Few things are more terrifying than being involved in a boat accident in Florida. In addition to the injuries that occur because of the collision, when you have a mishap on the water, you also face the possibility of drowning.
If were left with expensive medical bills, high repair costs, and emotional trauma after a boating accident, you deserve compensation. A boat accident lawyer in Miami, FL, can help you fight for compensation for these and other losses related to your accident.
The personal injury lawyers at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine can help you understand your legal rights after a boat crash. We will investigate your accident, determine the liable party, and calculate a fair value for your damages. Call 1-800-747-3733 today for a free consultation about your case.
How Do I Get Compensation for My Damages After a Boat Crash?
The person responsible for causing your boat crash is also liable for your damages. If another boater caused your accident, we will approach their insurance provider for compensation for your related losses.
The damages you qualify for will depend on the specifics of your case. In general, if you suffered severe injuries—such as a spinal cord injury or a traumatic brain injury—you will qualify for a significant settlement.
We can often recover reimbursement for the following losses after this type of incident:
- Medical bills;
- Long-term medical treatment;
- Lost wages from work;
- Reduced earning capacity if you cannot return to your job;
- Assistive devices or in-home modifications;
- The cost to repair or replace your boat;
- Pain and suffering;
- Wrongful death, if a family member died in a boat crash; and
- Other out-of-pocket expenses.
Our attorneys will calculate a fair value for your damages after we investigate your accident. During the course of our investigation, we will also collect evidence proving that the at-fault party is liable for your crash.
What Do I Have to Prove to Hold Someone Responsible For a Boat Accident?
Boaters owe a duty of care to swimmers and other people on the water to keep them reasonably safe from harm. If the boater in your case breached this duty of care, and this breach caused your accident and injuries, we can hold them responsible for their negligence.
Examples of duty of care include:
- Operating a vessel while sober;
- Paying attention while operating the vessel;
- Maintaining an appropriate speed for the circumstances; and
- Avoiding reckless or dangerous behavior while on the water.
Is It a Crime to Operate a Boat Negligently?
In some cases, a negligent boat operator could have committed a crime. For example, Florida boating regulations criminalize operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol. If the boater in your case was drunk at the time of the crash, they could face criminal charges for their behavior.
Examples of other criminal boating violations include:
- Reckless operation of a vessel or personal watercraft;
- Allowing a person under the age of 14 to operate a personal watercraft;
- Failure to render aid after a boating accident;
- Failure to report an accident; and
- Unlawfully leaving the scene of a boat crash.
It is important to note that any criminal charges the at-fault party in your case is facing will be entirely different from your request for compensation. However, if the authorities issued citations at the scene of your accident or made an arrest, it could help prove fault when we file your claim.
What Is the Claims Process Like After a Boat Crash?
After we conduct an investigation into your accident, we will file an insurance claim with the at-fault party’s insurance provider. In this claim, we will detail the cause of the crash, the damages you suffered, and the amount of compensation you deserve.
Usually, the insurance company will respond with a lower settlement offer. This begins our negotiation process. We will fight to get you a settlement that takes all of your losses into account, including your future care needs. In most cases, we can come to an agreement with the insurance company and settle a claim without entering a courtroom. However, if the insurance company denies fault or refuses to offer a fair settlement, we can file a lawsuit and represent you in court.
What Causes Boat Crashes in Florida?
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), these behaviors or actions caused the most boat wrecks in 2016:
- Operator inexperience;
- Carelessness or recklessness;
- Making sharp turns;
- Alcohol use;
- Obstructed views;
- Equipment failure;
- Machinery failure; and
- The behavior of skiers or boat occupants.
These crashes caused a number of severe injuries for victims, including:
- Broken bones;
- Head injuries;
- Back or spinal injuries;
- Internal injuries;
- Sprains or strains;
- Neck injuries;
- Amputations; and
In some cases, boat accidents can be fatal. If you are facing these or other serious losses after a crash, our legal team can help.
How Can I Get Help After a Boat Accident in Miami?
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 for a free case evaluation. There is no obligation. If you have a valid claim against another party, we will get to work immediately. We will:
- Investigate the facts to prove negligence and liability;
- Collect evidence to show how much compensation you should receive;
- Deal directly with the insurance company to protect your interests and allow you to recover; and
- Fight hard to get you all the compensation you deserve.
We look forward to hearing from you so that we can help you.