Date 11.17.2023

Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida

Posted By: Coker Law

What to Do If You Were Injured in a Boat Crash

Well known for its beautiful lakes, ocean, and waterways, Florida is often referred to as “the boating capital of the world.” While the Sunshine State is a world-renowned boating destination, watercraft accidents are sadly much too common. Here are the most common causes and what you can do if you are injured in a boating accident.

If you sustained boating accident injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more. The Jacksonville boating accident lawyers at Coker Law can explain your legal rights and determine whether you have a valid claim for damages. Contact our legal team online or call (904) 356-6071 to schedule your free consultation.

The Most Common Causes of Boating Crashes

Operator Inexperience

Inexperienced boaters often fail to navigate waterways properly, respond to changing conditions, or follow safety guidelines.

Operator Distraction

When operators use their cell phones, eat or drink, or talk to others while at the helm, their attention is taken away from piloting their boat, which can lead to a serious accident.


Excessive speed can lessen the operator’s reaction time, making it more difficult to avoid collisions with swimmers, other boats, submerged objects, or the shoreline.

Drug or Alcohol Impairment

Alcohol and drugs can significantly impair a person’s ability to pilot their boat safely, significantly increasing the risk of a boating accident.

Equipment Failure

The failure of boating equipment, such as engines, steering systems, or navigation lighting, often leads to maritime accidents.

Reckless Operation

Boating accidents are often caused by reckless behavior, such as aggressive driving, wake jumping, and disregarding navigation rules.

No Navigation Lights

Failure to display proper navigation lights in foggy conditions, at nighttime, or at other times when there is reduced visibility can lead to a crash.

Submerged Objects

Colliding with submerged objects, such as swimmers, trees, rocks, docks, or buoys, can result from poor navigation, lack of awareness, or equipment failure.

Failure to Follow Boating Rules

Maritime accidents can occur when a helmsman does not adhere to the established rules of navigation, such as speed limits and right-of-way rules.

Not Wearing or Providing a Life Jacket

Failing to wear or provide a life jacket can lead to severe injuries or even death in the event of a boating accident.

Poor Maintenance

Failing to maintain a boat properly, such as not performing regular boating system checks, can lead to unexpected failures while on the water.


Too much weight can affect a boat’s stability and buoyancy. Boats are at risk of capsizing or sinking when the vessel’s recommended capacity is exceeded. 

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Florida Boat Accident

If you are involved in a boating accident, there are some steps you can take to ensure your safety and protect your right to compensation. 

  • Ensure You and Others Are Safe - If you can, get yourself and others to safety and out of the path of other boats or watercraft.
  • Call 911 - Call the police to report the accident and ask for emergency personnel if anyone is injured.
  • Exchange Information - Get the names, contact information, boat registration numbers, and insurance information of all parties involved. Also, be sure to note the boat's make and model.
  • Look for Eyewitnesses - If anyone witnessed the accident, get their name, contact information, and a brief statement of what they saw.
  • Document the Accident Scene - Take photos and video of the accident scene and any damage to the boats or other watercraft involved.
  • File a Report - Fill out a Florida boating accident report and submit it to the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission.
  • Seek Medical Treatment - Shock and adrenaline can mask your injuries, so it is crucial to be seen by a doctor to ensure your injuries are promptly identified and treated.
  • Speak with an Attorney - You may be entitled to compensation after a boat crash. To determine whether you have a valid damages claim, consult an experienced Florida boat accident attorney.

Contact Coker Law Today to Learn More

People from around the world flock to Florida’s beautiful waters to bask in the sun, swim in the warm water, fish, and participate in their favorite water sports. But a day out on the water can quickly turn tragic. Boating accidents can lead to serious, even fatal, injuries, so it is essential to be aware of what causes boat crashes and take steps to ensure your safety and the safety of others.
You must speak to an attorney immediately if you were injured in a boat accident. Boating injury cases can be complex due to the legal jurisdiction at the time of the crash. At Coker Law, our legal team understands the complexities of maritime law, which can prove essential in the success of your accident injury case. For more information or to speak with an experienced boating accident lawyer in Jacksonville, contact us online or call (904) 356-6071.

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If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, let us help. Contact us by phone or online form to discuss your options or work with our team of trial attorneys. There are no fees unless we win your case.

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