Yachting & Boating Accident

Brais, Brais & Rusak’s Florida boat accident attorneys have vast experience representing personal injury victims.  Two of the law firm’s partners are Florida Board Certified Maritime Lawyers.  This specialization allows our lawyers to bring legal expertise to their clients’ boat accident personal injury lawsuits not possessed by land based lawyers.


Florida has more boat accidents each year than any other state.  These boat accidents occur largely because people underestimate the dangers of watercraft as compared to cars or simply do not understand the nautical “rules of the road” and safety laws.  Boating education is crucial to limiting boat accidents. Unfortunately, many states like Florida do not require any yachting or boating instruction or limit mandatory instruction to operators under a certain age or a vessel over a certain length. This places many people behind the wheel of a yacht, boat or helm of personal watercraft without any specialized knowledge of that vessel’s operating characteristics or even what to do when another yacht, boat or personal watercraft is coming at them.


Other safety precautions that can limit boating and yachting injuries, such as, wearing life jackets or installing “kill switches” (a lanyard device that will turn off an engine if an operator is thrown from a helm station) are not always utilized.  The Florida boat accident lawyers at Brais, Brais & Rusak have operated boats, know the navigational rules and safety laws.


Our Florida boat accident lawyers commonly handle personal injuries and deaths involving:

  • Personal Watercrafts (Jet Skis & Wave Runners);
  • Center Consol Runabouts;
  • Cabin Cruisers;
  • Yachts;
  • Tenders;
  • Inflatable & Semi Rigid Inflatable Boats;
  • Sailboats;
  • Go-Fast boats;
  • Airboats, and,
  • Kayaks, Paddleboards & Canoes.

Given the nature of boating and yachting along with the direct and nature perils of the sea, boating injuries can be caused by many different reasons. Many people think that since they were simply on the water, they assumed all risks associated with the activity. This is not true. The most frequent situations of where a boat operator may be negligent and, therefore, responsible for an occupant’s injury or injury to the occupant of another vessel include:

  • Hitting a big wave or wake at an unsafe speed or angle;
  • Ejections from the boat due to improper operation or deciding to navigate in heavy weather;
  • Contact with propellers;
  • Operating at a high speed;
  • Failing to keep a lookout while a guest is skiing or tubing;
  • Not knowing the navigational rules;
  • Collisions with other watercraft;
  • Defective boat design;
  • Defective boat construction or repair;
  • Impacting a fixed object, such as a navigational aid, pier or bridge; and,
  • Overcrowding & Overloading.

Individuals injured due to the negligence of a boat operator may be entitled to compensation in the form of payment of medical bills, lost wages, as well as pain and suffering associated with the accident.

The law governing your claim (and potential recovery) depends primarily on whether you were employed by, or a guest of, the yacht or boat owner. Further, many recreational boating accidents involve ignorance or violation of a navigational regulation, more commonly referred to as “The Rules of the Road”. In many circumstances, such a violation gives an injured party a rebuttable presumption that the violator is liable.

It is important that you contact an experienced and skilled boat accident attorney if you or a loved one were involved in a yachting, boating or personal watercraft accident. Maritime law in very different than land based law, complete with its own filing deadlines and pleading requirements.

The Florida boat accident attorneys at the law firm of Brais, Brais & Rusak have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 1-800-499-0551 from within the U.S., Skype BraisLaw worldwide or click Contact Us to select and complete a form for a free evaluation of your case.


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Maritime Law Blog - Florida Boat Accident Law