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Can I Sue for Damages for Injuries Sustained in a Boating Accident?
Many people flock to Florida because of its easy access to the water, including its oceans, lakes, and rivers. Boating has become a time-honored activity in our waters, whether on a personal speed boat, charter fishing boat, or kayak. It stands to reason that because there are so many ways to access the water and so many people who want to enjoy it, that Florida is the state with the highest number of registered recreational boats and water vessels in the country. However, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Florida is also on top of the list for boating accidents, with 836 boating accidents reported in 2020.
If you have been involved in a boating accident, know that you have the right to pursue all negligent parties for your medical bills and other costs. This includes if you have lost a loved one to a boating accident. Contacting a Florida boating accident attorney can help you form a legal strategy to pursue a claim and seek the compensation you need to move on with your life.
What Are My Rights After Being Involved in a Boat Accident in Florida?
If you are injured in a boating accident in Florida, you can file a claim for damages against any and all negligent parties. Depending on the accident, you can take legal action against the driver of another boat or the driver of the boat on which you were a passenger. You could also possibly pursue a claim against the boat manufacturer or a boat mechanic if the accident was caused by faulty parts or a defective design.
What Should I Do After Being Involved in a Boating Accident?
After a boating accident, it is important to determine who was at fault for the injuries sustained during the incident. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents are:
- Careless operation
- Boat maintenance issues
- Boating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Failure to follow safe boating laws
- Failure to have required safety equipment on board
According to Lt. Seth Wagner of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, “A leading contributor to boating accidents is the operator’s inattention or failure to maintain a proper lookout.”
If you have been injured due to boat driver negligence or any of the other reasons listed above, contacting an experienced boating accident attorney will give you the best chance of recouping your losses after experiencing an injury.
What is needed to establish fault in a Florida boat accident case?
In order to establish that another party caused the accident from which you suffered injuries, you need to prove the following four things:
- Duty of Care for Operating a Boat Safely
Boat owners and operators owe it to all boaters, including their own passengers, to operate their vessels carefully and maintain safe operations around others.
- Negligent Boat Operation or Maintenance
Your case must show that the defendant, whether a boatmaker, boat mechanic or boat driver, violated their duty of care. This can be anything from failing to maintain the vessel to operating at an unsafe speed with passengers aboard.
- Link Between Your Injuries and Defendant’s Negligence
You must make the connection between the defendant’s actions and your injuries. For instance, you must prove that a failure to obey navigation rules caused the boat accident, and that accident caused your injuries.
- Damages Suffered Due to the Boating Accident
Lastly, your case must prove that you suffered damages as a result of the injuries sustained from the boating accident. Common examples of damages include the personal suffering caused by your physical injuries, medical bills stemming from treatment, and missed wages as a result of recuperating after the boating accident.
Hiring an experienced boating accident lawyer in Florida can be a tremendous help when trying to establish fault in a boating accident case. Your lawyer can help by gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, collecting medical reports, finding experts, and reviewing accident reports, as well as whatever else is needed to help you with your case.
What Damages Can I Recover From a Boating Accident in Florida?
If you have been involved in a boating accident, you may claim compensation for any physical, mental, or emotional damages sustained as a result of the accident. Your medical bills, physical therapy, lost wages or future earning potential, permanent disability, or pain and suffering can all be claimed as damages in a boating accident case.
The number of damages recovered can vary based on how much the injuries sustained have affected your life and how much your treatments have cost. Working with an experienced attorney can help you figure out what damages you can claim in your boating case.
Hire an Experienced Boating Accident Attorney in Florida From Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd
If you or a loved one have been involved in a serious boating accident, having to prove your case by yourself while trying to heal from your injuries is too much to worry about. You should be able to use this time to recover from your injuries, not deal with additional stress.
At Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd, an experienced boating attorney can help you prove fault in your case, as well as work on your behalf when negotiating with the insurance companies. If the insurance company can’t reach a fair settlement, we can take your case to trial and fight for you to get the compensation you deserve.
The law offices of Hoskins, Turco, Lloyd & Lloyd have over 35 years of experience with personal injury cases. Visit us at one of our convenient locations in Port St. Lucie, Okeechobee, Vero Beach, or Ft. Pierce to receive your free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced attorney. During this consultation, you will receive specific and personalized advice about what strategies might work best in your case in order to pursue maximum available compensation.
To schedule your free case review, call (866) 460-1990 or contact us online today.
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