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Articles Tagged with “Florida Boat Accident”

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Background

In a very tragic case, the Florida maritime lawyers of Brais Law Firm represent a woman who sustained life altering brain and physical injuries from a personal watercraft accident which occurred in the Florida Keys. Our client and boyfriend, who were guests at Hawk’s Cay Resort, decided to participate in a sightseeing personal watercraft tour guided by Sundance Watersports who maintains a watersports concession on Hawk’s Cay property. The couple paid for the tour and were given a Release and Waver to sign. The tour guide walked the couple down to an equipment shed and floating dock where the life jackets and personal watercrafts were stored. At the equipment shed, the tour guide gave the couple a Renter Orientation Checklist to initial and sign. It was revealed in deposition testimony that the tour guide did not go over the information contained in the checklist. Furthermore, it was testified the tour guide did nothing more than to provide instruction on how to turn on and off the personal watercraft. In fact, from the metadata of the photographs taken, it was shown that one minute and forty seconds at most was spent on instruction.
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Often times after a hurricane or strong ‘Noreaster, many boaters strike unmarked vessels wrecked in the storm. Often times, these collisions cause personal injuries to the passengers and guests onboard the moving boat. The question often becomes, who is responsible? There are 3 possible answers.

The Owner of the Wrecked Vessel

shipwreck.jpgThe obvious first answer is the person who owned the wrecked vessel. The Federal Wreck Removal Statute requires an owner to mark the wrecked vessel immediately and maintain the mark until the wreck is removed. This is a non-delegable duty, meaning if the owner hires someone to mark the vessel and they didn’t, the owner is still liable for any injuries resulting from the failure to mark the wreck. The Federal Wreck Removal Statute also requires the owner to immediately begin removal operations. Should the owner fail to commence removal operations, a person injured by the wrecked vessel may bring a claim against the vessel owner for damages. Like the requirement to mark the sunken vessel, the duty to remove it is also non-delegable.

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