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Florida Leads the Country in Fatal Boating Accidents

According to the most recent data available from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, 2011 was an especially deadly year for Florida boating accidents, with 67 people fatally injured and hundreds more requiring hospitalization. Our state leads the country every year in total number of boating accidents and people injured and killed in these accidents.

James O. Cunningham and other Orlando personal injury attorneys cite several reasons for this unfortunate distinction, including these:

  • Lax regulations on safety equipment and enforcement
  • A lack of boating safety education for boat owners
  • Over one million registered houseboats, sailboats, powerboats and other watercraft, the most registered vessels in the country
  • Nearly 8,000 miles of coastline, 1,700 miles of rivers, 2,000 marinas and three million acres of lakes

Numerous measures have been proposed in recent years to improve boating safety by making formal boating safety training mandatory for boat owners. However, state lawmakers have voted down these measures again and again after intense pressure from the state’s $10.3 billion boating industry.

Pamela Dillon, education director for the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, recently told reporters that the Florida Legislature remains the biggest impediment to boating safety in our state.

“Unfortunately, more innocent boaters will continue to lose their lives and their grieving family members will continue to ask, ‘Why?’ Our elected representatives are the only ones who can answer that question.”

According to a 2011 U.S. Coast Guard survey, around 2.5 million Florida households have at least one avid boater, and that number is rising every year. Sadly, increased popularity of boating in recent years has also led to increased rates of boating accidents, deaths and injuries. The 67 boaters killed in 2011 was a 24 percent increase from 2008, when 54 boaters were killed. Injuries rose 12 percent for the period, from 386 injured in 2008 to 431 in 2001.

Mr. Cunningham and other Orlando boating accident lawyers know that boating accidents occur for many different reasons such as inexperienced operators, failure to observe speed limits and no wake zones, drunken boating and other acts of negligence. If you have been injured by a negligent boater and would like to speak with Mr. Cunningham to learn more about the law, your rights and your legal options, call him today at 877-FL-INJURY (877-354-6587) to schedule your free consultation. Mr. Cunningham would also like to remind readers that the busiest part of Florida’s boating season is about to begin. If you are a boat operator, please help make our state’s waterways safer by enrolling in a boating safety course, and always refrain from using alcohol and drugs while operating your boat.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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Florida Personal Injury Office Locations

Main Office

Orlando Personal Injury Office:
3117 Edgewater Dr
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: 407-425-2000
Toll Free: 877-FL-INJURY
Fax: 407-843-8274

Seminole County

Lake Mary Office:
1001 Heathrow Park Lane
Suite 4001
Lake Mary, FL 32746
Phone: 407-487-4408

Osceola County

Kissimmee Office:
17 S. Orlando Ave.
Kissimmee, FL 34741
Phone: 407-966-4408

Volusia County

Daytona Beach Office:
1301 Beville Rd., Suite 8
Daytona Beach, FL 32119
Phone: 386-243-4994

DeBary Office:
465 Summerhaven Drive, Suite C
DeBary, FL 32713
Phone: 386-320-3911

Deland Office:
Downtown Executive Center
120 South Woodland Blvd.
Deland, FL 32720
Phone: 386-206-1264

Citrus County

Inverness Office:
110 North Apopka Ave.
Inverness, FL 34453
Phone: 352-205-4341

Polk County

Lakeland Office:
1102 S. Florida Ave., Suite 104
Lakeland, FL 33803
Phone: 863-968-7551

Winter Haven Office:
325 Avenue A, N.W.
Winter Haven, FL 33881
Phone: 863-968-7173

Hillsborough County

Tampa Office:
100 S. Edison St. Suite D
Tampa, FL 33606
Phone: 813-355-9772

Marion-Sumter Counties

The Villages Office:
3420 U.S. Hwy. 27/441
Fruitland Park, FL 34731
Phone: 352-419-0825

Lake County

Mt. Dora Office:
602 East 5th Ave.
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Phone: 352-436-4696

Clermont Office:
900 W. Highway 50
Clermont, FL 34711
Phone: 352-503-4674

Brevard County

Titusville Office:
506 S. Palm Ave.
Titusville, FL 32780
Phone: 321-222-7300

Cocoa Office:
96 Willard Street
Suite 206,
Cocoa, FL 32922
Phone: 321-757-1373