When do you need one? A Florida boating accident lawyer typically handles cases arising from the use or misuse of pleasure boats, as well as the pursuit of water activities such jets skiing, parasailing, water skiing, diving, and fishing. To involve a lawyer at all would mean reporting an accident that included death, disappearance, personal injury, or property damage, any or all of which occurred on the water. Leaving the scene of an accident or driving under the influence of alcohol is as serious on the water as it is on land. Meanwhile, for Florida boating accident lawyers to do their job, they must adhere to admiralty and maritime laws, which are the regulations that govern the sea. From small craft and sail boats to cruise ships and tankers, admiralty law is an important subset of the legal profession, especially in Florida.
For lesser infractions, authorities like the local sheriff, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Coast Guard manage to keep the burgeoning population of recreational water craft under control. As of 2006, over 1 million boats were registered in Florida and an estimated 350,000 unregistered boats were on Floridian waters. Issues that arise for boat usage include improper registration, reckless driving, speeding in no wake areas, disrupting the sea grass, and injuring manatees, which are protected by federal and state law. In fact, Florida laws are very protective about its natural resources and native wildlife. Yet the ever-increasing boat population requires constant vigilance.
When boating accident charges are serious and a lawyer is needed, maritime law is not for the amateur or general legal practitioner. Some rules of the water vary from those on land. For example, seamen who work on boats are not covered by Workman’s Comp in the event of an accident. Yet a Florida boating accident lawyer would know that traditionally, the same seaman has other protective statutes in place that would protect him.
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