Bonita Springs Boating Accident Lawyer

September 14, 2023 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman

Boating's an extremely popular recreational activity in Bonita Springs throughout most of the year, but the risk of serious accidents is all too real. These incidents can cause life-threatening injuries and long-term consequences.

If negligence caused a preventable accident, you may recover compensation under Florida’s personal injury laws or U.S. maritime laws. A boating accident, however, can spur incredibly complex and contentious legal battles.

The Bonita Springs boating accident lawyers at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, have years of experience handling these cases and the resources to provide dedicated legal counsel. If you're currently navigating the aftermath of a serious boating-related accident, we can protect your rights and seek fair compensation.

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Why Choose Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, After a Boating Accident in Bonita Springs

Dolman Law Team of Attorneys for Boating Accident in Bonita Springs

When dealing with a boating accident, choose the right legal representation for your mental and financial well-being. Our team of Bonita Springs boating accident lawyers understands the nuances that make these cases unique, including the methods for investigating maritime accidents to establish fault.

Whether handling the paperwork or communicating with insurers, we strive to make the legal process manageable and build the strongest case possible. We have secured significant settlements and verdicts, enabling clients to rebuild their lives after boating-related injuries.

Don't let the aftermath of a boating accident overwhelm you. Call Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today, or visit our centrally located office in Bonita Springs for a free case evaluation to discuss how we can handle your case.

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Understanding Boating Accidents in Bonita Springs


Florida has a range of boating laws to promote safe and responsible fun out on the water. Accidents, however, still happen every year in Bonita Springs and throughout the state, often with devastating consequences.

Some of the most common types of boating-related incidents causing injuries include:

  • Colliding with another vessel: When two boats collide, it can be due to inattentiveness, impaired operation, or a lack of understanding of boating rules.
  • Colliding with a fixed object: Hitting docks, buoys, or underwater rocks can cause significant harm to the vessel and its passengers.
  • Flooding or swamping: Weather conditions, vessel malfunctions, or operator errors can lead to water entering the boat and creating the risk of sinking.
  • Capsizing: Imbalanced weight distribution or hitting waves at an awkward angle can cause the boat to overturn.
  • Falling overboard: High speeds, sudden maneuvers, or a lack of safety railings can result in passengers falling into the water, potentially leading to drowning or other serious injuries.

Leading Causes of Boating Accidents In Bonita Springs

Every accident is unique, but common reasons include:

  • Operator inattention: Just as with driving on roads, distractions can be dangerous or deadly when operating a boat.
  • Operator inexperience: Navigating waters requires skill and experience. Operators that are unfamiliar with local water conditions or boating laws can put themselves and others at risk.
  • Speeding: High speeds can limit reaction times and result in severe collisions.
  • Alcohol use: Drinking and boating is a dangerous mix that can limit the operator's judgment and motor skills.
  • Weather conditions: Unexpected changes in weather can make navigating the waters treacherous, especially for unprepared boaters.

When boating goes wrong, the injuries can be severe and have long-lasting implications. Some of the most common injuries include:

  • Drowning: By far the most severe outcome, it's tragically common in boating accidents.
  • Broken bones: Collisions can throw passengers around, leading to fractures.
  • Cuts and lacerations: Broken glass, sharp boat parts, or even propellers can cause these injuries.
  • Burns: fires on boats, often due to fuel mishaps, can result in severe burns.
  • Head injuries: Collisions can cause passengers to hit hard surfaces, leading to concussions or more severe head traumas.
  • Spinal cord injuries: Sudden jerks or collisions can result in injuries to the spine, sometimes leading to paralysis.

A boating accident can have devastating, long-term implications. At Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA,, we're passionate about simplifying the legal process and advocating for victims and their families.

Liability in Boating Accidents

Attorney Matt Dolman and his colleague attorney discussing about a Bonita Springs boating accident case

Boating accidents can be traumatic experiences, often resulting in significant injuries or even loss of life. Establishing liability is a crucial step for victims to pursue compensation under Florida's personal injury laws. The standard for liability typically depends on proving the at-fault's party's negligence led to the victim's damages, making them legally responsible.

Establishing liability in boating accidents involves the following elements:

  • Duty of care: Every boat operator has a duty to ensure the safety of their passengers, other boaters, and even swimmers. This duty includes operating the boat responsibly and adhering to all boating laws and regulations.
  • Breach of duty: If a boat operator does something reckless, such as operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or failing to obey boating regulations, they've breached their duty of care.
  • Cause of injury: It must be evident that the boat operator's breach of duty directly led to the accident and the resulting injuries.
  • Actual damages: The victim must have suffered actual damages, whether physical, emotional, or financial, as a direct result of the accident.

Potential Liable Parties in Boating Accidents

The individual operating the boat at the time of the accident often takes the blame.

Other parties, however, may share responsibility, including:

  • Boat operator: Most accidents result from the boat operator's negligence, whether it's from distraction, intoxication, or a simple error in judgment.
  • Boat owner: Even if the owner wasn't operating the boat at the time, they could be liable, especially if they knew the operator lacked experience or was driving under the influence.
  • Boat or equipment manufacturers: If mechanical failure due to faulty parts or poor design caused the accident, the manufacturer might be responsible.
  • Rental companies: Companies that rent out boats have a duty to maintain their vessels and ensure they are safe for use. If they provided a boat that wasn't seaworthy or didn't have the necessary safety equipment, they could be negligent.

How Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, Establish Liability After a Boating Accident

Determining liability after a boating accident is often complex. The team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, understand the intricacies of boating accident cases and have years of experience proving liability.

Our approach involves:

  • A thorough investigation: We review boat logs, interview witnesses, and examine the accident scene to prepare compelling evidence that establishes the at-fault party's negligence.
  • Consulting specialists: We work closely with marine accident professionals to establish the cause of the accident clearly and strengthen our client's case.
  • Use of our legal knowledge: Our experienced Bonita Springs boating accident lawyers understand local, state, and federal boating regulations and can identify any violations contributing to the accident.

If you or a loved one has suffered due to a boating accident in Bonita Springs, don't navigate these complex legal waters alone. The dedicated team at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, will hold the responsible parties accountable.

Pursuing Compensation After a Boating Accident

Boating Accident Attorney Stanley Gipe in Bonita Springs

After suffering injuries in a serious boating accident, victims often face mounting medical bills, emotional distress, and major lifestyle disruptions. Florida law provides a legal path for victims to pursue compensatory damages and hold negligible parties accountable. The categories of compensable damages in a boating accident include quantifiable expenses and noneconomic costs, including pain and suffering and emotional trauma.

Economic Damages

Economic damages compensate for the measurable losses boating accident victims experience as a result of getting injured.

Compensation restores them to the same financial position they would have been in without the at-fault party's negligence, which can include reimbursing:

  • Medical expenses: This includes hospital bills, surgeries, rehabilitation, and ongoing medical treatments related to the injury.
  • Lost income: These damages can cover lost income during the victim's recovery and their reduced earning capacity due to permanent disabilities.  
  • Property damage: Reimbursement for any personal property, including the boat, suffering damage or destruction in the accident.
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses: Any other documented costs resulting from the accident or your recovery.

Noneconomic Damages

These intangible damages from a serious boating accident won't have a direct financial value but are still very real for victims and their families.

Some examples are:

  • Physical pain: This compensation accounts for the physical pain and discomfort the victim has experienced, which might be ongoing.
  • Emotional distress: This considers the mental and emotional trauma resulting from the accident, including anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: If the accident diminished the victim's ability to enjoy hobbies, social activities, or other life pleasures.
  • Loss of companionship: If the accident caused the death or significant injury of a loved one, surviving family members might be eligible for the loss of that relationship.

Tactics Insurance Companies Use to Minimize Payouts

After a boating accident, victims may get compensation for their physical, financial, and emotional losses through the at-fault party's liability insurance. These companies, however, are notorious for protecting their bottom line by minimizing payouts, even at the expense of injured victims with valid claims for compensation.

Some of the common tactics they use include:

  • Offering quick settlements: They offer victims an immediate but low settlement, hoping they'll accept without understanding the full value of their claim.
  • Delaying the process: They might draw out the claims process, often by requesting an excessive amount of documentation, hoping that frustrated victims will settle for less just to move on.
  • Questioning the severity of injuries: Insurers may challenge medical documentation or suggest that a victim's injuries are less severe than claimed.
  • Disputing liability: They may argue that their policyholder was not at fault, or that you shared a portion of the blame for the accident, which would reduce their own liability.

How Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, Navigates These Challenges

Our Bonita Springs boating accident lawyers are familiar with the strategies insurance companies use in an attempt to complicate the claims process. We support boat accident victims and pursue fair compensation.

We level the playing field by:

  • Gathering solid evidence: Our team thoroughly investigates each case, ensuring we have airtight evidence to back up our client's claims.
  • Calculating economic damages: Using evidence like medical bills, repair invoices, and pay stubs, we provide a clear estimation of the tangible financial losses. We also collaborate with medical professionals to understand the full extent of your injuries and your future medical needs or limitations.
  • Assessing noneconomic damages: We work closely with victims to understand the wide-ranging ramifications of the accident, including the emotional and psychological effects.
  • Negotiating effectively: We negotiate with insurance companies assertively, using solid evidence to substantiate the facts of the accident and the victim's damage. Our skilled attorneys know how to respond to lowball offers and maximize your compensation.
Dolman Law Group Personal Injury Lawyers in Bonita Springs

A boating accident is stressful enough without the added challenges of dealing with insurance companies. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, strive to secure compensation that accurately reflects the damages clients have suffered.

If You've Been in a Boating Accident in Bonita Springs, We Can Help

Boating accidents are tragic, potentially life-changing events with a heavy physical and financial toll. They can also result in a very complex legal process, from demonstrating the full extent of your damages to negotiating with insurers for fair compensation.

Matthew Dolman Attorney for Boating Accident in Bonita Springs
Matthew Dolman, Bonita Springs Boating Accident Lawyer

If you suffered serious harm due to someone else's negligence on the water, Bonita Springs personal injury attorneys at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, can navigate the legal system effectively.

Our team not only provides advocacy and legal guidance but also emotional support, ensuring you have peace of mind throughout the claims process. You focus on healing from the accident and we'll take care of the rest. Contact Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, today to protect your legal rights.

With offices across both Florida coasts, you can easily reach Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, at (239) 307-2634, or you can write to us using our online contact page.


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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