Personal Injury Claims and Liability After a Boat Accident

Personal Injury Claims and Liability After a Boat Accident

July 6, 2021

Summer is here, which means more people are eager to get out on the water. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. You may be eligible to recover compensation for your injuries and property damage—and since boating accidents can be quite serious, you’ll probably need to recover as much as you can.

Here’s an overview of personal injury claims and boat accident liability in Florida.

Boating accidents are usually a form of negligence

Most boating personal injury claims will be under a theory of negligence. Generally, negligence is defined as when someone else’s failure to act with reasonable care causes otherwise preventable injuries. You’ll need to prove that the boat operator owed you a duty of care, that they failed to uphold that duty and your injuries resulted from that failure.

Boating negligence could involve boat collisions, capsizing due to another boat’s wake, hitting another object and more. Boating collisions are usually the most common claim, especially when you’re sailing on crowded waters. The more people there are on the water at any given time, the more likely it is that someone will be involved in an accident.

What you could recover from a boating accident claim

Boating negligence claims will usually involve compensatory damages—that is, damages that are designed to make up for specific injuries and costs. For example, you can easily put a monetary value on your injuries by adding up your medical bills. If you were unable to work while recovering, you could be compensated for lost wages, and if your property was damaged, the negligent party should be liable for those costs, too.

In certain cases, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish parties in the event of supreme negligence or recklessness. They are far less common than compensatory damages, and their sole point is to punish the liable party. Courts are far less likely to hand out punitive damages unless the negligence is particularly severe.

To find out what kind of damages you may be able to recover, make sure to call a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. While you have four years to file a claim in Florida, the sooner you file, the better.

Defenses to negligence claims

Even if the other party exhibited negligent behavior, that doesn’t mean you’ll always win your case. One common defense to negligence is comparative negligence—that is, the victim also engaged in negligent behavior that contributed to the accident. The damages are reduced by the percentage at which the plaintiff is determined to be at fault. Your personal injury lawyer will advise you as to whether you may be subject to this defense, and its chances of succeeding.

If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, call Ruben J. Padron, PA today to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We look forward to discussing the specifics of your case and are committed to fighting for justice on your behalf.

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