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When is a Written Report Needed for A Boating Accident in Florida?


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)

Florida § 327.301 states that a written report is needed if a boating accident results in bodily injury, deaths, disappearance, and property damage worth over $2,000. If you are a boating accident victim, it is in your best interest to hire an efficient and qualified personal injury lawyer is in your best interest. They have sufficient knowledge and qualifications on how to file a written report, and in some cases, they may even file the report on your behalf.

Who Should I Report a Boating Accident to?

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) handles boating accidents within the state. However, it is not all boating accident that requires a written report. The Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission will clarify whether your cases require a written report or not. They will also:

  1. Show you where to file the documents,
  2. where to access reporting documents and;
  3. follow-up steps to complete the report.

It is advisable to report to a different law enforcement agency as well. In addition, you should hire a personal injury lawyer to appraise your case to help you discern the best way to file your report.

What Type of Boating Accidents Should I Report?

Notably, not all boating accidents must be reported. However, as seen below, we have compiled a list of accidents that are required to report.

  • An accident occurring from reckless driving
  • Boat sinking.
  • Multi-boat collisions.
  • Two-boat collisions.
  • Boat capsizing.
  • A boat striking an object (e.g., a signal marker).
  • A boat running aground.
  • An accident caused by rough seas.

Furthermore, the accident must be written and reported if the accident results in injuries, loss of lives, significant property damage, or disappearance.

What is the Deadline for Reporting a Boating Accident?

According to Florida § 327.30, the operator must immediately notify any of the agencies listed below if the accident is reportable.

  • The Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
  • The Police chief of the municipality where the accident occurred.
  • The Sheriff of the county where the accident occurred.

What Damages are Recoverable After a Boating Accident?

The damages from the accident are dependent on the circumstances. With a professional personal injury lawyer, you can win a lawsuit against all the responsible parties and have all the following damages recovered after the boating accident.

  • Treatment for psychological injuries
  • Medical transport
  • Emergency medical care
  • Damage to the vessel
  • Lost earning power
  • Lost wages
  • Hospitalization
  • Destruction of personal items aside from the vessel
  • Pain and distress

However, suppose it is a case of a lethal boating accident that leaves your kin with so many losses. In that case, a wrongful death claim will recover the funeral cost, provide financial support to your spouse, and many other benefits.

Determining Liability for Your Boating Accident 

Negligence is the outstanding liability merit in most civil cases. And this also applies to the standard in your boating accident case. An efficient personal injury lawyer will prove negligence by:

  • Proving that the defendant had an obligation of care and violated it.
  • Establishing that violation of the duty of care is responsible for the accident.
  • Connecting your accidents to the apparent damages.

What are the Negligent Acts that Result in Boating Accidents?

In 2020, the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reported that 44% of boat collisions were due to the inattentiveness of the boat drivers. However, other factors are also responsible for boating accidents. Here, you will find the popular negligent acts causing boating accidents.

  • Unsafe Vessel

If the boat has a defect, it becomes dangerous. It is also unsafe when it is not well maintained. Defects and poor maintenance may lead to accidents. Remember, liability depends on the cause.

  • Drivers Intoxication 

Intoxication may cause impaired vision, poor judgment, and inattentiveness, which can all result in ghastly boating accidents. In addition, intoxicated drivers exhibit impulsive behaviors and may be dangerous to themselves and everyone else on the vessel. Law Enforcement will perform a test to determine if your driver was intoxicated.

  • Dangerous Driving 

When not under the influence of intoxicative substances, there are still collisions between boats. Driving at excessive speed and making wayward movements may lead to accidents. Your attorney will determine the cause of the accident, which will further guide you in deciding the liable party in the accident.

What Should I Do as A Victim of a Boating Accident?

If you were in a boating accident, you must immediately report the case to the Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or any other law enforcement agency. You must also seek immediate treatment for cuts and injuries on your body as well as any traumas. Furthermore, you must hire the best personal injury lawyer you can find and notify your insurer of the accident as soon as possible. It is noteworthy that boat insurance isn’t necessary for the State of Florida. However, if you can choose liability insurance, you own or operate a boat. 

Contact Schrier Law Group Today!

Don’t wait to hire an attorney if you or a loved one has been in a boating accident. Our personal injury attorneys at Schrier Law Group are experienced and have an in-depth understanding of Florida’s boating laws. Contact us today for a free consultation and counsel regarding your boating accident case!