Boating Accidents

Boating Accident Lawyers for the South Florida Community


Fort Lauderdale Boating Accident Lawyer


For many Floridians, there’s no better weekend or vacation activity than getting on a boat and enjoying the beautiful coastal weather the Sunshine State has to offer. Nobody should have that experience ruined by a preventable accident, but unfortunately, accidents happen every day. In 2011 alone, Florida saw 742 reported boating accidents and 431 related injuries. We may lead the country for most boats per capita, but we also lead for the most boat-related accidents.


Nobody ever thinks that they’re going to be injured in a boating accident, but if you ever are, you need to be prepared to seek justice against the individuals or organizations who caused your injuries. The legal team at Lawlor, Winston, White & Murphey can help you fight back and get the compensation you need to cover your medical expenses and other costs associated with the accident. Don’t let a bad experience ruin boating for you forever; contact us so you can start getting your life back on track.


Common Types of Boating Accidents


Although we may label some boats with adjectives like “reliable” and “unsinkable,” accidents can occur on or around any type of vessel. Florida waterways are often unpredictable, as are the people at the helm of recreational and commercial boats. Some of the water vessels commonly seen in our state that can be involved in accidents include:


  • Cruise ships
  • Yachts
  • Sailboats
  • Personal watercrafts
  • Kayaks
  • Inflatable boats
  • Fishing vessels
  • Motorboats
  • Tugboats

Common causes of these accidents include:


  • Alcohol use. This is the single biggest cause of boating accidents nationwide. When recreational boaters decide to drink while controlling any kind of water vessel, they increase their odds of getting into a collision with another boat or having an accident after misjudging the weather or other obstacles.
  • Distracted boating. Just as distracted driving is a major problem in Florida and around the country, distracted boating can lead to serious accidents or injuries. If the person driving a boat is not paying attention to what’s going on around them, they may not see other boats, objects, or people in the water until it’s too late.
  • Inexperienced boat operators. Florida is notoriously lax when it comes to regulations about boat driving. Anyone over the age of 14 is allowed to drive a boat, and anyone over the age of 25 doesn’t even have to take a boater education course. That means that even though it’s highly inadvisable, there are people who get behind the wheel of powerful boats and assume they don’t need any experience to control it.
  • Speeding. Sometimes boaters lose control of their vessel because they’re going too fast, or they hit a big wave at high speeds and end up completely flipping the vessel. In some cases they might even end up colliding with another boat or a solid object like a bridge, doing serious damage to both the watercraft and the people aboard. Generally, the faster the boat is going, the more severe the resulting accident.
  • Boating in bad weather. Dark skies and ominous weather should be a good indication that it’s not a good time to go out on the water, but some people don’t take the hint and may even convince passengers with limited experience around boats that it’s perfectly safe.
  • Mechanical defects. Even if a boat driver is experienced and is following all the proper safety precautions in the water, they can’t always predict or prevent a mechanical or design defect in their boat. Whether it’s an engine catching on fire and leaving a cruise ship stranded or a rope breaking while a boat is towing a water skier, an unexpectedly malfunctioning boat can cause extreme distress for those on board and even cause serious injuries.

Why Work with a Lawlor, White & Murphey Boat Accident Attorney?


Not all personal injury law firms are the same, nor will every personal injury law firm have experience with boating accident cases. You don’t want to just walk into a random firm and hire a lawyer who has never handled this type of case before, because it falls under a unique and complex set of regulations called maritime or admirality law.


Maritime law can be so complex that in Florida, attorneys need to be specially board certified to practice it. Fortunately, the attorneys at Lawlor, White & Murphey have more than 40 years of experience with maritime law between them. They can help you make sense of your boating accident, determine who is at fault, and pursue the proper course of action to get you the compensation you need.


Lawlor, White & Murphey is a firm dedicated to pursuing justice for anyone injured through no fault of their own in a Florida boating accident. Whether you were injured on a cruise, on a speedboat that your friend wasn’t experienced enough to handle, or on any other type of boat for any reason, you shouldn’t be the one to pay the price.


Contact Us Today


You can’t afford to wait to contact a lawyer after you’re injured in a boating accident. Under maritime law, the statute of limitations is three years for injuries that occurred on most vessels, but only one year for cruise ship injuries. If you suffer silently for longer than that amount of time and then decide you want to take legal action, there’s not much you can do.


That’s why it’s important that you talk to an attorney at Lawlor, White & Murphey as soon as you can after being in any kind of boating accident. We’ll go over the details of your case with you in your free initial consultation and let you know what steps we would need to take to get you the compensation you deserve.


It’s easy to reach out to us. You can email us at or fill out our convenient online case review form, and one of our attorneys will get back to you promptly. If you want to speak to someone immediately, call us at one of the numbers below.


Toll Free: 1-855-347-5475

South Florida: 954-525-2345