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How Long Do I Have To File a Boat Accident Claim in Florida?


If you have been hurt in a boating accident, you may be able to file a claim for compensation. However, you only have a limited amount of time to take legal action or you will be barred from receiving any damages at all. The time limit on personal injury claims is known as the statute of limitations.

In other types of personal injury claims, the statute of limitations is fairly straightforward. This is not the case in boating accident claims. The statute of limitations in boating accident claims varies, largely depending on where the crash occurred. Below, our Florida boat crash lawyer explains further.

The statute of limitations on your case will depend upon where the incident occurred. Where the incident occurred will also determine what law—Florida law or maritime law—applies. This makes a big difference in two things. 1. How your case is handled. And 2. Who should be handling your case. If the attorney you are considering cannot tell you what law applies, you should run! This is vitally important to your case and is important to whether the attorney handling it actually knows what they are doing.

In Florida, there are differences in the statute of limitations depending upon whether your incident occurred:

  • Within an enclosed body of water, or
  • On a river, or
  • On a lake that connects to another body of water, or
  • Within the Intra-Coastal Waterway, or
  • In the Gulf or Atlantic, but close to shore, or
  • In the Gulf or Atlantic, but not close to shore, or
  • In the Everglades.

This is why it is important to discuss your boating, JetSki, or cruise ship injury case with attorneys who actually practice in boating accident law.

These are questions which your Boating Accident attorney must know or your claim could be lost. At we know the answers to protect and preserve your injury claim. If you trust this to a car accident attorney who really does not practice in this type of law you may be unhappy to one day find out they did not know the laws on boating accident cases. In most cases, it is not Florida law which will apply to boating accident cases occurring in the State of Florida. It will be maritime law that usually applies.

Accidents that Happen on Cruise Ships 

Accidents that happen on cruise ships are very different from other types of injury cases. When an accident occurs on a cruise ship, you usually have just one year to file a claim. In certain situations, there may also be a written notification required to the cruise line that may be just six months. When traveling abroad on a cruise ship, you may have also agreed to a contract (in your cruise ticket) that could further restrict you. It is critical to speak to a boat accident lawyer after a cruise ship accident to learn what applies to your case because each case has its own specific facts.

Boating Accidents that Result in Wrongful Death 

Boating accidents are very serious and tragically, they often result in wrongful death. Wrongful death lawsuits are different from other personal injury lawsuits and they also have a different statute of limitations. If you have lost a loved one in a boating accident, you need to contact us to discuss your case because the statute of limitations depends upon where the incident occurred and where the negligence occurred that was the cause of the death.  Be cautious, because a car accident attorney is unlikely to know all of the issues involved in getting this vital question correct.

Our Boat Crash Lawyer in Florida Can Advise On Your Case 

If you have been hurt in a boating accident, do not wait to speak to a Florida boat crash lawyer. At 888-BOAT-LAW (The Law Offices of Frank D. Butler), our experienced attorneys will make sure your claim is filed on time so your rights are protected and will fight for you to obtain the full recovery you deserve. Call us now or connect with us online to request a free consultation and to learn more.


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