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Injuries Caused by a Drunk Boat Operator


Intoxicated driving is reckless, selfish, and immoral. This is just as true for drivers of cars as it is for motorized boats. Unfortunately, many water vessel operators believe that they can either get away with it because of the lack of law enforcement out on the water, or that their behavior just is not as risky and dangerous as it truly is. While there may be more space per water vessel out in the ocean or on a lake than there is per motor vehicle on land, the hazards are equal, if not more, for intoxicated boat operation, and the behaviors of an intoxicated boat operator can lead to the serious injury or death of their passengers or other waterway users. If you were injured in a boating accident that was caused by an intoxicated operator, you deserve fair compensation that only an attorney can help you secure.

Why Alcohol Never Mixes With Boat Operation

Alcohol is the leading contributor in fatal boating accidents, and is a leading factor in 19 percent of boating deaths, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. In 2018, alcohol use lead to the deaths of 101 victims. Obviously, an intoxicated person stands a much worse chance at surviving in the water than an intoxicated person. As such, drowning is a common cause of death for intoxicated boating victims. But it does not stop there. An intoxicated operator behind the wheel of a water vessel can lead to the following dangerous circumstances:

  • Collisions with other vessels;
  • Collisions with fixed objects, such as docks, piers, bridges, rocks, and buoys;
  • Hitting swimmers, divers, kayakers, stand up paddleboarders, and other small, non-motorized vessels;
  • Making erratic maneuvers that cause other water vessel users to collide or capsize; and
  • Making erratic maneuvers that lead to injuries within the water vessel, throwing passengers overboard, or capsizing.

How Serious Are Your Injuries?

Were you thrown off your feet when the operator suddenly swerved out of control? Did a drunk ski-doo operator run into your kayak? Did an intoxicated operator slam into your boat at the dock? In all three of these scenarios, the intoxicated party would surely be held responsible in a claim, but in order to file a lawsuit you must have suffered substantial injuries. Property damage alone is not enough to file a personal injury claim against a negligent operator. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, lacerations, contusions, and broken bones made up the majority of boating accident injuries. Below are a few examples of other types of serious injuries:

  • Torn ligaments;
  • Traumatic brain injury;
  • Back injuries;
  • Burns;
  • Facial injuries;
  • Serious sprains;
  • Amputations;
  • Whiplash;
  • Drowning or near-drowning; and
  • More.

Call an Ocala Personal Injury Attorney Today

Whether you were injured as a passenger of a drunk operator, or the intoxicated party was on a different watercraft, you have the right to sue for compensation. To learn more about your options, call the Ocala personal injury attorneys at the Glover Law Firm today at 352-484-0775 to schedule a free consultation.


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