Who Do You Report a Boating Accident to in Florida?

If you’re involved in a boating accident in Florida, it’s essential to know who to report it to, when you are required to report the accident, and what steps to take after a boating collision. 

Generally, boat operators involved in a qualifying crash must report the accident to at least one of the following agencies: 

  • Florida Fish And Wildlife Conservation Commission – Law Enforcement Division 
  • The Local sheriff’s office where the accident occurred
  • The local police department where the accident occurred

Neglecting to file a timely boating accident report to one of the three agencies mentioned above can result in criminal charges and a significantly weaker personal injury case (if applicable). 

At Schrier Law Group, we have intimate knowledge of Florida’s boating and personal injury laws. If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence of a boat operator, we can help. Contact us today for a free case evaluation with an experienced boating accident lawyer. 

Continue reading to learn more about what to do after a boat collision in Florida waterways. 

When Should A Boating Accident Be Reported in Florida?

According to Florida Statute § 327.301, boat operators are required to file a written report with an applicable agency if a boat collision results in: 

  • Serious bodily injury to passengers or operators 
  • Death 
  • Missing person 
  • Property damage of $2,000 or more 

It’s important to note that the $2,000 threshold applies to the vessel, other vessels, and property damaged within the boat due to the accident. Generally, you must file a boating accident report within 24 – 48 hours. That’s true regardless of where the boating accident occurs. 

Types of Boating Accidents That Require Reporting 

For the most part, any boating accident that involves property damage above $2,000, death, serious injury, or a missing person must be reported regardless of the type of accident. That includes the following types of boating accidents but is not limited to: 

  • Multi-vessel collisions
  • Single-vessel collisions 
  • Instances where a boat capsizes or sinks 
  • Boating accidents caused by water debris, rough water, or inclement weather 
  • Collisions caused by reckless boating 
  • Accidents resulting from running aground or striking fixed objects in the water 
  • Accidents that happen when entering or exiting the water 

What Is The First Thing To Do When Involved in a Boating Accident? 

If you’re involved in an accident on the water, there are a few steps you are required to take and a few others you should take. They include but are not limited to the following: 

  • Immediately notify applicable law enforcement agencies 
  • Seek medical attention 
  • Provide emergency care if needed 
  • Exchange information with others involved in the collision 
  • Stay at the scene until you’ve met your boating accident obligations 
  • Collect evidence from the scene (i.e., pictures, videos, etc.) 
  • Identify eyewitnesses and obtain their information 
  • Contact your boating insurance company
  • Consult with a Florida boating accident lawyer as soon as possible 

In addition, when filing a boating report, it’s essential to stick to the facts of the case. That means never admitting fault in the report. 

Further, stay away from posting about the accident on social media or speaking about it with others. Anything you say, do, or post about the accident can be used against you when attempting to recover damages for personal injuries. 

What Damages Can You Recover After a Boating Accident?

Every boating accident case is different. However, depending on the circumstances, boating accident victims may be eligible to recover maximum compensation for the following losses, but not limited to: 

  • Property damage to your vessel or personal property 
  • Urgent medical attention 
  • Transportation to the hospital 
  • Hospitalization and rehabilitation 
  • Current and future lost wages
  • Decreased earning power
  • Pain and suffering 

Additionally, suppose the boating collision causes death due to negligence or recklessness. In that case, your family may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recoup damages for loss of companionship, financial support, and more (in addition to the damages listed above). 

Contact A Boating Accident Lawyer in Florida Today

Identifying liability in water vessel collisions typically requires the knowledge and experience of an experienced boating accident lawyer. Boat accidents can be especially tricky in Florida since many don’t have insurance or are severely underinsured. However, regardless of the circumstances, there may be an opportunity to recover damages for your losses. 

Our boat accident attorneys at Schrier Law Group have an in-depth understanding of Florida’s maritime, boating, and personal injury laws. We’ve helped recover millions in personal injury cases, and are confident we can obtain the best possible outcome in your case. 

