used to this and we take pride in the sensitivity and care we bring to a case. 

Boating accidents causing death can involve many parties. Besides the operators and passengers of the vessels involved, liability can be attributed to suppliers of machinery and equipment, the owners and operators of charter or rental vessels, and the agencies responsible for maintaining the traffic and safety infrastructure of marinas and waterways. To get the most out of your rights to compensation, your wrongful death attorney needs to meticulously investigate the involvement of every party. Some of these are well-resourced and experienced in fighting off legal accusations, such as the boat manufacturers and government entities. For a successful legal claim, you need to be equally well prepared. 

Defending the innocence of the deceased

Under the Florida doctrine of comparative negligence, the victim’s level of fault will influence any eventual rights to compensation. Where the victim was fully aware of the risks prior to the accident, damages may not be recoverable. But when it comes to boating, it’s not always easy for a passenger to assess risk. They often don’t fully understand issues of boating safety–dangers posed by weather, faulty equipment and machinery, etc. Even in those cases where a victim was aware of the risks, if the actions of others were sufficiently reckless, compensation can still be possible. For instance where alcohol or drugs are involved, or where the operator of the boat showed blatant disregard for navigation rules. 

An experienced wrongful death attorney can be critical to the success of a case. If a member of your family has been involved in a lethal recreational boating accident, don’t leave the outcome to chance. Enlist an experienced Florida wrongful death attorney. 

Our Wrongful Death Attorney Knows Boating Accidents

At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, our Miami, FL wrongful death lawyers are highly qualified and have extensive experience handling a wide range of wrongful death claims, including recreational boating accidents. With more than $1 billion in settlements and trial verdicts, our case results speak for themselves. 
If one of your family members has been involved in a fatal accident on the water, make sure to contact our wrongful death attorneys at Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein. Call us today at 305-371-2692, or schedule a free consultation online.