Even people who are not boaters themselves can enjoy Florida’s collection of waterways and beaches. Swimmers, kayakers, parasailers, and fishermen all use Florida’s water to enjoy themselves. Sadly, all these activities come at a risk.
Every time that we get into the water our safety is in the hands of others. If another person fails to keep us safe and violates their legal responsibility, that at-fault boater is liable to pay for any resulting damage.
A St. Augustine boat accident lawyer could help you hold negligent boaters at-fault for their actions. Whether you are injured as a boater, a passenger, or a swimmer, you have the right to demand compensation. An experienced personal injury attorney is dedicated to helping you fight to collect these payments.
Potential Sources of Boating Injuries in St. Augustine
All activities that a person can undertake in the water are inherently dangerous. This does not mean people should not do them, but simply serves as a reminder that accidents can and do occur. Not every accident that happens on the water is another person’s fault. Boaters who are at fault for their own accidents, weather-related mishaps, and drownings are rarely sources of a personal injury claim.
However, if a boater is determined to be at-fault in an accident, they are responsible for paying for any resulting damage. This is because all boaters assume a duty to protect all other people they encounter while at the controls. As a result, some common scenarios that can lead to boat accident cases include:
- Collisions between the drivers of two vessels
- A passenger in a boat that is injured in an accident caused by that driver’s negligence
- Swimmers who are struck by an at-fault boat
While the law never assumes that a boater is at-fault for an accident, some pieces of evidence can make a powerful case. If a police report indicates that a boater was violating a rule of the water at the time of the incident, the court may consider them negligent per se. This simply means that the defendant must then provide evidence that they were not the source of the accident. A St. Augustine boat accident lawyer could help gather this vital evidence.
Examples of Injuries in Boat Accident Cases
The center of any boat accident case must be a physical bodily harm. This can include something as minor as cuts and scrapes, or something as severe as permanent losses of bodily functions. Compensation for these losses will always include the payment of medical bills but may also include payments for any future medical costs associated with the accident.
However, a truly comprehensive boat accident claim will also consider the economic impact upon the plaintiff. In most cases, a plaintiff will be forced to miss time at work to make their recovery. This can include shifts lost to attend appointments and any periods of total disability caused by the accident.
Finally, a plaintiff can make a claim for any loss of quality of life endured after the incident. All of this combines to make a boat accident claim a complex process. In addition, a plaintiff must be sure to file their case on time. Florida Statute §95.11 says that plaintiffs have only four years from the date of injury to file a case.
Speak with a St. Augustine Boat Accident Attorney Today
Boat accidents can result in serious injuries. Even if an injured person is not actually piloting a boat, they have the right to hold negligent boaters civilly liable for their actions and to demand compensation. This can include payments for not just medical costs, but also for lost wages and mental anguish.
A St. Augustine boat accident lawyer is prepared to lead the way to obtain these payments. They can work to investigate the incident, to analyze all relevant areas of Florida law, and to author demand packages designed to avoid lengthy litigation and to obtain maximum compensation. Contact an attorney today to learn more.