Contact a boating accident lawyer at Schrier Law Group today to schedule your free case evaluation. 

How and When to Report a Car Accident to the Police in Florida

Are you required to report every car accident in Florida to the Police? If so, when and how do you report a collision? In this article, you will learn the answers to both of these questions and more. Generally, Florida car accident laws set strict standards for when and how drivers are required to report accidents. 

Neglecting to follow legally obligated reporting requirements can result in criminal charges (depending on the circumstances) and a significantly weakened personal injury case. 

If you’ve been involved in a car accident involving significant injuries or damages, it’s in your best interest to report the collision as soon as possible. Your next step should be to contact the best Florida car accident lawyer for your circumstances. 

At Schrier Law Group, our car accident lawyers are experienced, skilled, and aggressive. If you’ve suffered injuries due to the negligence or recklessness of another driver, we’re here to help you recover maximum compensation for your damages. 

Contact us today at 1-800-831-2407 for your free case evaluation. Continue reading to learn more about how and when to report a car accident to the police in Florida.  

How Long Do You Have to Report An Accident To The Police in Florida?

Under most circumstances, you have up to 10 days to file a car accident report in Florida. However, if the police are called to the scene of the accident, they will file the report for you. Generally, you are required to file a police report under the following circumstances: 

  • Serious bodily injury occurs to passengers, drivers, pedestrians, bicyclists, etc. 
  • Death occurs due to the accident
  • The accident causes property damage in excess of $500

While these are the minimum requirements for mandatory police reporting, your car accident lawyer may still advise you to file a report even if there are little to no initially apparent injuries or damages. 

It can sometimes be difficult to immediately assess the effect of certain injuries like whiplash, back injuries, head trauma, etc. Filing a police report protects you in case you need to file a personal injury claim days, weeks, or months after the accident. 

How to Report a Car Accident in Florida

There are two ways to report a car accident in Florida. You can call the police to the scene or go to the nearest police station or highway patrol station to file the claim in person. If you are too injured to file a report, you can wait until you have the ability to do so. 

However, Florida car accident laws stipulate that you file a report as soon as you’re physically able. Additionally, it’s always good to report the accident to your insurance company, even if it was a minor fender bender. Failure to report your accident to your insurer within the timeframe stipulated in your policy could lead to them denying future claims resulting from the accident. 

Do You Have to Call The Police After a Minor Car Accident? 

Technically, no. You are not required to call the police after a minor car accident that doesn’t cause injury, death, or property damage above $500. 

However, it’s recommended to file a police report regardless of whether it was a minor or major accident in most cases. Doing so will help to protect against criminal liability and strengthen potential personal injury cases. 

What Happens if You Don’t Report An Accident in Florida? 

Generally, if you don’t report a car accident in Florida, you may face fines. However, if you leave the scene of an accident that causes injury, death, or property damage above the threshold, you can be held criminally liable. Criminal hit and run charges can result in jail time, fines, probation, lost driving privileges, and more. 

Contact a Florida Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve suffered injuries in a car accident caused by the recklessness or negligence of another driver, reporting the accident to the police is one of the first steps you should take. Another critical step is to contact an experienced car accident lawyer in Florida.

Our car accident attorneys at Schrier Law Group can help you: 

  • Investigate your case and determine liability 
  • Negotiate with insurance providers 
  • Identify and interview eyewitnesses
  • Connect with expert witnesses 
  • Seek maximum compensation for your damages 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to file a Florida car accident personal injury claim. Contact Schrier Law Group today for your free case evaluation with a top car accident lawyer in Florida

3 Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida

There are more than 800 boating accidents in Florida each year. With that in mind, boaters are encouraged to learn more about the most common causes of boating accidents and the best prevention methods. 

