Every year, thousands of boat enthusiasts enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer:

With easy, year-round access to the ocean, the Gulf, the Intracoastal Waterway and dozens of lakes, rivers and bays, Florida can be a boater’s paradise. Every year, thousands of boat enthusiasts enjoy all the Sunshine State has to offer. Unfortunately, the state’s popularity among boaters has led to a high number of boating accidents – according to data released by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida has led the nation in boating accidents and fatalities for nine of the past ten years.

The Commission recently released its data for 2011, reporting 742 boating accidents and 67 fatalities in Florida that year. That’s an increase over 2010, when the state counted 668 accidents. In 2011, Florida also topped the nation in boating-related accidents and deaths. Most of these accidents occurred when boats crashed into other vessels or structures, and the leading cause of boating-related fatalities was drowning, according to the Commission’s report. Florida also leads the nation in the number of registered boats – about 1 million, though officials estimate that there are likely another 1 million unregistered boats on the waterways.

Sadly, statistics show that many accidents could be avoided if the boat operator were properly trained. Under Florida Law, boat operators born prior to 1988 are not required to take a boating course or any type of instruction to operate any boat with an engine of 10 hp or more, despite the fact that these courses are readily available from the State Wildlife Commission, the U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Power Squadrons. Still more accidents occur when alcohol consumption is combined with boating.

No matter how a boating accident occurs, the injuries sustained can be serious. Many victims injured in boating accidents have injuries that persist for months, even years, after the initial incident. The costs of extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation, as well as costs associated with loss of work, can be substantial and have a significant impact on the victim’s financial well-being.

If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, an experienced attorney can help determine the amount of damages you’re owed. The attorneys at Baird Law Group have the skills and experience to thoroughly evaluate your boating accident, identify all responsible parties and ensure you receive all the compensation you deserve.

Don’t suffer because of someone else’s negligence. You have rights and our attorneys can protect them. Contact Baird Law Group today at 813-849-2679 or visit our website at www.bairdlawgroup.com to set up your free consultation.

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