Florida Statutes § 327.30 outlines the legal procedure after a boating accident. After a collision, you must:
- Render medical attention to any injured parties
- Write down the information of all involved parties
- Attempt to find the other vessel’s owner (if the owner was not present at the scene)
- Notify the authorities
These measures can protect your legal rights if you file an injury claim. If you don’t take these steps, you risk facing legal penalties in addition to jeopardizing your right to damages.
What To Do After a Boating Accident in Florida
After a boating accident in Florida, you should:
Render Any Necessary Medical Attention
Even a seemingly minor boating accident can result in serious injuries. If anyone was hurt in the accident, you should take reasonable measures to stabilize them until emergency care arrives.
For instance, if someone has a cut, you should apply pressure to the wound to prevent blood loss. If someone suffers a neck injury, you should keep them immobile to avoid further damage. Remember, you should only render care if it’s safe. Do not jeopardize your safety to help another person.
Give the Other Party Your Information
You should give the other party all necessary information, including your name, address, and vessel identification number. The law notes that if you hit a stationary vessel that did not have an owner, you should leave behind some information about what happened and where you can be reached.
Notify the Authorities
The law notes that you must notify law enforcement of the accident if anyone was injured, passed away, or property damage exceeded $2,000. You must notify one of the following parties:
- The Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- The sheriff of the county where the boating accident happened
- The police chief overseeing the area where the accident occurred
As noted, each of these considerations can bolster your claim or lawsuit later if you pursue legal action. Failure to do so could jeopardize your right to damages.
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Other Laws That Apply to Your Florida Boating Accident Case
Aside from the legal procedures after a boating accident, some other applicable laws in your case may include:
Florida’s Statute of Limitations
Hopefully, you can recover damages through an insurance claim following your boating accident. If not, you can file a lawsuit in civil court. Per Florida Statutes § 95.11, you generally have four years to file your civil lawsuit.
You typically have two years if you lost a loved one. This is a non-negotiable deadline. If you don’t file your case on time, the courts may refuse to hear it.
Florida’s No-Fault Laws
Florida does not require boaters to have boating insurance. Yet, many do. Florida is a no-fault insurance state, meaning you don’t have to prove fault to recover damages. You generally file a claim with your insurer to recover damages.
If your losses go beyond your insurance coverage, you can pursue damages from the other party. The insurance claims process can get complicated. It’s just one of many reasons to consider entrusting your case to a Florida boating accident lawyer.
You Can Seek Damages After Your Boating Accident in Florida
If you suffered harm in a boating accident, you could seek damages from the liable party, whether your insurer or someone else. Compensable losses in your case may comprise:
- Healthcare expenses
- Lost income
- The cost of repairing or replacing your boat
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Funeral expenses
- Loss of consortium
Boating accidents are serious and can quickly generate thousands of dollars in damages. You shouldn’t have to deal with the financial aftermath of an accident alone. You have every right to partner with a lawyer who can champion your rights.
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A Lawyer Can Help You With the Legal Procedure After a Boating Accident
When you entrust your case to an injury lawyer, they have one goal: to recover compensation for your losses. They can manage evidence collection, the claims process, and everything else your case entails.
Here are some things to know about partnering with a lawyer:
- Many lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis. You shouldn’t have to decide between seeking medical care and pursuing legal action. That’s why many injury lawyers work on a contingency-fee basis, meaning you can seek legal help at no cost upfront.
- Your lawyer can manage all insurance matters. A lawyer can make the claims process more accessible by collecting all necessary communications with the insurer. They can also send your demand letter, present evidence, and review the liability policy.
- A lawyer can evaluate your losses. You may not fully understand the value of your losses, such as pain and suffering. Your lawyer can employ various methods to determine your needs and then pursue them accordingly.
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Begin Your Free Case Review With Our Florida Boating Accident Team
Andrew Pickett Law, PLLC advocates for boating accident claimants in Florida. Connect with our lawyer and paralegals today if you’re wondering about the legal procedure after a collision. We’re prepared to do everything we can to seek the financial recovery your family needs.