If you’ve suffered injuries resulting from a boat collision, it’s in your best interest to contact a skilled boating accident lawyer as soon as possible. Our boating accident attorneys can help you determine liability, build a solid case, and negotiate maximum compensation for your injuries. 

Contact us today to speak with an experienced boating accident lawyer in Florida. 

This article discusses the primary causes of boating accidents in Florida. Continue reading to learn about the most common boating risks and how to keep you and your family safe the next time you’re out on the water. 

1 Neglecting to Keep an Eye Out For Collisions 

Improper forward watch happens when a boat operator fails to maintain awareness of potential hazards in the boat’s path. That can include mile markers, other boats, rocks, debris, and more. 

If your boat hits an object, it can lead to devastating injuries and damages. That’s true even if you’re drifting or traveling at slow speeds. Unfortunately, many boating accidents occur due to the operator taking their attention away from safe navigation. 

2 Capsized Boats 

Capsized boats are the leading cause of boating accident fatalities. In many cases, boats capsize due to decreased visibility, operator distraction, or boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

Further, smaller boats are more likely to capsize when they anchor from the rear (stern) of the boat. That’s because boats are designed to navigate through rough waves front (bow) first. If a rear-anchored small boat encounters rough waves or large swells, it can result in immediate flooding and eventual capsize. 

3 Occupant Ejection 

When you factor in severe weather conditions, choppy waters, and sharp boating maneuvers, it’s not hard to see how easy it is for a person to go overboard. Overboard ejections are even more likely to occur to powerboat passengers. 

However, anyone who is not safely seated while the boat is moving or in choppy waters is at risk of going overboard. That’s true regardless of the vessel. 

If you’ve been involved in an accident on the water, it’s recommended that you consult with a boating accident lawyer to discuss your case. Proving negligence and receiving maximum compensation requires a proven boating accident attorney’s skill, experience, and knowledge in Florida. 

Ways to Prevent Boating Accidents in Florida

Some boating accidents are inescapable. However, you can avoid boat collisions in many cases by taking precautions. Listed below are a few tips to help prevent unnecessary boating accident injuries. 

  1. Remain aware of your surroundings: The best way to prevent improper forward watch is to survey in front, behind continually, and on the boat’s sides. You should be checking for other boats, debris, mile markers, choppy water, etc. It’s important to note that the boat captain/operator should remain vigilant even when drifting or idle. 
  2. Take Steps to Prevent Capsizing: Boat operators should be extra careful when boating at night, docking, or anchoring. Further, drinking alcohol or consuming drugs while operating a boat drastically increases the likelihood of capsizing. It’s best to leave the drinking for the passengers. Lastly, boat operators should always anchor their craft from the front (bow), not the rear (stern) or the sides. 
  3. Limit The Chances of Going Overboard: You can’t eliminate the risk of going overboard 100 percent of the time. However, by taking the following precautions, you can limit the likelihood of a passenger going overboard. For starters, all passengers should remain seated while the boat is moving. Further, boat operators are encouraged to keep an eye on the security and safety of passengers at all times. 

The precautions listed above can’t guarantee an accident-free boat trip. However, neglecting to follow them drastically increases the chances of a catastrophic accident. 

Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer Today

Suppose you’ve been injured in a boat accident. In that case, it’s in your best interest to consult with a boating accident lawyer familiar with maritime law, boating regulations, and Florida personal injury laws. 

A boating accident lawyer at Schrier Law Group will: 

  • Investigate the boat accident
  • Determine liable parties 
  • Collect evidence 
  • Negotiate maximum compensation with the insurance company
  • Enlist the help of expert medical witnesses (if necessary)

If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, a boating accident attorney at Schrier Law Group could help. Contact us today for your free initial consultation. 

HOW YOU CAN PREVENT A BOATING ACCIDENT FROM HAPPENING ON FLORIDA WATERS

Boating is a favorite pastime of many Floridians. While taking a trip out on the boat with friends and family can make for a great getaway, there are still many risks involved in traveling the open sea. 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), approximately 836 boating accidents happened in Florida in 2020. Nearly half of the recorded boating accidents were due to the “operator’s inattention or failing to maintain a proper lookout.” 

