Contributors

Charles R. Lipcon
Charles R. Lipcon is the firm's founding attorney and has been handling injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims for over 40 years. Read More »
Jason R. Margulies
Jason R. Margulies is an experienced maritime lawyer and an active trial attorney handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims. Read More »
Ricardo V. Alsina
Ricardo V. Alsina is an active trial attorney, handling personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims. Read More »
Michael A. Winkleman
Mr. Winkleman is an active trial and appellate attorney handling all personal injury, cruise line sexual assault and wrongful death claims, as well as complex business disputes. Read More »

Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

-As any experienced maritime attorney can tell you, accident prevention and safety should be of paramount concern for boaters. Last month, we wrote about the top ten causes of boating accidents in 2013. Yet, there is another silent killer lurking in the shadows: carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide cannot be seen, smelled, or tasted and it can lead to death whether boaters are exposed to it inside or outside their vessels. Even a few breaths of this deadly substance can be fatal. To make matters worse, carbon monoxide poisoning has the same physical symptoms as sea sickness or intoxication, so it can sometimes be difficult to know whether you’re just feeling a little woozy due to choppy waves or because of the deadly effects of carbon monoxide.

Fortunately, most carbon monoxide poisonings are easily preventable. First of all, boaters should be aware of the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning. The CDC provides a list of the most common physical symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These are:

  • Headache
  • Confusion
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Seizures

Continue reading →

Posted by

Preventing a Drowning AccidentIf you enjoy the excitement of a boat outing, jet ski ride, or swim, there’s something you need to know. You are at risk for drowning, and you may not even realize it. Drowning accidents don’t just happen in dark or stormy water. A shocking University of Toronto study found that individuals are 70% more likely to drown on nice warm days. And, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) explains that every day, ten people die as a result of drowning accidents.

Unfortunately, even those who survive, like the 4-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a Disney Cruise Line ship pool, can face long term care or hospitalization. Those participating in any kind of water-related activity often face life-long injuries, including brain damage. That risk is something boaters and those who enjoy water sports and activities are constantly faced with.

Whether heading out on the high seas or sailing across a small channel, drowning is always a risk for boaters and anyone enjoying water-related activities. Boaters might think they can avoid such a tragedy because they are aboard a vessel, but even the most experienced and careful of boaters can run into unexpected rogue waves, sudden weather changes, and even unchartered rocks that can lead to a crash, capsizing, or lead a vessel to turn over and cause passengers to get thrown overboard. If not wearing a life jacket, victims (especially those who sustain injuries) do not have a high chance of survival. Sometimes boating accident victims are able to swim to shore or at least to a safe location, but if sea and weather conditions are unfavorable, if the accident occurred far from land, or if the accident itself led the victim to lose consciousness or become severely hurt, there’s only so much time a victim can stay afloat before drowning.

Continue reading →

Posted by

On December 2, a 161-foot multi-million dollar mega-yacht stopped both sea and land traffic when it collided into a drawbridge near Biscayne Bay. The yacht was being pulled by two tug boats when it hit the drawbridge that connects North Miami to Bay Harbor Islands.

The yacht, named the Rockstar, became pinned under the drawbridge, stopping both sea and land traffic. Authorities explain 15 people were on board the vessel, but fortunately no one was hurt in the incident.

​Reports indicate that the drawbridge may have collapsed on top of the yacht while it was being pulled beneath the channel. When the bridge landed on the yacht, it came down next to the hot tub and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Our Maritime Attorneys Wish You a Happy Thanksgiving and Happy HolidaysThanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and for so many reasons. This time of year inspires people to connect with one another and give back to each other and to the community. The holiday season tends to bring people closer together and highlights all the things we have to be thankful for. With this in mind, each maritime attorney at our firm would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a very happy, healthy, and safe Thanksgiving and holidays in general and to share how thankful we are to have the opportunity to help those who have been involved in a cruise ship or boating accident to obtain justice.

We are also thankful for Senator John “Jay” Rockefeller’s continual efforts to improve transparency across the cruise industry (and safety in general), which has led several major cruise lines to reveal their crime and accident data reports to the public – data which many cruise lines have hid from the public eye for several years. In addition, we are thankful for all the efforts that have been made by cruise lines, cargo companies, and other maritime companies to improve safety for both passengers and crew members. We are equally thankful for those who have abided by the highest standards of safety while boating, such as avoiding speeding, refraining from boating while under the influence, and wearing life jackets. Your efforts continue to make a world of difference and, whether you realize it or not, have helped to reduce and prevent tragedies in open waters.

