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Boat Run-Over / Prop Strike Accidents

Prop StrikeProbably one of the most traumatic events a person could endure is being run over by a boat or stricken by its prop. Florida has more registered boats than any other state and the year round warm weather brings many divers and snorkelers to the water. A high amount of boat traffic combined with a high number of people in the water sometimes leads to accidents.

Our Board Certified Admiralty & Maritime attorneys have handled complex boat run-over and prop strike cases for decades. Inattentive operators of high speed center console or go-fast boats with multiple outboard or inboard engines, as well as, yachts can cause devastating injuries, including horrific scars, brain injury, amputation and even death. Unlike accidents that occur on land, boat run-over and prop strike accidents are governed by General Maritime Law. The Florida Bar, in recognition of the highly specialized and esoteric nature of Maritime Law, began allowing a select group of qualified attorneys to sit for an exam to become Board Certified in the field of Maritime Law. Keith Brais passed this exam in 1996 (the first year it was offered) and Richard Rusak in 2010.

Having investigated many boat run-over and prop strike cases, it is often the case the accident may have been prevented if the boat operators had followed the Federal and Florida navigation rules. Boat run-over and prop strike accidents are commonly caused by the boat operator’s:

  • Failure to maintain a proper lookout - inattentiveness
  • Failure to operate at a safe speed – careless/reckless operation
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Failure to keep 100 feet from the divers-down flag or buoy in rivers, inlets and channels
  • Failure to keep 300 feet from the divers-down flag on all other waters
  • Failure to make full use of modern marine electronics and navigational avoidance systems

Evidence preservation and collection is of paramount importance when investigating a marine casualty. Depending upon the navigable waters where an incident occurs, several State and Federal investigative agencies may be involved, including The Florida Wildlife Commission (“FWC”), United States Coast Guard (“USCG”) and local marine law enforcement as well as rescue and EMS personnel. Generally both vessels are impounded, including all navigational equipment which will have GPS data that must be downloaded and analyzed to determine, amongst other things, a number of potential statutory violations.

Victims are often entitled to compensation in the form of payment for medical bills, assistive living devices, pain and suffering, lost wages and further earning potential. Families of loved ones who died in a boat run-over / prop strike accidents in state waters, may be entitled to mental pain and anguish, loss of support and services, loss of companionship, instruction and guidance and loss of the estate’s net accumulations.

Contact the Firm for a Free Evaluation

The Florida tug & barge accident attorneys of the law firm of Brais Law Firm have the experience to protect your rights, the compassion to serve your needs, and the skill to obtain the compensation you deserve. Our firm’s primary office is located in Miami, FL, although we routinely handle claims throughout the state of Florida and from satellite office located in Massachusetts on an appointment basis. To reach our lawyers call 305-416-2901 from within Florida, call 800-499-0551 from within the U.S., or click Contact Us to complete a form for a free evaluation of your case and to learn how the “AV” Preeminent, Multi-Million Dollar Advocates and Board Certified Maritime Attorneys with Brais Law Firm might be able to help you.

Client Reviews
After my accident I contacted them right away. I was able to see them the same day and was kept in contact throughout the process. Everyone in the office was very accommodating, polite and professional. I highly recommend Brais Law and think very highly of their lead attorneys. They helped me WIN my case, and I am forever grateful. They went above and beyond to assist me. Thank you all so very much. H.S.
The entire law firm of Brais Law were extremely helpful in handling my snorkeling accident. The firm takes customer service to a new level, not only being readily available, but courteous, respectful, sympathetic, and empathetic. The firm, especially Keith and Karla, were always quick to return calls, offer updates, and provide guidance and information. There is no comparison when it comes to firms. If you need legal advice or representation, especially concerning maritime events, contact Keith and his crew first and save yourself a lot of time and heartache! J.C.
I was looking to refer a client injured on a cruise ship and had the pleasure of speaking to Keith. Keith was extremely helpful and he took time out of his day to provide some guidance. If you're looking for a Admiralty & Maritime /Personal Injury Lawyer in Florida, I would highly recommend Brais Law Firm! T.C.