Boating accidents

If you are involved in a boating accident in Florida waters, you must report that accident to the Division of Law Enforcement for the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the Sheriff's Department where the accident occurred or the police department must be notified immediately. This duty to report accidents includes accidents for collisions with other boats or objects, capsizing, personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond immediate first aid, death and disappearance of any person from on board under circumstances which indicate the possibility of injury or death, and the damage to any vessel or other property in excess of $500.00. (F.S. 327.20)

All vessels of whatever classification shall be considered dangerous instrumentalities in this state, and any operator of a vessel shall exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injury to others. Liability for reckless or careless operation of a vessel shall be confined to the operator in immediate charge of the vessel and not imposed upon the owner of the vessel unless the owner is the operator of the vessel or is present in the vessel when any injury or damage occurs. (F.S. 327.32)

Injuries occurring aboard cruise ships, which are generally not within Florida waters, are usually covered by the terms of your contract with the cruise ship, usually contained in language on the ticket itself, or information included with your ticket when it is purchased. These tickets usually contain the trap that they limit the time for filing suit to one year from the date of injury, a shorter than normal time period for bringing claims.

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