Close Menu
Florida Boat Accident Lawyer / Blog / Boat Crash / CAN I SUE FREEDOM BOAT CLUB FOR INJURIES?



Anybody can sue anyone for anything if they have right amount of money to file a lawsuit and have a road map to the courthouse. (Ancient legal proverb.)  The answer is YES you can sue Freedom Boat Club if you have been hurt because of an act of negligence—which is generally defined as doing something a reasonable prudent person would not do. Some cases against boat membership clubs like Freedom Boat Club are not always obvious; such as, when a boat club’s member-operator is the one who made the mistake that caused an injury accident in a boat club or boat rental vessel. That same principle holds true for boat rental companies as well. Most times suit will involve the boat rental company and the boat driver. A typical injury scenario might involve the permitted boat club operator striking another vessel, striking a sandbar, or a fixed object like a dock or channel marker, or even striking a swimmer. It is common in such instances that both the operator of the vessel and the vessel owner are sued for negligence in those cases. But the attorney–the attorney you choose–needs to know how and where to pursue your case for you. Here is a hint: careful which attorney you choose. The overwhelming majority of boating accident cases in Florida will be governed by maritime law, which is not typically handled by car accident and dogbite attorneys. More about that below.

Recognize that boat clubs and boat rental outlets often place operators in their boats who have very little, if any, boating experience at all. In concept that does not sound like a big deal, but when the novice operator has to go out into a channel amongst numerous other vessels, endure boat wakes from several boats at a time, in close proximity, a novice operator can make a mistake which leaves you or a family member with a severe injury.

For persons born before January 1, 1988 Florida law does not require the boat operator to have any training at all, nor take a test to prove the ability to drive a vessel, nor even take an eye examination.  All of these precursors are required to obtain a driver’s license in Florida, but not for a boater’s license. Flatly there is no boater’s license for a recreational boater in Florida. Also consider this: automobiles often travel on two-lane roads in opposite directions and therefore both auto operators must have the ability to keep control of their vehicle in order to prevent a crash of those two vehicles. When rental boats and boat-club boats run in a channel the same dynamic is at work. The problem is that channels are not marked with any lane lines like those on a public road. A channel on a sunny busy weekend day may have 4 vessels in various stages of passing each other all in close proximity to each other.  That means the new and inexperienced boat rental driver or boat-club novice will face conditions they have never encountered driving a vehicle.

Some boat-club vessels and boat rental vessels are fast. Not all boat rental vessels are pontoon vessels with small motors that struggle to go 0-15 mph. Some boat club vessels are capable of exceeding 50 mph, and this is a significant speed for someone with no or little boating experience. When a boat club operator causes a boating injury accident it can be due to the negligence of the boat club who places the new operator in their vessel with not enough experience to drive the boat safely. Therefore, if the negligence is upon Freedom Boat Club or Another Day In Paradise Boat Club, or Carefree Boat Club, etc., you have the right to seek compensation from the vessel owner—the boat club–who placed that vessel in the hands of an unqualified operator.

It is important however that you choose an attorney who knows maritime law. Why? Because Florida has miles and miles of coasts and rivers and lakes which do not fall under Florida law. True. The overwhelming majority of boating accident injury cases are not governed by Florida law in Florida.  The majority of boat injury cases are governed by maritime law. If you do not choose an attorney for your boating accident injury case who knows maritime law you are at risk of losing your case. At we have been handling boating accident cases here in Florida for more than 25 years. Contact the boating injury specialist attorneys to handle your boat incident case. Do not leave your case to a dogbite or car accident attorney: the laws governing boating accidents are not the same, and it is important that your case be done correctly.

From our Tampa Bay and The Villages offices we serve all of Florida. Call us now about your important boating injury case: or call 888-B-O-A-T-L-A-W

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn