Miami Boat Accident Lawyer

Florida’s lakes, waterways and shorelines make it a prime spot for enjoying recreational water activities of all kinds, including boating. Florida leads the nation in boating and fishing spots, drawing tourists from all over the country who spend their vacations enjoying the beautiful clear waters.

Unfortunately, many of the people operating boats during these times are inexperienced boaters, and alcohol is often consumed at sea. All of the action taking place on the water during prime tourist season often leads to boating accidents, which can be extremely costly and result in serious injuries that lead to lengthy battles with insurance companies. In any injury situation that involves working with insurance adjusters, a personal injury lawyer can be your best resource.

If you were injured in a boating accident and believe that your injuries were the result of the negligence or recklessness of another person, you may be entitled to hold them responsible for the injuries and damage to your boat. A Miami boat accident lawyer can help you determine exactly what your legal rights given your specific situation.

How a Boat Accident Attorney Can Help

In order to recover for a boating accident personal injury claim, individuals will have to prove that their injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence. Just like with a car accident, the injured party will need to present evidence to allow the court to recreate the circumstances of the accident in order to determine who was at fault.

For accidents occurring on the water, collecting evidence and determining what parties were involved is much more difficult, as transient elements such as the tides and weather may play a more direct role on water than they do on land.

In addition, depending on how far from the shoreline boaters were when the accident occurred, federal maritime law, as opposed to Florida state law, may apply. The assistance of a boat accident attorney in Miami is essential, to help claimants understand and abide by the complex laws that apply in these situations.

Florida Laws Regarding Operating a Boat

The laws related to operating boats and other vessels in Florida can be found in Title XXIV, Chapter 327, Florida Statutes. Florida law requires that anyone operating a boat do so in a reasonable and prudent manner, taking care to abide by all posted speed and wake restrictions. Just like driving a car, boating under the influence of alcohol is illegal.

Unfortunately, during peak tourist season, when many boating accidents occur, the use of alcohol and other controlled substances while boating is common.

In addition, many people operating boats during the tourist season lack experience and are not familiar with the ‘rules of the road’ for boating, leading to accidents involving other vessels, divers, or recreational water vehicles.

Recoverable Damages

Florida law does not require everyone operating a boat to carry boating insurance, which can make obtaining recovery for a boating accident more difficult than it is for accidents occurring on land. In some instances, a homeowner’s insurance policy can be extended to cover damages caused by a boating accident.

However, if the injured party can prove that their injuries were caused by another person’s negligent or reckless actions, the injured person may nonetheless be entitled to recover substantial sums to assist in paying medical expenses. Some of the parties people may be able to recover from include:

  • The driver of the boat that hit them
  • The owner of the boat on which they were a guest
  • The manufacturer of a piece of equipment that failed
  • Anyone responsible for an obstruction in the water that contributed to the accident

The parties responsible for injuries sustained may be held liable not only for the injured party’s medical expenses, but also for their lost wages, (including future lost wages if injuries prevent them from working), as well as pain and suffering. A Miami boat accident lawyer can help clients determine what types of recovery may be available in their specific case.

Comparative Fault

Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that the court will make a determination of what proportion of fault should be attributed to all of the parties involved in any accident. The court may find that an individual’s own actions contributed to their accident in some way, and apportion some of the fault to them.

Individuals that have sustained injuries may still be able to recover substantial sums from the other parties involved even if they are found to be partially at fault – the total damage award will merely be reduced in proportion to the injured party’s share of the fault.

An attorney can assist in collecting evidence and presenting the case to allow the court to make an accurate and favorable determination of fault.

Contact a Miami Boat Accident Attorney Today

Many personal injury lawyers typically deal with more common car and pedestrian accidents, and are not equipped to handle the intricacies of federal and maritime law that often apply in boating accidents. If you feel that your injuries were the result of someone else’s negligence, it is imperative that you begin the process of filing your claim as soon as possible.

Our attorneys have experience in bringing a variety of these types of claims and are familiar with all the specific laws that may play a role in your recovery. Contact an experienced Miami boat accident lawyer to discuss your case today.