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 boating accident attorney at Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano.
We have guided many clients through the process of seeking compensation for their harm. We understand the state, federal, and maritime laws that govern boating accidents.
How Frequent are Boat Accidents?
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 boat 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% of the total accidents that year.
Causes of Boat Accidents
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, explosions, and more. An injury lawyer can help you determine whether the boat accident was caused by negligence from the other operator.
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 boat 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.
Damages for Boat Accidents
The damages that a victim can potentially recover in a boat 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. Subjective forms of harm like pain and suffering or emotional distress also may be compensable.
If a boat 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.
Statute of Limitations for Boat Accidents
In the state of Florida, the statute of limitations for suing a negligent boat operator is 4 years from the date of the accident. Under maritime law, however, legal action must be taken within 3 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.
Our Legal Team
People who were involved in a boat accident may be able to seek compensation for their injuries if another party was at least partly responsible. At Lusk, Drasites, & Tolisano, our boating accident lawyers have assisted victims near Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Naples. To request your free legal consultation with a Florida boating accident attorney, call us toll free at (800) 283-7442.