Boating Accidents

Injury Lawyers Dedicated to Serving Residents of Fort Myers

If you or someone you know was hurt on the waters around Florida due to the carelessness of another person or entity, you should seek the assistance of a dedicated injury attorney at Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano. We have guided many residents of Fort Myers and other Florida cities through the process of seeking compensation for their harm. We understand the state, federal, and maritime laws that govern boating accidents.

Bringing a Claim After a Boating Accident

According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there are approximately 900,000 registered boaters in the state. Unfortunately, this means there are also a number of boating accidents that take place every year. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 736 deaths attributed to these incidents across the country. Alcohol was a contributing factor in 16 percent of the total accidents that year.

Boat accidents can occur on all forms of water vessels, including ferries, power boats, sail boats, jet skis, canoes, and kayaks. These vessels can get into a variety of accidents that may be caused by colliding with other vessels, excessively speeding, operating the vessel under the influence of drugs or alcohol, incompetent steering, fires or explosions, and more.

Every water vessel operator has a legal responsibility to operate the boat safely. When such an operator is negligent, that party may be held liable for any resulting harm. A negligence lawsuit is typically how victims of boating accidents seek compensation. Negligence consists of the failure to use reasonable care when operating a boat. Reasonable care refers to the level of precaution that an ordinary person would use when operating a boat in the same circumstances. In order to collect damages, the victim must show that the boater’s carelessness was the direct cause of the accident in which he or she was hurt, and that quantifiable damages resulted.

The damages that a victim can potentially recover in a boating accident case may take both economic and non-economic forms. An injured individual may be able to obtain reimbursement for objective costs like medical expenses, lost income and benefits, and the costs of future treatment, while subjective forms of harm like pain and suffering or emotional distress also may be compensable. If an accident resulted in a tragic loss of life, the family of the victim may be able to bring a wrongful death claim. Distinctive types of damages are often available in these cases.

In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for suing a negligent boat operator is four years from the date of the accident. Under maritime law, however, legal action must be taken within three years from when the victim was harmed. It is also important to file the lawsuit in the correct court within the applicable statute of limitations, or your right to compensation may be barred.

Explore Your Options with a Naples Attorney after an Accident

People who were involved in a boating accident may be able to seek compensation for their injuries if another party was at least partly responsible. At Lusk, Drasites & Tolisano, our accident lawyers have assisted victims from the Naples area as well as other Collier and Lee County communities, such as Cape Coral, Lehigh Acres, and Port Charlotte. You can call us toll-free at (800) 283-7442 or contact us through our online form today.