With that in mind, boaters need to be mindful of safe boating practices. Otherwise, you risk serious property damages, injuries, and potentially death. If you’ve been the victim of a boating accident in Florida, contact The Schrier Law Group today to discuss your case with a proven boating accident lawyer. 

Continue reading to learn how you can prevent boating accidents from occurring on Florida waters

Choose a Responsible Driver

The first step in ensuring a safe boat trip is to ensure that the boating operator is responsible. That means that the motorboat operator should:

  • Be completely sober 
  • Complete the boater safety course and have an FWC identification card (if born after January 1, 1988)
  • Know how to operate the boat and what to do in case of an emergency
  • Take responsibility for the lives they are taking care of while operating the boat 
  • Understand all boating and water navigation laws 

Choosing a responsible boat operator can help you avoid boating accidents caused by carelessness and inattention.  Further, they will know what to do in case of an emergency. Taking a boat trip with an operator you can’t trust is a recipe for disaster. 

Know Where You’re Going 

The ocean seems like an endless abyss of places to navigate. However, there are some places where you absolutely should not take your boat. They can include shallow water, restricted areas, and places with rougher waters. Further, boat operators should understand how to read the navigation aids on the water (i.e., buoys and beacons) as they tell where to navigate and where to avoid. 

Additionally, safely navigating a boat at night requires skill, experience, and knowledge of Florida’s boat navigation rules. Neglecting to adhere to navigational regulations at night can result in major collisions with other vessels or landmasses. 

Have the Proper Safety Equipment on Board

Having the appropriate safety gear aboard your vessel can help you avoid accidents, warn other boats of your presence, and potentially save you and your fellow boaters in case of a collision. Generally, a few “must-have” types of boating safety equipment includes, but is not limited to: 

  • Life jackets and other types of personal flotation devices
  • At least one Type IV flotation device (i.e., ring buoy, floating cushion, etc.)
  • Fire extinguishers
  • Visual signaling devices (i.e., smoke flares and light flares)
  • Sound signaling devices (i.e., horns, whistles, and bells)
  • First-aid kits 
  • Devices to help dewater the boat in case of flooding 
  • Oars and paddles in case the engine fails 

Check The Weather Forecast Before Boating 

Before you and your friends head out on the sea, you should check the weather forecast. In most cases, you’ll want to avoid inclement weather conditions like high winds, storms, rain, hurricanes, and more. Generally, you can tune into VHF-FM with a portable radio. That way, you can stay up to date on the latest weather information provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

You can find the NOAA weather updates on the following frequencies: 

  • 162.550 MHz
  • 162.400 MHz
  • 162.475 MHz

Additionally, you should always notice visual signs of weather changes such as darker skies, approaching fog, nearby lightning strikes, and more. You can also use a barometer to gauge the potential for bad weather conditions. Lastly, take pointers from other boaters on the water if all else fails. If you notice that most boaters are heading to dock at the same time, it’s likely that foul weather conditions are on the horizon, and you should do the same. 

Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer Today

Even if you follow all of the boating safety suggestions listed above, there is still a chance for an accident caused by another boat operator. With that in mind, if you’ve suffered serious injuries due to the recklessness of another boater, you deserve maximum compensation. Don’t wait until it’s too late to pursue your boat accident personal injury claim. 

Contact the best boating accident lawyer in Florida at Schrier Law Group today at 1-800-700-7285 for a free consultation. 

Schrier Law Group Boating Accident FAQs

Damaged Jet Ski on Water After Accident

A boating accident is actually handled quite differently than an accident on the highway or a typical street or avenue. We here at Schrier Law Group want to go over the best procedure for what one should do if they are ever in a boating accident. As a Florida law firm, we see our share of boating accidents.

