Boating offers citizens of Florida a great chance to escape the heat and to enjoy a pleasant day on the water. Whether this involves taking a boat out for fishing, kayaking, jet skiing, or simply a pleasure cruise, activities on boats make up a large portion of Floridian’s leisure time.
Unfortunately, with all this excitement comes a certain level of risk. Anytime we get into the water we place our safety into the hands of others. Whenever another boater acts in a negligent or reckless way and causes an injury, they should pay for any damage they cause.
A St. Petersburg boat accident lawyer could help individuals who have been injured in boating accidents hold at-fault boaters responsible for their actions. They work to gather evidence in the case, apply it to the relevant laws, and demand appropriate compensation for their losses.
The Duties of Boaters in St. Petersburg
Anytime a person gets behind the controls of any vehicle, they assume a duty to protect any other person that they may encounter. This is similar to the duties taken on by motorists on Florida roads. As a result, boaters must be careful to not get into any accidents with anyone else they may find on the water. This extends not just to the captains of other vessels, but also to:
- Jet Skiers
This duty is automatic and cannot be avoided. It is part of the social contract that all boaters become a part of as soon as they take their vessels away from the dock. Because of this duty, there is a legal responsibility attached to all boating activities.
Proving Negligence in a Boat Accident
To win a case against a defendant boater, the injured party must be able to prove that the boater was negligent. In other words, they failed in their duty to protect the injured person. To prove this, the plaintiff must provide the court with evidence that the negligent boater acted in such a way as to cause the accident.
If a plaintiff can produce evidence that the defendant boater violated a rule of the water such as speeding, driving where boats are not permitted, or was operating while drunk, these cases can be fairly simple. However, many cases rely on circumstantial evidence of both parties’ actions prior to the collision. These cases will look at what the defendant did to cause the accident as well as any failure on the part of the plaintiff to avoid the accident.
No matter the strategy utilized in these boat accident cases, every claim is limited by time. A Florida law known as the statute of limitations strictly controls when a plaintiff can file a case in court. According to Florida Statute §95.11, plaintiffs must act within four years of the date of the accident if they wish to demand compensation. Contact a St. Petersburg boat accident lawyer immediately to get started.
How a St. Petersburg Boat Accident Lawyer Can Help
Accidents that happen on Florida’s many waterways can result in serious injuries. Any time your injuries are caused by the negligence of another boater, you have the right to demand compensation.
A St. Petersburg boat accident lawyer could help you collect this compensation. They can help guide you each step of the way to have the greatest chance of success. Call today to schedule a consultation.