Hurricane Ian devastated everyone in Florida, especially the gulf coast. There are more than 900,000 boats registered in the state, the most in the country, meaning there were quite a few boats damaged. Repairing a boat can be costly; thankfully, most boaters have insurance.
Boat insurance is comprehensive and covers the boat, passengers, and other boats involved in the accident. It can be difficult to file a claim on your boat insurance; therefore, it’s best to get our Marco Island yacht damage lawyer to help. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is here to help you throughout the process and successfully file a yacht damage claim.
My Boat Is Damaged, What Should I Do?
If your boat was damaged in a storm, you can file a claim with your comprehensive boat insurance to cover the damages. As always, the health and safety of your passengers should be paramount; therefore, you should always check on your passengers first.
Check for Injuries
Safety is paramount for everyone on your vessel; therefore, it’s critical you check to make sure nobody is injured. Take account of both yourself and others, and call for help immediately if needed. If you need to leave the boat, ensure everyone has a life jacket.
Report the Accident
According to Florida law 327.30, if you are the one operating the boat, you must report the accident when major injuries or catastrophic damages are present. You must get in touch with one of these organizations if the boat accident resulted in hospitalization, death, or damages totaling more than $2,000. In this case, the agencies to get in touch with include:
- Division of Law Enforcement of the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- Local sheriff
- Local police department
If you were involved in a boating accident or own a vessel that incurred damage, get in touch with our firm today.
If your boat is damaged due to natural forces or an accident, it’s important to put together evidence to prove your case. Take substantial pictures and videos of the area to consider the damages and the conditions the incident occurred in. Eyewitness testimony is also helpful in this case, mostly from those who saw the accident happen in real time.
In the case where your boat was damaged in adverse weather conditions, you should also take substantial photos and videos of the damage and ensure you keep any receipts for short-term fixes to prevent any further issues. Be sure to keep track of your expenses no matter what caused damage to your boat, as this will prove advantageous when filing your claim.
Get in Touch with the Insurance
Although it’s important to make any temporary repairs to your boat after an accident or storm damage, it’s critical to get in touch with insurance right away. They will alert you on what to do next.
Contact a Lawyer from Our Firm
Regardless of which type of boat you own, it can be extremely expensive to repair. Therefore, insurance companies will likely delay providing you with compensation to make the necessary repairs. Your Marco Island yacht lawyer from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will provide you with strong representation to get your claim moving.
Who Is Liable For The Damage?
It can be a tedious task to decide who is at fault after a boating accident. It’s also much more difficult to pinpoint the fault and recreate the accident scene in the water than on land. Therefore, it’s important to get legal help in determining fault. In most cases, there are quite a few different parties that can be held liable for the damage, such as the owner or operator of the boat, the marina or dock owner, and the manufacturer of the vessel.
Boat Owner or Operator
The boat owner or operator is often responsible for any damages incurred on their vessel. They have a responsibility to ensure the boat is safe and free of any defects. According to Florida law, there is no requirement to receive a boating license; it is recommended that anyone born after 1988 get their Florida Boating Safety Education ID Card. The owner and operator of the boat is held liable for the damage if they are not following the recommended safety laws.
Marina or Dock Owner
If the damage to the boat occurred while the owner was not present and the boat was docked, then the marina or dock owner would be held liable for the damage. If the dock or marina is not properly cared for, they would be responsible due to negligence and considered at fault by law.
If the boat malfunctioned and caused harm or damage due to a design flaw, the manufacturer would be held liable. Furthermore, if a separate manufacturer provided certain parts that failed, they would be held liable.
Although living in Florida gives residents the opportunity to be surrounded by beautiful beaches and plenty of waterways for boating, there is no escape from inclement weather, especially during hurricane season. Therefore, boats experiencing storm damage is common in Florida. Any damage incurred during a storm should be covered by insurance.
When contracting with an insurance company, it’s critical you read all the terms and conditions, as some insurance policies do not cover hurricane or other storm damage. Therefore, it’s critical to add storm damage to your policy, even if you need to pay extra, as it will benefit you in the long run.
How Can My Marco Island Yacht Damage Lawyer Help Me?
By hiring a yacht damage lawyer to help you with your case, we will take care of all the heavy lifting, such as:
- Investigating and gathering evidence
- Negotiating with the insurance companies
- Assistance with denied claims
- Will go to court if insurance does not adequately cover expenses
As you can see, the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine is here for you if you experienced damage to your boat. If you were denied a claim or are not being paid fairly by insurance, our attorneys can help get you the justice you deserve.
Contact the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today
If you are the victim of a boating accident or your boat suffered damage from a storm, get in touch with the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today. As your yacht damage lawyer, we can help you through the process and obtain the money you deserve in Collier County.
We Can Help.