1. What Do I Do First After a Boating Accident?

If you have had a boating accident, you must first take care of the health and safety of those involved. Ensure everyone is safely on the boat if it is still afloat, or another safe place if it is not, and the boat is out of harm’s way. Then you should signal for help, if necessary, and seek medical attention for any injuries. A medical report will also be important evidence in any legal action.

You are going to need to gather details at the scene of the accident. Obtain registration numbers and insurance details for those involved, and contact details for the boat operators, passengers, and witnesses. If possible, take photos and video of the scene.

Then you have to report the boating accident to the U.S. Coast Guard and the State Fish & Wildlife Police. An accident report will be evidence for any action and is usually required by law.

Contact your insurance provider and an experienced boating accident attorney like Schrier Law Group. Do not accept liability or discuss the accident with the other parties or insurers before speaking to your lawyer.

 

2. What is Required of the Operator in a Boating Accident?

An operator involved in a boating accident must stop the vessel at the scene of the accident and offer assistance to anyone injured or in danger unless doing so would seriously endanger their own vessel or passengers. The operator is also required to notify the U.S. Coast Guard and the State Fish & Wildlife Police in accordance with state and federal laws.

 

3. What Types of Boating Accidents Need to Be Reported?

Federal law requires that a boating accident must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard and State Fish & Wildlife Natural Resources Police if:

  • A person dies
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first-aid
  • A person disappears from the boat under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • Damage to the boat and other property totals more than $2,000 by federal law or there is a complete loss of the vessel

 

4. How Soon Should the Accident Be Reported?

A boating accident must be reported to the U.S. Coast Guard within 10 days of the accident or death, or within 48 hours if a person:

  • Dies within 24 hours
  • Is injured requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury

5. Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Boating Accidents?

Homeowners’ insurance typically provides minimal coverage for a boating accident. Most policies will cover up to $1,000 damages to a boat, jet skis, or another recreational water vehicle, and generally cover damage by fire, wind or air, explosive hail, and vandalism.

6. How Common are Boating Accident Fatalities?

In 2019, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,168 recreational boating accidents in the U.S. that involved 613 deaths and 2,559 injuries. The fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. Detailed statistics are available at the U.S. Coast Guard website.

 

7. What are the Most Common Watercraft in Boating Accidents?

The top three types of watercraft involved in boating accidents in the U.S. according to 2019 statistics compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats.

 

8. What are the Most Common Injuries Suffered in Boating Accidents?

The most common injuries suffered in boating accidents are:

  • Drowning
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Lacerations and amputations
  • Whiplash
  • Electrocution
  • Concussions
  • Burns
  • Broken bones

9. What Safety Measures Prevent Wrongful Death and Injuries Caused By a Boating Accident?

  • Do not drink and boat – Boating while intoxicated is the leading cause of boating accidents in the U.S.
  • Wear a lifejacketAll boat operators and passengers should wear a properly fitting USCG-approved lifejacket. The law requires that they are accessible for all passengers, and worn at all times by children.
  • Know the rules – Boating operators should take a boating safety course before getting out on the water, and follow the rules at all times. Inexperienced and inattentive boat operators cause accidents.
  • Stay within speed limitsSpeeding is a primary contributing factor in boating accidents nationwide.
  • Practice boat propeller safetyBoat propellers can cause catastrophic injuries. Operators and passengers should be safe, and a propeller guard should be used if appropriate for the vessel.
  • Watch the weatherAlways check the weather forecast before getting out on the water. Weather can be unpredictable in all seasons and can create a very dangerous situation for watercraft.

10. What are the Most Common Causes For Boating Accidents?

The top five primary contributing factors in boating accidents in the U.S. in 2019 according to the U.S. Coast Guard were:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use

Much of this information is available at the U.S. Coast Guard website.

The Schrier Law Group handles many boating accident cases, and Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in any boating injury case. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!

