There is no shortage of ideal areas for boaters to have fun on Florida waters. Sadly, many personal injury and wrongful death claims involving negligent boat operators are handled by the civil justice system of the state every year. Just like drivers on land, boaters have to comply with rules and regulations, and responsible boaters take necessary precautions to keep themselves and their passengers safe without being a threat to others on the water.

Checking weather forecasts can avoid disaster, and getting to dry land when temperatures drop, rough winds come up and clouds darken may be wise. Any boat operator will likely know the importance of following a pre-departure checklist to avoid breakdowns on the water. Furthermore, it is always a good idea to ensure that someone on land knows where a boater plans to go and how long he or she will be on the water.

Other important factors include making sure all occupants on the boat wear lifejackets, and it would be preferable if they can all swim. Just like when traveling on land, people should avoid speeding and drinking alcohol while operating a boat. Safety authorities suggest the designation of an assistant skipper who can take over if necessary. Taking a boating course is crucial for beginners, and refresher courses might prevent complacency in experienced boaters.

Victims of boating accidents that resulted from the negligence of a boat operator may have grounds to pursue financial relief — even if the injured person was a passenger on the boat of the at-fault boater. This is a complicated field of the law that might be best navigated by an experienced personal injury attorney. A lawyer who is as familiar with Florida boating laws as he or she is with the civil justice system can provide the necessary support and guidance to recover economic and other damages.