Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

A Florida appellate court recently issued an opinion in a lawsuit stemming from head injuries a three-year-old girl suffered after falling through a guard rail on a cruise ship. Evidently, the girl’s mother filed a lawsuit against the cruise line, claiming that it was liable for the negligent creation and maintenance of the guard rail, and its failure to warn of the danger. The trial court found in favor of the defendant, reasoning that there was no evidence that the cruise ship had actual notice of the specific alleged risk-creating conditions.

The plaintiff appealed on several issues, including a claim that there was a genuine issue of material fact regarding whether the defendant should have known that children could climb through the guard rail and fall. The record indicated that there were questions of fact regarding exactly how the girl fell; however, the complaint stated that the guard rail posed a risk of falling to children because children could pass or climb through a gap in the rails and fall to a lower deck. On appeal, the plaintiff argued that the lower court failed to view the evidence in a light most favorable to the plaintiff, which it must do in a summary judgment motion.

Under the law, evidence that a cruise ship owner took corrective action can establish notice of a hazardous condition. Corrective actions include warnings to passengers about a danger that a situation poses. However, there must be a connection between the warning and the condition. In this case, a passenger testified that crew members conducted a safety drill at the beginning of the cruise, where they warned people not to climb up on the rails or sit on them. She also testified that crew members explained that there had been passengers that had fallen off.

If you were injured in a boating accident in Florida, you should speak to a seasoned Miami boating accident attorney who can help you file your claim. Boat accident cases can be incredibly complex because maritime law can be very different than land-based law, complete with its own filing deadline and pleading requirements. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are well-versed in this area of law and can protect your rights every step of the way.

Earlier this month, country star Alan Jackson’s son-in-law died in a boating accident in Florida. Ben Selecman, 28, was an assistant district attorney for the Davison County District’s Office in Nashville. He was married to the country star’s daughter, Mattie. No further details have been released regarding the accident as of yet. Unfortunately, this is just one of many tragic boat accidents that have occurred in Florida recently. In another accident, a dad’s accidental throttle push caused a Lee County teenager to fall overboard, hit his head against the propeller and sustain fatal injuries. The incident took place in the Kemp Channel in the lower Keys. In yet another incident this past month, a Vero Beach man was seriously injured when he dove off a boat and was injured by the vessel’s propeller.

Sadly, Florida has more boat accidents every year than any other state. Many times, these accidents take place because people underestimate the dangers of boating. If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Individuals injured due to the negligence of a boat operator may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, disability and any other losses associated with the accident.

The state of Florida is known for many things, one of the most notable being the oceans and beaches it offers. Boating is a popular activity in the state. And while it can be great fun, boating accidents can lead to devastating, even deadly injuries. If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need to reach out to a seasoned Miami boat accident attorney who can help you pursue the level of compensation you need to move on with your life.

Statistically, Florida ranks No. 1 nationally for the number of boating accidents and fatalities, numbers that have consistently increased since 2000, and this past year was no exception. According to a recent report by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida recorded 766 boating accidents in 2017, a 7.3 percent increase from the prior year. In addition, the 67 boating-related deaths matched the total from 2016. The report notes that people falling overboard has been the most common type of deadly accident for the past 15 years. In addition, more than one-third of the 2017 accidents involved collisions between boats, of which 37 percent were caused by inattentiveness or the operator failing to maintain a proper lookout.

As mentioned above, inattentiveness and operator error can cause or contribute to a boat accident. Other causes of boat accidents may include operator inexperience, operating at an unsafe speed, careless or reckless operation of a boat, or operating the vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In many boat accident cases, the boat operator has not completed a boating safety education course.

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Kayaking can be a great source of fun and entertainment. Whether you do it alone or with a group, it is supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Unfortunately, there are times when a kayaking adventure can turn into a nightmare if something goes wrong. If you or someone close to you has been hurt in a kayaking accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party. These cases are highly fact-intensive, so it is important to seek the help of a skilled Miami attorney who can thoroughly examine what happened in your case.

