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South Florida Airboat Accident Attorney

Florida is well known for its gorgeous scenery for boaters. Boating, though, can come with severe repercussions for unlucky drivers, passengers and bystanders. The injuries that result from a boating accident can permanently alter your life and leave you facing expensive medical bills.

Attorney Patrick Tighe has handled hundreds of accident cases involving boats of all varieties. At Palm Beach-based law firm X1Law, P.A., he represents the survivors of boating accidents as well as people who lost loved ones in boating accidents. You can rely on him to advocate for you after such incidents.

What Are Some Examples Of Florida Boating Accidents?

Types of boating accidents include those involving:

  • Airboats
  • Speedboats
  • Sailboats
  • Ferries
  • Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Boating while texting
  • Wrongful death

With a broad range of experience, Mr. Tighe knows how to approach your case for the best chance of receiving maximum compensation. In most cases, he uses his considerable negotiation skills to recover a fair settlement. If your injury claim necessitates a trial, he draws from his litigation background to represent you tenaciously in court.

What Victims Should Know About Airboat Accidents

Airboats have become a popular method of travel in South Florida, particularly in the Everglades. Accidents involving commercial airboats are much more complex than those involving private boats. Your claim may have issues of third-party liability from the boating company, the boat manufacturer or the parts manufacturer. Whether you were injured on a private or a commercial airboat, you should consult an attorney immediately to ensure that you can recover compensation before the state’s four-year statute of limitations is up.

Frequently Asked Questions About Florida Airboats

After recent deaths involving commercially operated airboats, the Florida legislature passed new legislation designed to begin regulating Florida airboats. Some of the most frequently asked questions are answered below. However, each accident and situation is unique. If you or someone you love has been injured or hurt in an airboat accident, the legal team at X1Law, P.A. can help answer your specific questions.

Are Florida airboats safe?

According to a study conducted by the Miami New Times in 2017, over a three-year period, there were at least 75 airboat accidents in Florida. Over 100 passengers in those accidents sustained serious injuries, including cracked skulls, dismemberment and ruptured spleens. Seven passengers in those accidents lost their lives.

What are the most common types of airboat accidents?

Most of the accidents in the study mentioned above involved collisions with mangrove islands, tree branches or roots, or other airboats. An airboat collision can occur due to:

  • Excessive speed
  • Distracted driving due to occupants
  • Failure to recognize hazards
  • Misjudgment of the distance and speed required to navigate around hazards

Airboats can also have grounding accidents, which occur when an airboat transitions from water to land. Most grounding accidents are a result of operator inexperience.

Do commercial airboats need a special license?

Airboat operators in Florida must complete first aid and CPR courses. They must also complete a Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)-approved safety training course. Anyone operating an airboat for commercial purposes (for example, carrying passengers for hire on an airboat tour) must be able to provide the following items if they’re asked for them:

  • A valid photo ID
  • A U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) captain’s license or proof of completion of a boater safety class
  • Proof of an approved airboat operator course
  • Proof of successful completion of first aid and CPR courses

The courses stress and reiterate that the safety of future passengers is always – and at all times – the airboat operator’s responsibility.

What is the minimum age to operate an airboat in Florida?

In Florida, the minimum age to operate a personal watercraft (a boat powered by a 10-horsepower motor or greater) is 14. No one under 18 years old may rent a personal watercraft, but there is no additional age restriction for operating a commercial airboat.

How do I know if an airboat company is safe or in compliance with safety laws?

While the FWC is in charge of compliance, it is not required to keep track of noncompliance violations. However, it does maintain a list of companies approved to offer airboat courses to other operators.

Blogs related to boating accidents:

An Airboat Tour Could Lead to a Horrifying Accident

Devastating Consequences of Airboat Collisions

After A Boat Injury, Call X1Law For A Free Consultation

As soon as you can, reach out to X1Law for help with your injury claim. Mr. Tighe has what it takes to make sure the insurance company handles your case fairly. Call 561-363-3947 or send the firm an email to request a free, confidential initial consultation.