Florida is the most popular place for boating in the country, by residents, and by tourists. While fun and important to the economy, it also means Florida has the most boating accidents in the country as well.
Liability in Boating Accidents
Liability questions in boating accidents are trickier than it may seem. Since there is so much more room to maneuver, both boats may be at fault if two hit each other. There are also questions about wake regulations and unseen objects that can complicate matters.
Under Florida statute, if two or more parties are involved in an accident then both may be assigned a percentage of responsibility. As long as you’re under 51% responsible for an accident, you can get compensation. Proving this may be hard, but that’s why you need a Palm Bay boating accident lawyer on your side.
Their job, one among many, is to prove who was negligent enough in an accident to be liable for your injuries. This requires experience in boat accident cases. Water can wash away many pieces of evidence, but there are still ways of determining who was at fault.
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Lax Boater Safety Causes Boating Accidents
Boater safety courses are required for many in Florida, but there is no license like there is with driving a car. Tourists can get an abbreviated course through their boat rental facility, but that doesn’t mean they have boating experience.
Only one person on the boat is required to have taken the boater safety course, and they don’t have to be the pilot! Add on top of this the party atmosphere of being on the water, plus liberal amounts of alcohol, and there is a lot of risk out there.
We want to encourage you to keep your safety training, insurance policies, and safety gear up to date. Never drive on the water while drinking. This is a criminal offense and a leading cause of boat accident cases.
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What Money Could I Receive from My Boating Accident?
Just like other personal injury cases, you can receive economic and non-economic damages for your case. All the costs that come to you because of your accident need to be paid for, including those that don’t have an easy dollar amount.
Your damages can include, but aren’t limited to, the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages, now and in the future
- Damage to your boat and gear
- Future medical care related to your injuries
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
How much you can get depends on the circumstances of your case. Anything we claim we have to back up through evidence. Your boating accident lawyer in Palm Bay will help you get that evidence so they can make a strong case to the insurer. If the insurer won’t listen, we’ll make them listen in court.
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I’ve Been in a Boating Accident. Now What?
There are steps you must take after a boating accident just like in a car accident. First, locate all the passengers and get them out of the water. Then report the boating crash. You can report the crash to any of the following:
- Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- The Brevard County sheriff (or whichever county you’re in)
- The police of the city you’re in.
You are required to do this as soon as possible if someone is missing, dead, seriously injured, or if there is more than $2000 in damages. When the authorities arrive, give them a report. While you’re waiting, take photos and video of the scene, including the registration numbers of the boats. You can also ask for contact information and insurance information if they have it.
Once you have been treated and have given your report, seek out one of our Palm Bay boating accident attorneys. We can tell you how to proceed with your claim and help you get treatment from specialists while you wait for your settlement.
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Should I Carry Boating Liability Insurance?
It is not required in Florida to carry it, but you should have it. You may already have some if you are still buying your boat or if you have it docked at a marina. Carrying insurance also helps you if the other boater has no insurance.
Filing a claim against your own insurance is possible if you have uninsured boater coverage. Check your policy each year and see if it has enough coverage in case of an accident and if it still covers everything you want.
Call Andrew Pickett Law for Help if Another Boat Struck You
Andrew Pickett Law assists victims in Palm Bay and across Brevard County after they’ve been in boating accidents. Our team knows what to do to pursue these claims and get you the maximum compensation we can under the law.
It starts with a free consultation. Call us or use our contact form to reach out to our office. We will get back to you quickly and listen to your story. Let us make the case to you that we’re the boating accident attorney in Palm Bay you can trust with your claim.