Boating Accidents

Each year, the number of registered vessels in Florida flirts with 1 million. With this large a number, accidents occur frequently throughout the entire State, in particular in South Florida.

Boating is a very safe activity unless the operator is intoxicated, inexperienced, or does not pay attention to his surroundings.

In South Florida especially, many of the people who rent or own a vessel have improper training, have insufficient knowledge of the seas, or are unprepared to take important time-sensitive decisions. All of which may result in severe injuries to multiple passengers, other boaters, or swimmers in the water.

Each holiday weekend in South Florida, Leesfield Scolaro publishes a safety message on the digital board outside our main Miami Offices on South Dixie Highway. The message simply reads “Safe Boating is Fun!” The concern over boat safety has grown in recent years over the increasing number of fatal boating accidents in the region.

When operating a recreational vessel, steps can be taken to prevent a boating accident or to minimize the damage if an accident occurs. Always wear life jackets and dress for possible immersion; Be aware that cold weather is more dangerous: there are fewer boaters and patrols to rescue those in distress, and the water is much colder; Do not drink alcohol while on the water; When in larger bodies of water, take advantage of available distress-alerting and position-indicating technologies.

In a boating accident which resulted in the amputation of minor plaintiff's leg, our firm obtained a substantial settlement for the negligent supervision of boating activities. In a wrongful death case, this firm obtained a large award for burns resulting from the explosion of ammonium nitrate, fertilizer and gasoline aboard the defendant's vessel. While the cargo was being off-loaded, an on-board spark from the portable gas pump ignited the cargo resulting in severe burns to the plaintiffs. Discovery established the vessel was unseaworthy and the crew inadequately trained.

Recently, our firm settled a boating accident case which resulted in the untimely death of a 20 year old passenger for $1,325,000. Leesfield Scolaro has also been successful against cruise line companies. For a complete list of the firm's representative results, go to our Verdicts and Settlements section.