“Ethan’s Law” Named for Sarasota Boy Killed in Boating Accident

Ethan Isaacs Next to Water

In November, a tragic situation occurred when a Sarasota, Florida youth sailor was fatally slashed by a spinning boat propeller after his coach triggered the throttle and the boy tumbled overboard.

Ten-year-old Ethan Isaacs’ death has led to a wrongful death lawsuit by his family and a proposed bill in his name called “Ethan’s Law,” authored by Sarasota state Rep. Fiona McFarland.

The proposed legislation would require the pilots of boats less than 26 feet long to wear a kill switch device that automatically shuts off the engine if the operator is thrown overboard. Seven other states have similar laws in place, and the U.S. Coast Guard will adopt the same rule in 2021. It is wrongful death boating accidents just like this one that Schrier Law Group takes on.

Who Was Ethan, and What Happened

Ethan, a sixth-grader at Pine View School for the Gifted in Osprey, was taking part in a Sarasota Youth Sailing Inc. sail practice when his boat capsized. His coach, 18-year-old Riley Baugh, came to his aid in a 20-foot Caribe Nautica inflatable powerboat.

Baugh was bailing water out of Ethan’s boat when he accidentally struck the throttle, causing the boat to lurch forward and throw him overboard. The steel propeller fatally wounded Ethan and hurt two other youth sailors.

McFarland was approached by Ethan’s parents shortly after his death and together they created the bill to address boating safety issues that could prevent future tragedies from occurring.

What Does the Bill Entail

Rep. McFarland has received wide support for the bill. She worked with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, boat owners associations, boat manufacturers, and other marine safety stakeholders to craft the bill’s language.

 

“Whenever there’s a tragedy, particularly when a young child dies, you always wonder what could have been done to prevent it from happening,” McFarland said. “I’m honored to be working with the Issacs family to make the Florida waterways safer.”

Florida regularly ranks as the number one state for boating accidents and fatalities, according to recent government reports. There have been 95 formal reports of accidents involving a boat operator falling overboard, 79 that resulted in someone injured or killed, according to McFarland.

The legislation would allow the FWC and law enforcement officers on waterways to enforce the same rules that the Coast Guard follows at the federal level: ensuring boaters are wearing their engine cutoff switch lanyard or have an operational wireless kill switch.

Boat manufacturers have been federally required to equip new vessels with an engine cutoff switch since 2018.

The Lawsuit

A little over a month after Ethan’s death in November, Tampa-based personal injury attorneys filed a wrongful death suit on behalf of the Isaacs.

The 22-page complaint filed in Sarasota County circuit court blames SYS and Baugh for negligence, poor training, and a lack of supervision that ultimately cost Ethan his life.

Baugh is believed to be the only coach in charge of the Optimist Green Fleet that Ethan was a member of along with 15 other youth sailors.

According to the suit, Ethan was training with the Green Fleet, a collection of youth sailors who met prerequisites set by SYS to sail Optimist sailing vessels on open water. The Optimist, also called an opti, is a small, single-handed sailing dinghy about the size of a bathtub.

They launched in choppy but navigable waters under the supervision of Baugh, who was certified as a Small Boat Instructor Level 2 by U.S. Sailing in January 2020. He holds CPR and First Aid certifications. Baugh also has a ‘‘SafeSport certification’ to promote a safe and positive environment free from abuse and misconduct.

The complaint said Baugh’s boat was equipped with a fully operational emergency outboard engine stop switch, stop-switch key, and accompanying lanyard. The kill-switch key allows electricity to flow to the engine while the key is secured.

After Baugh became aware that a child’s boat was taking on water, he piloted his powerboat alongside. He left the controls of his vessel and leaned over the side of the boat to bail water out of the Optimist dinghy. However, Baugh had not turned the engine off and, while he bailed water, he unintentionally struck the throttle and the boat moved forward, causing him to fall out.

