Tampa Watercraft & Boating Accident Lawyers

Florida is surrounded by the Gulf and Atlantic coastlines, home to the Everglades and the Keys, and where people constantly use the state's waterways for fishing and boating.

As the number of people on the water increases, so do the accidents.

As a result, our Tampa personal injury attorneys have experience in achieving solid results with boating accident cases that involve personal injury or property damage.

If you or a loved one has been injured in an boating accident due to the negligence of somebody else, do not try to handle a claim on your own or risk using an inexperienced lawyer.

Not all personal injury attorneys have our commitment to achieving full justice for their clients, nor do they have our trial experience and proven skills.

If you were injured in a boating accident, our lawyers can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Our attorneys have a combined legal experience of over 40 years in handling all types of personal injury cases, and a large portion of our work involves boating accidents. Propeller accidents, boats capsizing and colliding with other objects, people and vessels are the most common types of cases we've seen but we've handled them all.

We put not one, but multiple lawyers on your case in order to give it the extra attention it deserves. Not only that, but we're also fewer than 10% of Florida attorneys who are also authorized to practice in federal courts. Let us put our experiences and resources to work for you today, and you can expect to get the results you deserve.

Our lawyers are very experienced and fully prepared to litigate aggressively on your behalf. There are no up front fees or costs unless we win and our consultations are always free. And we make it very easy to reach us - by phone, email, our quick contact form, and even live chat right here on the website. And if you're still unsure, have a look at some of the reviews we receive.

Let's take a look at some statistics involving boating accidents in Florida:

no boatingFlorida leads the nation in total registered recreational vessels and also has the highest rate of recreational boating accidents. According to reports filed by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2013, there were over 870,000 registered recreational vessels. That number increased to with 915,713 in 2015.

2015 also an increase in reportable boating accidents with 737 total incidents. 52 of these accidents involved death, while 438 of the incidents involved some type of injury.

Property damage from boating accidents in Florida also increased to over $13.5 million dollars, up nearly 70% from the 2012 totals that reached $8 million.


The primary type of boating accidents in Florida for 2015 were as follows:

  • 191 collisions occurred with another vessel (up from 187 in 2013 and 160 in 2012)
  • 158 collisions occurred with a fixed object (up from 142 in 2013 and 148 in 2012)
  • 97 cases of a boat becoming flooded or swamped (up from 85 in 2013, down from 106 in 2012)
  • 52 incidents where a passenger went overboard (up from 43 in 2013 and 48 in 2012)
  • 13 accidents occurred due to the wake of another boat (down from 37 in 2013 and 23 in 2012)
  • 40 accidents involving a boat getting grounded (up from 36 in 2013 and 34 in 2012)
  • 24 accidents occurred from boats capsizing (down from 26 in 2013 and equal to the 24 in 2012)
  • 27 accidents involving a slip or fall on a boat (up from 23 in 2013, down from 34 in 2012)
  • 24 accidents occurred as a result of boats striking objects underwater (up from 21 in 2013 and 22 in 2012)

Other types of boating accidents in Florida for 2015 included explosions with fuel (30, up from 25 in 2013 and 15 in 2012), non-fuel explosions (16, down from 20 in 2013, equal to the 16 in 2012), striking an object or a person (4, down from 13 in 2013 and 9 in 2012), skier mishaps and falls (3, down from 12 in 2013 and 8 in 2012), getting struck by a skeg or prop (10, down from 14 in 2013, up from 8 in 2012), skier hit by object (5, up from 2 in 2013 and 3 in 2012), and sinking (1, down from 3 in 2013, equal to the 1 in 2012).

Many of these accidents also included a secondary type of accident that occurred simultaneously or as a result of the initial accident.

Common types of secondary boating accidents as a result of a primary boat accident in Florida for 2015:

  • 108 falls overboard (up from 100 in 2013 and 69 in 2012)
  • 46 falls inside the boat (down from 64 in 2013 and up from 42 in 2012)
  • 62 incidents of capsizing (up from 60 in 2013, down from 90 in 2012)
  • 24 boats sunk (down from 35 in 2013, up from 16 in 2012)
  • 29 boats collided with a fixed object (down from 30 in 2013, up from 22 in 2012)
  • 49 people struck by another boat (up from 28 in 2013 and 35 in 2012)
  • 22 boats flooded or got swamped (down from 24 in 2013 and 15 in 2012)
  • 7 people were struck by a skeg or prop (down from 12 in 2013 and 16 in 2012)
  • 17 boats were grounded (up from 9 in 2013 and 16 in 2012)

Of course, collisions with other vessels (15, up from 9 in 2013 and 8 in 2012), fire explosions involving fuel (6, up from 4 in 2013 and 2012), issues in starting the engine (1, same as 2012 & 2013) also occurred in secondary accidents for the year 2015 in Florida.

The most common type of boat involved in the majority of accidents were open motorboats or cabin motorboats with propellers, which account for approximately 65% of accidents. Personal watercraft also accounted for about 15% of boating accidents.

How does negligence come in to play with boating accidents?

If we take a look at the statistics even further, we can determine that the primary causes for boating accidents that were discovered by the proper reviewing authorities were for the most part all due to the negligence of another person.

Different types of negligence that results in boating accidents:

  • no boatingNot maintaining proper look-out
  • Being careless or inattentive
  • Operator inexperience
  • Inattention
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol and drug use
  • Improper anchoring
  • Operating in overly congested waters
  • Poor behavior by occupants and skiers
  • Violations of navigation rules
  • Overloading
  • Lack of proper lights

Incidentally, it should be noted that out of all boating accidents in Florida for 2015, 57% of those were caused by experienced operators who all had over 100 hours of experience. 90% were male, and the 51+ years or older range accounted for the highest totals at 36%.

Primary causes of death were drowning (64%) and trauma (20%).

Tampa Lawyer Spotlight - Frank G. Fernandez:

Frank Fernandez, Tampa AttorneyFrank Fernandez is known for his dedication to his clients and their causes that has earned him a reputation of meeting or exceeding their expectations in many different types of personal injury cases over the years.

Mr. Fernandez has appeared on behalf of his clients in Federal and State courts throughout the State of Florida. He is proud to have developed his practice primarily through the referrals of former clients and professional colleagues.

Contact Tampa Attorney Frank Fernandez at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation.


How can I expect the claims for my personal injury due to a boating accident to be handled?

life preserverOur lawyers are ready to work extremely hard on your behalf and have no issue devoting a great deal of effort and resources on your behalf because we accept only serious, legitimate cases. Our clients find great peace of mind in our experience and commitment to go far as necessary to make a substantial and meaningful difference in the lives of injured citizens.

After negligence is proved in my injury claim, what kind of damages can I expect?

Here in Florida, and particularly in the cases our law firm has handled over the years here in Hillsborough County, most boating accidents which result in a personal injury have resulted in our clients receiving several different types of recoverable damages, including the following:

  • Past and future physical pain and/or mental anguish and suffering compensation
  • Past and future disfigurement compensation
  • Past and future physical impairment compensation
  • Recovery for lost wages, or loss of future earning capacity
  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Punitive damages (in some cases)

While the above list is a general idea of what you can expect when settlement is reached, each case is very unique and results may vary. Our experience and dedication to your case will ensure we work aggressively on your behalf to get you the very best possible outcome for your situation.

Resources and Information on Personal Injury and our Personal Injury Attorneys:


Common Types of Personal Injury Cases and what to expect:


Understanding the Florida Statutes and how they apply in Personal Injury situations:


Call us today at 813-489-3222 for a FREE consultation and case evaluation.

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