Unfortunately, Florida has the highest annual number of boating deaths and the second-highest number of alcohol-related boating accidents in the nation, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation's statistics. If you were hurt on a boat, you may be able to hold the person responsible for your harm accountable. The accident lawyers at the Dean Law Firm in Ocala represent ordinary victims in a wide range of claims involving boat crashes, water skiing incidents, drunk boating collisions, and jet ski mishaps.Seek Compensation Through a Negligence Lawsuit
As with vehicle collisions that take place on land, a boat accident can result in serious injuries. In Florida, both residents and tourists head out onto the water for fun and recreation. They may forget that their failure to use reasonable care can result in accidents as catastrophic as their failure to use reasonable care while driving their cars to work. It is common for people to drink alcohol while out on the water, ignoring that alcohol impairs their judgment, or for people with no experience boating to rent a boat.
Boating crashes often happen for the same reasons that car accidents do. They may be the result of a boater's drunk driving, excessive speed, distracted driving, racing, or another failure to exercise reasonable care to avoid putting the safety of others at risk. There are also some accidents unique to boating, such as crashing into a submerged vessel, falling or capsizing, and being struck by a propeller. Your injuries can range from being as minor as a bruise to being as severe as brain or spinal cord injuries. These types of harm can be life-altering or permanently disabling, and the expensive medical bills that result may cause financial devastation to your family. In some tragic cases, a loss of life may even occur.
If you are hurt by a negligent boater and bring a lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to establish the four elements of negligence: duty, breach, causation, and actual damages. Once these steps are followed, you may be able to recover compensation, including medical expenses, lost wages, loss of earning capacity, and pain and suffering. When a spouse, child, or parent dies in a fatal boating accident, certain family members may pursue compensation through a wrongful death claim. Boating accidents are governed not only by state negligence laws, but also federal laws when the accident happens in the ocean. This may add a layer of complexity to an ordinary injury case or wrongful death claim in these circumstances.
Defendants may raise the defense of comparative negligence, claiming that the victim was partly responsible for the accident. For example, someone who was speeding may be partly at fault for a boat crash, even if the defendant was drunk and collided with him or her. When this argument is successful, the jury assigns percentages of fault to the parties and reduces the victim’s recovery by his or her proportion of responsibility.Seek Legal Guidance for Your Crystal River Injury Case
At the Dean Law Firm, we devote our energies to those who have been injured by the negligence and wrongdoing of others. We know that each of our valued clients has only one chance to get the compensation that he or she deserves. The financial impact of a boating accident can be significant. Insurers sometimes deny or delay valid claims, creating more frustration and worry. Litigating cases in Crystal River and the surrounding areas, our injury attorneys can advocate on your behalf to hold the responsible parties accountable. Call us at 352-387-8700 or contact us via our online form to set up an initial consultation. We represent accident victims throughout Florida, including in Marion, Sumter, Lake, Citrus, and Levy Counties.