Winter Haven Boating Accident Lawyers Helping Victims Recover Maximum Compensation
Florida is the top destination in the country for boating enthusiasts, but, unfortunately, it is also where most boating accidents take place. Florida laws concerning the operation of watercraft are lenient, meaning some individuals can operate a boat without necessarily taking any formal training or even obtaining a boating license. Here are some important things you need to know about boating accidents in Florida and how to recover compensation for your injuries.
What Should a Boat Operator Do When Involved in an Accident?
Boating operators have the responsibility of stopping their vessel at the scene of the accident right away and providing assistance to anyone injured. The exception to that is when providing assistance to victims would pose a danger to the operator’s own vessel or passengers. The boat operator must also provide written information to anyone injured containing his or her name, address, and vessel identification. They are also not allowed to leave the scene of the accident before reporting it to local law enforcement and/or to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC).
Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?
A boat operator can be considered negligent in situations such as deciding to take the vessel out on the water despite deteriorating weather conditions, not respecting the speed limits in dangerous water areas, hitting another vessel, failing to provide proper safety equipment, or operating the vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If the boat owner was not the boat operator, you may also have the option of holding the boat owner liable based on negligent entrustment, in other words allowing a potentially reckless operator to take the boat out on the water despite the risk of harm to others.
What Kind of Damages May I Be Able to Recover After a Boating Accident?
Damages available for boating accident victims may include economic damages (medical bills, cost of rehabilitation, lost wages, property damage) as well as non-economic damages (pain, suffering, and emotional or psychological distress resulting from the accident). The Florida statute of limitation allows boating accident claims to be filed up until a certain point after the date of the accident. It is best to take action as soon as possible to obtain greater chances of a positive outcome.
If a loved one was killed as a result of a boating accident, you may be able to file a claim for wrongful death. Wrongful death claims allow surviving relatives of the victim to recover compensation for medical bills, funeral costs, and loss of consortium (meaning loss of family relationships).
Do I Need an Attorney to File a Boating Accident Claim?
After you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you should be able to focus on healing and getting back on your feet instead of worrying about the growing stack of medical bills and endless paperwork involved in filing a claim. Some boating accidents can be legally complex and require knowledge of state and federal boating laws. A seasoned boating accident attorney can handle every aspect of your case and can also provide sound advice to help increase your chances of recovering compensation. At Jiles Law, P.A., we have assisted many victims of boating accidents in Winter Haven, FL, and surrounding areas, and we can help you get fair compensation for your case. If you have been hurt in a boating accident caused by someone else, call us at 863-875-6900 to see how we can help.