If you or someone you care about was involved in a boating accident recently, we encourage you to call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine. Our team has represented many boat accident victims over the years. In that time, we’ve helped them collect the damages they deserved. Our West Palm Beach personal injury lawyers are ready to champion your rights today.
How Negligence Causes Boat Accidents in West Palm Beach
Collisions are the leading causes of boat accidents, but boat accidents occur in a variety of situations for various reasons. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can represent you no matter what caused your accident. We’ve advocated for people who have suffered harm after their boats:
- Collided with other vessels
- Struck submerged objects
- Collided with fixed objects
- Ejected passengers from the vessel
- Hit large waves
- Went above a certain speed
These accidents result in wide-ranging injuries and sometimes death. Common injuries include broken bones, lacerations, neck and back injuries, contusions, and in some cases, near-fatal drowning.
All these injuries come with their own recovery periods and concerns. And considering the stress of the situation, it is often difficult to gather yourself. This leaves many boating accident victims unsure of what to do in the aftermath. Contacting a West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer can be a great first step.
What To Do After a West Palm Beach Boat Collision
Everyone knows what to do after car accidents, but it is not quite as clear when it comes to boating accidents. You should approach boat accidents similarly to how you would respond to car accidents.
- Not leave the scene of the accident
- Help anyone who may have fallen off your boat get back onboard
- Tend to anyone who suffered injuries on your boat
- Help anyone who may have fallen off another vessel
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of other boaters involved
- Collect the names, addresses, and phone numbers of witnesses
- Collect the registration and insurance information from the other boater
As you can see, this is very similar to standard protocols after car accidents. But you may notice that we did not mention calling the authorities. You are not necessarily required to report your accident.
However, reporting it can strengthen your case. If you were not at fault, a report from the U.S. Coast Guard corroborating your account could help a potential personal injury claim.
When Do You Need to Report a Boat Accident in West Palm Beach, FL?
That said, there are a few instances when you must report your accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, you must report your boating accident to authorities in the following cases:
- A person passes away
- A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
- A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
- Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000
- The accident destroys a boat
Taking the appropriate steps after your West Palm Beach boat accident could impact your injury claim if you choose to file one––particularly if you receive an official report from the U.S. Coast Guard. But there is still more to consider once you have completed the above steps.
Compensation You Can Collect After a Florida Boating Accident
If you or someone you care about was involved in a West Palm Beach boat accident, there are some damages you can collect. Our firm will help you determine what your case is worth as well as fight on your behalf for:
Damage to Your Boat and Other Property
Boating accidents are often very serious incidents, requiring significant repairs. In some cases, your boating accident may leave your vessel inoperable. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine will seek the full cost of replacing your boat.
Medical Expenses from Your Injuries
Because boating accidents are often so serious, the resulting medical expenses are often expensive. Our firm will seek the cost of ambulance bills, medication, therapy, and more.
Lost Wages After Your Accident
Many boating accident victims must miss time at work due to their injuries. Our firm will seek those damages on your behalf if that is the case. Also, if your injury is severe enough to force you out of work, we can seek lost earning potential damages as well.
How Will We Pursue Your Boat Accident Compensation?
Boat accidents typically involve one of two methods for pursuing financial recovery:
- Filing an injury claim
- Filing a civil lawsuit
Our team will advise you on which approach could resolve your case. Then, we’ll work toward securing compensation. We’re ready to serve you by:
Evidence is crucial in a boating accident case, whether you’re pursuing an insurance settlement, mediation, or lawsuit. A lawyer from our firm can find and use the following information to support your case:
- Eyewitness statements
- Photos or videos of the crash
- Your medical records
- Receipts and other proof of your expenses
- Statements from witnesses
- Other pieces of evidence that demonstrate your damages
Assigning Fault and Liability
To pursue compensation in a boat accident case, you must show that another party was responsible for your injuries. This involves showing that:
- The other party owed you a duty of care, meaning they were responsible for keeping you from harm.
- They didn’t adhere to this responsibility by acting carelessly or recklessly.
- This failure caused a boat accident, causing you to suffer harm.
- You suffered demonstrable injuries because of the accident.
These elements can prove difficult to establish on your own. Yet, when you partner with our firm, you can rest easy and let us manage your legal matters.
Negotiating With Insurers
Boaters aren’t legally required to carry insurance in Florida. However, many dock owners and boat lenders do anyway. If the responsible party was carrying liability insurance, we can pursue their insurer for a settlement.
Yet, this process is rife with challenges. The liable insurer will likely want you to settle for as little money as possible. To reduce the value of your claim, it may request a recorded statement from you, and use it to poke holes in your case. Furthermore, if you agree to a boating accident settlement, you can’t pursue more compensation in the future. These settlements are binding.
Our lawyers are familiar with the insurance negotiation process. We will:
- Handle all communications with the liable party’s insurer
- Advise you on what you can or cannot say while speaking to an insurer
- Identify low settlement offers and bad faith insurance practices
- Review the specifics of the applicable policy
- Estimate a fair value for your case
Participating In Mediation
Mediation provides a middle ground between insurance claims and lawsuits. If insurance negotiations fall through, or the liable party does not carry liability insurance, we can use the third-party mediation process to secure you a settlement.
This process involves sitting down with the liable party and a mediator. During this discussion, both parties will work to come to a fair agreement. If this process doesn’t produce a desirable outcome, we will file a civil lawsuit.
Our clients generally prefer to avoid lawsuits whenever possible. They’re both time-consuming and adversarial. However, litigation may be the only way to secure what you need. To advance your case, we will:
- Present your testimony
- Engage in the cross-examination process
- Take depositions
- Use available evidence to build your case
- Identify inconsistent testimonies
- Fight aggressively for fair compensation
We Care for Our Boat Accident Clients in Palm Beach County
Pursuing compensation is more than just insurance negotiations or lawsuits. We want you to feel as comfortable as possible during this process. We provide our clients with:
- Prompt answers to their legal questions
- The phone number of the lawyer assigned to their case
- Assistance with scheduling their appointments
Above all else, we provide our clients with peace of mind, knowing that we’re managing their legal matters.
Contact a West Palm Beach Boat Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
While hiring a personal injury attorney is not something you necessarily have to do following a boating accident, it could potentially help your case. And we believe our team can help in your pursuit of damages and proving fault.
Boating accidents are very serious events. The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offers free consultations, so you can make an educated decision about your legal options.
We also do not require payment unless you collect a settlement. Our team will closely examine the details of your case and offer our earnest recommendations. Call our firm to schedule a free consultation.
We Can Help.