sailboat with passengers sinking in lake

The weather is beautiful, summer is almost here, and it’s boating season in Florida! Because people travel by water as much as they travel on our local highways in Tampa Bay, boating accidents happen often in our area and Hillsborough County sees a high number of injuries from these accidents each year.

Do you know what to do if you’re in a boating accident?

Whether you’re driving, or you’re a passenger, you need to know how to respond in the moments following a collision on the water. Firstly, you need to understand what might lead to a boating accident in the first place, and avoid making those mistakes.

Common factors that cause boating accidents include:

  • New Drivers. A driver with very little experience in operating a water vessel is more likely to get into an accident. Even if you’ve received your boating license, there is still a lot to learn about safely operating a boat. What you don’t know can cause accidents.
  • Distracted Drivers. Operating a boat is serious business. Don’t let passengers, other boats, sights, sounds on the water, etc. distract you when you are behind the wheel. Keep distractions like music to a minimum and require the same of passengers on your vessel. Never text and drive.
  • Irresponsible Drivers. Speeding is a leading cause of boat accidents in Florida. Just like our highways, Florida waterways have speed limits. Follow them.
  • Intoxicated Drivers. Substances such as alcohol or drugs leave you impaired at some level, and there is no safe level of intoxication when operating a boat.
  • Unprepared Drivers. Stock your boat with life jackets for each passenger, a well-rounded first aid kit, an emergency phone, and signal flares if you’ll be on the boat at night. Be ready for anything.

Now you know how to avoid an accident while out on the boat.

What should you do if you’re actually involved in an accident on the water?

Stay calm and remember to:

  • Stop the boat immediately.
  • Evaluate yourself and other passengers for injuries. Is anyone missing?
  • If needed, call for emergency assistance (serious injuries, missing passengers, etc.)
  • Render any simple first aid for cuts, abrasions, etc. if applicable.
  • Call law enforcement for next steps if another vessel was involved.

If you were injured while on someone else’s boat, take photos of the accident, photos of your injuries, and then call Brooks Law Group when you get back to land. Injuries from boating accidents cause long-term damage in many cases, and we’re here to fight for the compensation you need to heal and the justice you deserve. We are Tampa’s top boat accident attorneys. Schedule your FREE consultation with our team of qualified lawyers and experience a people-first practice that cares about you.

When accidents happen on the water, Look to Brooks.

Steve was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As was the practice for new doctors his father worked day and night during his medical residency at Charity Hospital there. Steve comes from a long line of doctors. His father, his grandfather, his great grandfather, even two uncles were all specialists and/or surgeons in their chosen medical specialties, including internal medicine specialist, obstetrics / gynecology, neurosurgery and general practice / surgery. His great-great grandfather was the Surgeon General of Ohio during the Civil War.