Maritime Aid: Miami Injury Lawyers at Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly, P.A. Expand Boating Accident Practice

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Last year Florida led the nation in boating accidents, and with more recreational vessels than any other state, it is poised to do so once again, says veteran boating accident lawyer Charles H. Baumberger. Meanwhile, insufficient boater education and new hazards like cell phone distraction only add to the risk -- and the need for skilled advocates who can help boating accident victims obtain answers and accountability.

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The law governing accidents on the water is in many cases vastly different than the law covering accidents on land,” says the veteran injury lawyer. “Too many lawyers -- and their clients -- learn that the hard way.

Having obtained millions of dollars in recoveries for their boating accident clients over the years, the Miami trial lawyers of Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly, P.A. aren’t new to maritime law and the catastrophic accidents and injuries that can occur -- often needlessly -- at sea. But with new statistics giving a worrisome prognosis for safety on the water, an increased need for experienced boating attorneys Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly, P.A. has become clear.

“In all the decades I have been representing those injured in boating accidents, and a boater myself, I have never seen as much cause for concern as now,” says Charles H. Baumberger, one of South Florida’s most experienced trial lawyer and a founding partner of Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly. “There are more people on the water, more opportunities to buy high-powered boats, and, unfortunately, a lot more boaters who just don’t know the basic rules of safety. The results have been disastrous, leaving too many people hurt, killed, and in need of medical, financial, and legal help.”

Indeed, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has released some ominous figures. Fully two-thirds -- 66 percent -- of operators involved in reported boating accidents in 2010 had no formal boater education. Meanwhile, the commission noted, while there were more than 941,000 registered vessels in Florida last year -- the most of any state -- an estimated 1,000,000 more non-registered boats are also on the water.

“Some of the biggest boating cases we have handled over the years -- cases where people were seriously injured, even permanently brain damaged and paralyzed -- have been because of operators who just didn’t know how to be safe on the water,” says Baumberger. “They didn’t know the effect of speed and wakes, or the necessity for keeping a proper lookout, or how much distance to keep between their boat and a vessel that has raised a diving flag and has divers in the water. With many new boats and boaters out there, and so little education, we’re only going to see more tragedies like these.”

The hazards are particularly acute in Florida, which led the nation, too, last year in total boating accidents, with 608, and fatal boating accidents, with 65, according to a report released by the U.S. Coast Guard Office of Auxillary and Boating Safety.

New dangers -- like cell phone distraction -- only heighten concerns of veteran boating lawyers like Baumberger. Those worries have, unfortunately, been justified. In June, when the National Transportation Safety Board released its final report concerning a fatal 2010 collision between a barge and a tour boat along the Delaware River, it cited the cell phone usage of the first mate on the tugboat pushing the barge -- 15 outgoing calls and 6 incoming calls after taking control of the tug -- as a main cause of the crash.

Boating lawsuits can be particularly challenging cases, requiring lawyers to understand and apply the many complexities of maritime law. Over the years, Baumberger has not only tried these cases himself but assisted other lawyers as they attempted to navigate new and often rocky legal waters. “The law governing accidents on the water is in many cases vastly different than the law covering accidents on land,” says the veteran injury lawyer. “Too many lawyers -- and their clients -- learn that the hard way.”

In its extensive boating accident practice, the goal of Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly has always been to steer a course for safety on the water. “As lawyers, we take these cases not only so our clients can get the recoveries they deserve,” says Baumberger, “but also so we can get out the message that you’ve got to take the time to learn, and practice, basic boating safety. Because a lot of futures are counting on it -- including your own.”

About Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly, P.A
Since 1974, the personal injury lawyers of Rossman Baumberger Reboso Spier & Connolly, P.A. have been advocates for those injured due to the negligence or wrongdoing of others. The firm has assisted individuals -- and helped them obtain recovery and answers -- in wrongful death, resort litigation, product liability, aviation, boating, railroad, automobile, and other negligence cases. Along the way, it has developed a track record for results. The firm’s experience is highlighted by the leadership positions senior partners have been named to at organizations including the American Board of Trial Advocates, the Dade County Trial Lawyers Association, the Florida Justice Association, the National Academy of Railway Labor Attorneys, and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.

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