Boating Accident Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale, Florida
A boating accident can be a terrifying and devastating experience, especially when you or someone you love suffers a serious injury. Unfortunately, you may not know what to do in the aftermath of the accident in terms of legally protecting your health and pursuing compensation for your injuries and losses.
Pursuing a boating accident claim can be too complex to handle on your own, especially when you are trying to focus on your medical treatment. At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., our Florida attorneys understand the difficulties you may experience after this type of traumatic event.
We are here to assist you with your claim and help you get the compensation you need to get back to your normal life. Our law firm serves Fort Lauderdale and the surrounding areas, including Pembroke Pines, Davie, Plantation, Weston, Hollywood, and Sunrise, Florida.
Boating Accidents in Florida
Boating accidents have the potential to cause severe and potentially life-threatening injuries, including brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, broken bones, and others. The circumstances of a boat accident vary from one case to another. However, the following types of boating accidents are more common than others:
Collisions with other vessels. One of the most devastating types of boating accidents involves a collision between two or more vessels.
Collisions with stationary objects. An accident may also occur when a boat collides with stationary objects, such as a dock, a piece of debris, a sandbar, or a docked vessel.
Onboard slip and fall accidents. Passengers may also suffer injuries when they slip and fall onboard while the boat is stationary or in motion.
Run-over accidents. A run-over accident occurs when the boat operator does not notice divers, swimmers, or snorkelers in the water and hits them with their vessel.
People thrown overboard. When a collision occurs, passengers can be thrown overboard. This may also occur when a passenger slips and falls, the vessel stops abruptly, or the passenger is too intoxicated by alcohol or drugs.
Depending on how your injury occurs, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Discuss your case with a boating accident attorney in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to explore your options and to get the help you need in navigating the claims process.
Liability for a Boating Accident
When you’ve been involved in a boating accident, you need to identify liable parties before pursuing legal action or filing a claim for compensation. Liability for a maritime accident is determined based on the facts of your case. Potential liable parties include:
The boat operator. If there is evidence to prove that the boat operator was negligent when operating the vessel (e.g., speeding or failing to keep a proper lookout), the operator will be held liable for the resulting damages and losses.
The boat owner. If the accident occurred because the boat was not properly maintained, injured parties can pursue a claim against the owner of the boat for failure to keep the vessel in a safe condition.
The boat manufacturer. If manufacturing or design defects were the cause of the boat accident, the manufacturer of the vessel can be sued for any damages and losses suffered by the victims. An investigation may be necessary to determine if the vessel experienced a malfunction.
The rental company. If the boat involved in the accident was rented out by a rental company, the company may be held accountable if it failed to maintain the vessel in a safe condition or if there was a lack of reasonable safety equipment on the boat.
Other passengers. Some boating accidents occur because passengers on the vessel behave negligently or recklessly. For example, if a drunk passenger starts a fight and inflicts injuries on other passengers, that passenger can be held liable for the resulting damages and losses.
Every case is unique, which is why determining who is liable for causing your boating accident can be tricky. Consider contacting a knowledgeable personal injury attorney to review the facts of your case and identify liable parties.
Once the liable parties are identified, you can proceed with your claim or lawsuit against that party. However, in order to recover damages in your legal action or claim, you need to be able to prove negligence. The elements of negligence include:
A duty of care. The first element in proving negligence after a boating accident is to show that the defendant owed you a duty of care. For example, the boat operator has a duty to operate the vessel in a prudent and reasonable manner.
A breach of duty. Then, you must prove that the duty of care was breached. For example, if the boat operator failed to operate the vessel in a prudent and reasonable manner (e.g., they were speeding), you can demonstrate a breach of duty.
Causation. You must also prove that the defendant’s breach of duty was a direct cause of your injuries and losses. In our example, it means proving that the boat operator’s speeding resulted in a boating accident, in which you suffered injuries.
Damages. Finally, you need to prove that you suffered damages as a result of suffering your injuries. This includes medical bills, loss of income, property damage, emotional distress, and other types of economic and non-economic damages.
Get help from an experienced attorney when building your claim against the defendant. Our team at the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., can help you gather the evidence you need to strengthen your claim and secure your fair compensation.
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
At the Law Offices of McCullough & Leboff, P.A., our attorneys strive to offer compassionate and effective legal representation to victims of boating accidents in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and the surrounding area. We can take the stress of pursuing compensation off your shoulders, allowing you to focus on getting back to your normal life. Contact our office today to set up a free consultation and discuss your case.