Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted During the Coronavirus.

Yacht & Pleasure Boat Guest Injury

Florida’s inland and coastal waterways offer some of the best yacht and pleasure boat opportunities in the world. Having previously represented yacht and pleasure boat owners by the appointment of marine insurance companies for 19 years, the board certified maritime attorneys at the law firm of Brais Law Firm are in a unique position to help guests of yacht and pleasure boat accidents resulting in personal injury or death. The lawyers at the law firm of Brais Law Firm with offices in Miami, Florida, Boston, Massachusetts and Houston, Texas are here to help guests of yacht and pleasure boat collisions.

yacht ride

Good or bad, our waterways are becoming more and more crowded and numerous yacht and pleasure boat accidents occur each year with guests suffering personal injury or even death. This problem is not unique to Florida. Texas, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have similar boating accidents particularly in the busier months of the year.

Yacht and pleasure boating accidents occur largely because people underestimate the dangers of boats as compared to cars. Powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis are the most common watercraft involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can be involved in accidents as well. Accidents can occur in a number of ways. An operator may be:

  • Going too fast,
  • Not paying attention,
  • Causing a large wake,
  • Unfamiliar with the water depths,
  • Not qualified to operate the watercraft,
  • Under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or
  • Unknowing of what to do in a particular situation.

Depending upon the circumstances, one or multiple yacht and pleasure boat owners/operators may be responsible for the resulting injury or death of an onboard guest or occupants of the other vessel. If you or a loved one was injured, or worse, due to the negligent operation of a yacht, pleasure boat or vessel, you may be able to seek recourse against the offending vessel’s owner, operator and the responsible insurance carrier.

The standard of care owed to a guest depends upon where the accident occurred. If the accident occurred on “non-navigable waters” (i.e., lakes, bayous and swamps with no access to the ocean) the owner and operator must, at least under Florida law, “exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injuries to others.”

A different standard is applied to accidents occurring on navigable waters (i.e., the ocean, gulf, bays and rivers). The owner and operator of a vessel on navigable waters owe all guests who come aboard the duty to use reasonable care under the circumstances. This imposes the obligation on the owner and operator to act in the same manner as a reasonably prudent owner and operator under the same conditions.

An owner is also liable for injuries resulting from the negligent entrustment of the vessel. This means that a claim exists against the vessel owner if you or a loved one is hurt due to the operation of a watercraft by a person who should not have been at the wheel. A negligent entrustment situation routinely arises when the vessel is entrusted to:

  • People who do not have enough experience to operate the watercraft;
  • People who are not emotionally mature or responsible enough (such as children or young adults) to operate a watercraft and,
  • People who are drunk or impaired due to drugs.

The duty to entrust a vessel to a capable operator applies no matter if the accident occurred on non-navigable or navigable waters.

If you are injured on a yacht or recreational boat you are entitled to a wide range of damages including payment of medical bills, lost wages, loss of the enjoyment of life as well as pain and suffering. Damages for wrongful deaths arising from the negligent operation or entrustment of the watercraft depend upon where the death occurred (state, federal or international waters). For a discussion on wrongful death claims and associated damages please click Wrongful Death Claims.

If you were injured on non-navigable waters, state law governs the deadline for which you must bring your lawsuit. If, however, the accident occurred on “navigable waters”, federal law requires suit to be brought within three (3) years.

The attorneys at 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. To reach our lawyers you may click email the firm, call 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.

Maritime & Boating Accident Lawyer News - Florida Boat Injury Lawsuits
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.