The unmanned boat struck multiple youth members of the green fleet, including Ethan, who was fatally injured. Baugh was able to regain control of the boat.

The wrongful death action is seeking in excess of $30,000 on behalf of Ethan’s estate. Beneficiaries of the monetary claim are his mother and father. Ethan also has an older brother who was sailing nearby at the time of the accident.

Boating accident death cases can be emotional, tragic, and unfair. When emotions run high, it can be difficult to make a strategic decision when choosing the perfect personal injury lawyer. In order to be prepared, develop a list of trustworthy attorneys that you can call when an emergency occurs.

The Schrier Law Group handles many boating injury cases, and Schrier Law has the resources necessary to help you and your family score a successful outcome in any boating injury case. It is important that you have your rights defended by someone who knows the law. Contact the Schrier Law Group for a personal injury attorney in Florida today!

Seven Reasons Why Boating Accidents Occur

Boat Sinking Due to an Accident on the Water

Boating accidents make always news. Maybe it’s because of how it looks on camera. Maybe it is because they are rarer than typical car accidents. But beyond the headlines, one or more of a handful of causes are usually to blame. There are some common boating situations to avoid so that accidents are less likely. However, in the event that you or a loved one is in a boating accident, it is time to contact Schrier Law Group to discuss what your options are. We are here to assist, help, and litigate.

RUNNING OUT OF GAS

Just because a marine towing company can quickly bring rescue in a gas can on a small body of water, running out of gas in the middle of the Gulf Stream, or in choppy waters, the situation can be dire. How can this happen? Maybe you miscalculated your bearing and burned up too much fuel finding your way, or you fished or cruised longer than you intended. Perhaps you skirted unexpected storms or ran offshore to avoid them. Or maybe you just plain forgot to gas up. Things happen. Don’t let it! Plan ahead so this doesn’t happen to you.

RUNNING AGROUND

Sometimes entertaining (for some), often embarrassing, and often truly dangerous that is grounding your boat. You don’t want to ground your boat. You want it safe on the water. Stay sober, slow down, keep watch, and keep afloat. In the water but stuck on a bar, you’ll likely be eager to yank the boat off the rocks and end the humiliating drama.

FALLING OVERBOARD

An overboard tumble can be an embarrassing situation unless you knock yourself out on the way over. Now you have a whole different issue. People don’t naturally float face up, so be sure to wear a life jacket that will flip you over. Also, remember that solo boaters who fall overboard are likely to watch the boat run off into the distance. Wear the emergency cut-off-switch lanyard, or its modern, electronic replacement, which kills the motor if anyone wearing a sender falls over. This will cut down on any chances that the boat turns and comes at you.

CATCHING FIRE

Thank goodness, boat fires are rare. This is due to spark-protected mechanical systems and double-clamped fuel lines. Still, it pays to be safe. Always be sniffing around for fuel fumes. Look for obvious fuel spills or leaks, or a rainbow-hued slick on bilge water. Never start a marine engine without running the bilge blower for at least five minutes. Make sure you have fire extinguishers aboard, rated for fuel or electrical fires, and that they’re still charged. Have them inspected or replace them if in doubt.

SPEEDING AT NIGHT

One of the most common causes for boating accidents is not matching your speed to the conditions or settings. At night you can’t necessarily trust your senses to determine a clear path.

FAILING TO MAINTAIN A LOOKOUT

“I didn’t see them coming!” is the too-often an explanation for boat crashes. Well, see them coming, by maintaining a lookout whether underway or at anchor.

STAY SOBER

Alcohol slows reflexes and clouds judgment. Both can lead to an accident. Why chance it?

If you follow this list on how to be careful while on the water, you will be dramatically less likely to have a boating issue, or worse, a boating accident. In the event that this was not avoided and you or a loved one need representation due to a boating accident, you want to contact the Schrier Law Group to represent you now! We are here to represent and support!