In a boat or other watercraft carrier accident you must be able to prove the operator of the vessel, passengers, and other boaters and in some cases the boat or personal watercraft carrier rental companies did not act within a scope of reasonable care, thus resulting in negligence. In addition, a products liability case may be plausible under circumstances where the machine malfunctioned and caused injury or death.
The first step to take after being injured in a boating accident is to seek immediate medical attention. Once injuries have been assessed and treated by a medical professional you should immediately contact a personal injury attorney who has experience handling boating accidents. He will evaluate the facts and evidence of the case and determine if a viable personal injury claim can be made. If so, the attorney will determine whether it falls under maritime law as the statute of limitations may be shorter.
Due to the scene of the accident being on or near water and in the natural elements, collecting evidence as soon as possible is critical in boating accident cases. Gathering evidence should include taking photographs of the vessels and scene of the accident as well as of the injuries when possible. Additional evidence that should be collected includes police or US Coast Guard reports from the incident, obtaining witness statements as well as your own medical records.
Florida is a comparative fault state, which means that there will be a determination of the proportion of fault by each party involved in the accident. For example, if a reckless driver of a boat hits and injures a jet skier who was driving too fast in a no wake zone, both parties could be held partially responsible. Under these circumstances, the recovery of damages may be reduced by the percentage he or she is at fault for the accident.
One of the biggest challenges in boating accident cases is the preserving of evidence as well as the time it may take to obtain reports and actually to see the vessels involved in the collision. Another challenge will, of course, be the physical and mental recovery of the injured person due to the possible severe types of injuries commonly sustained in these accidents.
Florida boating laws are complex and the injuries resulting from these accidents are generally severe and life altering. Therefore obtaining a personal injury attorney who has experience dealing with boating accident claims and lawsuits to represent you is critical in providing the best possible outcome for your case.
At The Fenstersheib Law Group, P.A., we are here to help people (just like YOU) obtain fair and just compensation for your injuries and suffering resulting from boating accidents in Florida.