To continue on the subject of safety, we’d like to share a few maritime safety tips to ensure you stay as safe as possible during the holidays if your plans include spending time at sea on a cruise ship or aboard a boat or personal water craft. Continue reading →

Posted by

boating accidentsFlorida has several laws in place to protect boaters on waterways. When these laws are violated, boating accidents are more likely to take place with tragic consequences. But how many boaters really know these laws? And which ones are the most critical? We’ve got the answers. Here’s a look at some of the more important laws to know when you head out for some sun and surf this holiday.

First off, when it comes to collisions, there’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind: a hit and run on the water will have the similar consequences to those on land. In the event of a boating accident, individuals are required to remain at the scene to render aid and exchange personal information. If the accident resulted in damage greater than $2,000, personal injury, or death, boaters are required to contact the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the sheriff, or police chief. If not, then the boater will likely be fined with a hit and run charge and will most likely be arrested and suffer even greater penalties.

Continue reading →

Posted by

boating accidentsOne of the benefits of living in sunny South Florida is the fact that we have great weather all year round (well, mostly). Add dozens of beautiful waterways to the equation and you have the perfect recipe for ideal boating conditions.

On any given day, you’ll find South Florida’s channels inundated with eager boaters enjoying clear skies and warm temperatures. Who’d blame them? We’ve got an array of top boating spots to choose from, including Biscayne Bay, the Miami River, and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway – to name a few.

But while South Florida’s waterways do make for amazing recreational boating outings, they can also make for dangerous boating accidents. As any boating accident lawyer at our firm can tell you, all the conditions that make our water channels so appealing also make them prone to hazardous conditions. In fact, according to the US Coast Guard’s 2013 Recreational Boating Statistics, Florida ranked first in the nation, with a total of 685 boating accidents in 2013.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Miami waterwaysIn Miami, we’re lucky to have beautiful boating weather year-round. Of course, this means that the potential for boating accidents is greater because boaters simply have more time to be on the water. Because a fun boat outing can quickly turn tragic, we’ve come up with some tips that can help you and your family stay safe this holiday boating season.

Although accidents can happen at any moment, even when a boater is abiding by proper maritime laws, there are many ways to prevent tragedies in open waters. Making sure that your boat has adequate life jackets and emergency equipment on board such as a first-aid kit, a pocketknife, flashlight, mirror, flares, and sunscreen can make a huge difference if you run into trouble on South Florida waterways.

Continue reading →

Posted by

Miami waterwaysMiami is known for a lot of things, and boating is definitely one of them. Between the scenic waterways, beautiful shores, and spectacular architecture, there’s something for everyone to enjoy out on the open waters. Unfortunately, as scenic and exciting as a boat ride can be in Miami, it can also be extremely dangerous. The party-going atmosphere the city boasts is great for those looking to have a good time, but often, boaters can get a little carried away.

Alcohol consumption, speeding, and general goofing around can lead to serious – if not fatal – boating accidents. And in Miami, there’s never really a shortage of any of those.

When boat crashes do happen, the victims should always consult a boating accident lawyer for assistance. If the accident was the result of another person’s negligent actions, such as being over the legal alcohol limit while operating the vessel or watercraft, wasn’t paying attention or following the rules of the road, or was boating over the designated speed limit, then victims may have a case.

Continue reading →

Miami waterwaysBecause our blog is generally about people getting badly injured at sea, we thought it would be nice to mix it up a bit and focus on something positive about the water!

Miami is known for many things, including spectacular weather, incredible cuisine, and not to mention, fantastic nightlife. But perhaps one of the city’s greatest appeals is its seemingly endless number of waterways that make for amazing recreational boating trips. Eager water lovers can enjoy one of the city’s numerous bays, rivers, or even set off for a scenic cruise across the Atlantic Ocean.  So what are some of the best spots for boaters in Miami? Read on to find out some of our top choices. Continue reading →

Posted by

Life jacketsFor many of us, enjoying a relaxing day out on a motorboat, tinny, or jet ski is the ideal perfect day. When we think of going out on the open waters, whether for fishing, scuba diving excursions, or sightseeing, we don’t usually equate the activity with tragedy. Though the possibility of getting into an accident is very real, the notion that we’ll be the ones suffering a boating accident is not a very prominent one.

While recreational boating should be an enjoyable pastime first and foremost, it’s important to remember that accidents can – and often do – happen. Most boating accidents happen in the blink of an eye and can involve both experienced and novice sailors alike. Even the most prepared of boaters can become caught in a sudden storm or rogue wave, or can be the victim of another individual’s negligent actions, such as boating while under the influence of alcohol or speeding.

Because there is no guarantee that a collision or capsizing tragedy will not occur, each boating accident lawyer at our firm can attest to the fact that it is always better to live by the motto, “better safe than sorry.”

Continue reading →