Although you could take a tour of the Florida Everglades in any kind of boat, airboats are probably the vessels people most strongly associate with this unique Florida ecosystem. There are numerous companies that provide airboat tours of the Everglades, and there are even businesses that make their money by renting these exciting and unusual vessels to locals and tourists seeking and adventure.
Unfortunately, airboats have a long association with catastrophic collisions and failures that can prove devastating for the people on board.
Why airboats are dangerous
There are multiple factors that contribute to the risk caused by airboats. One of the most obvious is how speedy and nimble these boats can be. Especially if the operator doesn’t have much practice or is under the influence of drugs or alcohol, rapid maneuvers, such as crossing their own wake, could lead to the vehicle unexpectedly capsizing. Airboats could also collide if there are multiple vessels out at the same time.
There are also serious risks associated with poor maintenance of these vessels or the improper use of personal flotation devices. Additionally, boating in areas known to have large alligator populations could lead to tragic outcomes if people fall out of a vessel or an airboat capsizes.
What protects you after an airboat incident?
As someone who has paid for a tour or a vessel rental, you should be able to trust that the vessel itself is safe and that there are adequate personal flotation devices aboard for your party. If there is a professional operating the vessel, they should have appropriate training. If you rent the vessel, the company should provide you with any necessary information about how to operate it safely.
When businesses fail to properly train their staff, maintain their fleets or educate customers, they may have some liability for any accidents that occur. Typically, the business will have liability insurance that will cover some of your costs. If you got struck or hurt by someone operating an airboat, you may be able to bring a personal injury lawsuit against them or the business that put the boat out on the water.
Looking into your various options for compensation after an airboat accident will help you cover medical care costs and other expenses that these catastrophic accidents can cause.