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RD- an actual child support client
"My case was handled quickly and with ease."
01/10/2014
“Prospective clients may not obtain the same or similar results.”
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Duties Owed by Vessel Operators and Owners

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Personal Injury

Both the owner and operator of a vessel owe have an obligation to adhere to the standard of care required by law given the circumstances. Because Florida classifies boats as dangerous instrumentalities, a heightened standard of care applies to the operation of vessels. When a standard of care, or duty owed to another, is breached, the person(s) responsible for the accident can be held liable for injury or loss, as a result of their negligent, reckless, or careless action or inaction. The Boating Accident Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A. represent the victims of vessel collisions, and offer the following to promote safety and awareness of the duties owed by vessel operators and owners.

Pursuant to Florida Statutes, the operator of a vessel owes the following duties:

Duty to Exercise Highest Degree of Care. It is important to distinguish typical standards of reasonableness, with the standard of care owed by vessel operators. Vessels are dangerous instrumentalities, and therefore operators are held to standards above and beyond mere reasonableness.

Duty to Render Assistance. The operator of a vessel involved in a collision has a duty, whether at-fault or not, to render assistance to other persons in order to save them from or minimize any danger caused by the collision.

Duty to Provide Contact Information. When a boat accident occurs, the operator must provide, in written format, their name, address, and identification of the vessel, to any person injured, as well as the owner.

Duty to Report. In accidents involving a death, disappearance, or injury requiring medical treatment, or when the aggregate damage of vessel exceeds $2000, the operator shall give notice of the accident as soon as possible, to the appropriate authorities.

Duty to Remain at Accident Scene. It is unlawful for the operator of a vessel involved in an accident to leave the scene of the accident without (1) giving all possible aid to person involved; (2) making reasonable efforts locate the owner or persons affected; (3) notifying appropriate authorities.

In addition, the owner of a vessel, particularly when the owner is present on the vessel, can be held liable for damages caused in a boating accident, for allowing another person to operate the vessel while having knowledge of their inability to do so, whether by physical or mental disability, impairment, or otherwise.

Pursuant to Florida Statutes, the owner of a vessel owes the following duties:

Duty to Prevent Others from Reckless or Careless Operation. In general, liability is imposed upon the operator of a vessel who causes an accident due to recklessness or carelessness. However, if the owner of the vessel is present at the time of the accident, the owner can be held liable as well.

Duty to Refrain from Entrusting Vessel to Incapacitated Persons. The owner of a vessel must not authorize, or knowingly permit a person to operate their vessel who is mentally disabled, physically disabled, or otherwise incapable of operating the vessel under the circumstances.

As a general rule, the person operating, or otherwise having possession and control of the boat, is the person that is ultimately held civilly liable for damages caused as a result of their negligent, reckless, or careless actions. However, the owner of a vessel cannot escape liability in circumstances where the owner has also acted in a negligent manner.

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If you or a loved one were involved in a boating accident, it is important to secure representation from an attorney that is proficient in Florida’s Vessel Safety Law. Further,  an experienced boating collision attorney evaluate the incident to determine which parties are most appropriate to direct claim towards. Protect your legal rights to financial compensation. Contact the Gainesville Injury Attorneys of the Law Office of Alba & Yochim P.A., and let our legal team assist you in obtaining the compensation deserved.