The Outdoor Foundation estimates there are about 10.3 million Americans who participate in kayaking at least once each year. The majority of these kayakers, approximately 8.1 million, participate in the activity recreationally, while 2.4 million partake in sea/tour kayaking, and 1.9 million are involved in whitewater kayaking.

Kayaking injuries can take place in a number of ways, including a kayak overturning or colliding head-on with another vessel in the water. Other risk factors for kayakers include a lack of familiarity with the water, an inadequate skill level, no spare paddle, poorly maintained equipment, high water, and changing weather conditions.

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White water rafting can be great fun and provide an adrenaline rush. While the activity is undoubtedly fun, it can also be dangerous. If you or someone close to you has been injured in a white water rafting accident, it is important to reach out to a skilled Miami injury attorney who can assess the facts of your case.

American Whitewater reports that on average, there are 6-10 white water rafting deaths for every 2.5 million user days on guided rafting trips. Put another way, there is one death for every 250,000 to 400,000 “person visits” for whitewater rafting. Additionally, about 30 percent of those deaths are a result of heart conditions or heart attacks.

In many cases, you will be barred from taking legal action against the defendant because you will have signed a waiver that prevents liability. Courts will typically enforce these waivers, provided they are valid.

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In Cordani v. NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., William Cordani’s estate brought a wrongful death claim against NCL (Bahamas) Ltd., a cruise company and its medical team. The lawsuit was filed after Cordani died due to sickness while on a cruise ship. Cordani’s estate brought a multiple-count complaint against the cruise company as well as the health care providers who tended to Cordani. As a reply to these claims, NCL filed a motion to dismiss the estate’s general negligence claims, negligent hiring and/or retention claims, and vicarious liability claims grounded on joint venture.

A court may grant a motion to dismiss a claim if there is a “failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.” In other words, to survive a motion to dismiss, a complaint must state enough facts to constitute a claim for which relief would be possible on its face. This happens when a plaintiff pleads facts that permit the court to infer that the defendant is liable for the wrongdoing that is claimed. A motion to dismiss must be construed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.

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In Pettit v. Carnival Corp., the plaintiff was a passenger on a Carnival Breeze ship when she was hurt in a slip and fall accident. The incident took place on September 24, 2013. Before embarking on the ship, the plaintiff completed a standard Guest Ticket Contract Acknowledgment, agreeing to the clause that any future personal injury claims would be filed within one year in the Southern District of Florida. Specifically, the contract stated that any personal injury claim “shall not be maintainable unless filed within one year after the date of injury.”

On September 12, 2014, 12 days prior to the one-year time limit of the statute of limitations, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit in the state court for Miami-Dade County, Florida. Additionally, the plaintiff did not serve the cruise company until November 2014. On December 1, 2014, Carnival filed a motion to dismiss the lawsuit based on the terms of the contact. Approximately two weeks later, the plaintiff filed her claim in federal court in Miami, Florida. Carnival responded by requesting the court grant its motion for summary judgment on the basis of the expired statute of limitations.

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The beautiful Florida weather lends itself to many outdoor activities including many water sports like boating, jet skiing, and tubing. Due to the lakes, rivers and coastline in Florida, people can be seen outside enjoying the open air. Unfortunately, these outdoor activities also mean that boating accidents are quite common. In 2008, Florida ranked #1 among all states for boating accidents according to the Florida Fish Wildlife Conservation Committee. If you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a boating accident, the Law Offices of Robert Dixon can help.

Boating accidents can be just as traumatizing as any other accident. Often, victims are left to deal with devastating, lifelong injuries. In the worst accidents, victims lose their lives. The applicable statute of limitations for boating accidents can be complicated, which is why it is best to consult an experienced attorney who is knowledgeable about the specific laws that apply to these types of accidents.

Boating accidents can occur for a number of reasons, some of which include:

  • Driver inattention
  • Ineffective or poor steering
  • Driver inexperience
  • Excessive speeding
  • Operating the boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Slip and fall accidents

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