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Florida Boat Accident Lawyer / Blog / Boat Crash / LABOR DAY BOAT CRASHES



Every year at (law offices of Frank D. Butler, PA) we see some of the worst boating accident injury cases for the year, they occur on Labor Day or on the Labor Day weekend. These boating accident cases involve boat crashes, but also passengers being hurt on vessels where the operator of the vessel drives recklessly and causes injury. Some of these on-board boating accident injury cases involve what we call “wake cases”. A wake case is where the operator of the vessel is going at an excessive speed for the conditions and strikes a wave or wake at a high rate of speed and at an improper angle.  The impact with the wave or wake throws the front seat passenger(s) into the air and while the vessel is rising into the second wave/wake, the passenger is coming down from being thrown into the air by the force of the vessel hitting the first wave/wake. We see these wake cases involve fractured spinal vertebrae, broken hips, broken arms, broken legs, and head injuries.

We are currently handling several of these wake cases right now at

In the collision cases the causes of the crash are usually the result of one of the vessels not observing the U.S. Coast Guard “Rules of Road”.  The Rules of the Road are not known to many casual boat operators. Therefore, when two boats pass each other one operator may not understand his responsibility. There is both a give-way” and a “stand-on position that is observed in Florida law and under maritime law as expressed in the U.S. Coast Guard Rules of the Road.  It is important that the vessel operator knows when to “give way” to another vessel that essentially has the right of way (i.e., give way to the stand-on vessel).

Unfortunately, the State of Florida has chosen to allow operators of vessels who were born before January 1, 1988 to not have to:

  1. Take any eye examination.
  2. Not have to take any boater safety course.
  3. Not have to demonstrate any actual ability to operate a vessel.

With over 1 million recreational vessels registered with the State of Florida according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (“FWC”) it is not surprising that there would be a high number of vessel operators who have zero training, zero experience, and zero knowledge about any of the U.S. Coast Guard Rules of the Road.

The boating collision cases are many times severe. There are many causes for this. Recreational boats are not built to withstand collisions. There are no airbags. There are typically no seatbelts. No crash avoidance systems in most vessels. This means that when two boats collide there can be a number of passengers who are injured on both vessels.  Also in boating collision injury cases there is the danger of being ejected from the vessel and being struck by a vessel propeller, by the other vessel, or a fixed object. (Like rock jetties, a channel marker, a dock, a sandbar, or other structure.)

It is very important after a boat injury collision or wake case that you contact attorneys who handle this type of case on a daily basis. The law applied to your case is not the same law as applied to automobile wrecks.  You can have trust in our 25 years of experience in handling boating accident cases here at Because of this unique area of law we handle cases throughout all of the State of Florida. We are currently handling boating accident cases from the Florida Keys to the Florida panhandle. Don’t trust your important boating injury accident case to just any auto accident or dogbite law firm. We are the specialists in this law.



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