For many people in Florida, summertime and water sports go hand in hand. However, safety authorities say boating is not always taken seriously, and rules are often disregarded. Every year, fatal water sports accidents lead to wrongful death lawsuits.

The Coast Guard auxiliary said some lives have already been lost in boating accidents this year. Officials urge boat owners and operators to attend boating safety courses or refresher classes to learn how to handle specific scenarios, the purpose of buoys and what they mean, and other safety requirements. They also underscore the importance of wearing safety jackets.

Although regulations require only children under the age of 13 years to wear safety jackets, safety officials say all occupants of moving boats should wear such protection. According to a spokesperson of the Coast Guard Auxiliary, almost all boating fatalities involve alcohol — not only operators but also passengers. Examples of such preventable deaths include incidents in which impaired boaters drown after falling overboard. Impaired drivers of boats are not always aware of the areas surrounding their vessels, and crashes can also cause death or injuries to occupants of other boats.

Anyone in Florida who has to deal with the death of a loved one in a boating incident that resulted from another party’s negligence may have questions about his or her legal rights to seek financial relief. An experienced Florida wrongful death attorney can assess the circumstances and explain the plaintiff’s legal options. If grounds exist for a civil lawsuit, the lawyer can provide the necessary guidance in pursuit of recovery of economic and noneconomic damages.