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Do Hit-and-Run Laws Apply to Boaters?

March 10, 2015
Colson Hicks Eidson

When a driver or boat operator flees the scene of an accident he or she caused, it is often the latest in a string of selfish decisions that led to the incident in the first place. In many cases, drivers and operators leave accident scenes because they:

  • Were drinking and driving;
  • Lack the proper insurance coverage;
  • Were guilty of distracted driving, such as texting and driving;
  • Are facing other criminal charges;
  • Were driving with an expired license.

Whatever the reason, when boaters and drivers flee the scene of accidents, they often leave victims who need their help in their wake. In the moments immediately following a wreck, every second counts, meaning just sticking around to call 911 can sometimes save a victim from suffering a lifelong injury or losing his or her life.

Recently, a Miami boat fled the scene of an accident, leaving in its wake a damaged vessel and an injured 8-year-old girl. According to the Miami Herald, the accident happened around 7 p.m. near Key Biscayne as the girl’s family’s boat was heading under the Rickenbacker Causeway Bridge.

Along with the 8-year-old girl, who suffered minor leg injuries in the crash, four adults and two other children were on the vessel that was the victim of the hit and run. No one else was injured in the crash, which left the family’s vessel with front-end damage.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating the incident.

Can I Still Sue a Hit-and-Run Boater Who Is Already Facing Criminal Charges?

Those who flee the scene of a boating accident should be criminally prosecuted. However, a criminal conviction will not help the victims of a hit-and-run boater recover the money they need for hospital bills, rehabilitation expenses and property damage.

Fortunately, as injury lawyer Julie Kane explains in the video below, a civil lawsuit is an option available to hit-and-run victims, which can help them recover the compensation they and their families need to move on with their lives.

Colson Hicks Eidson – Injury Attorneys