Our boating accident lawyers want you to know that if someone else was to blame for your boat accident, you may be entitled to significant financial compensation. However, boating accident lawsuits can be complex, given that boating laws are different and there are many possible causes of incidents. You need an experienced injury lawyer to represent you, and that is exactly what we are at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers. Contact our boating accident attorneys in Pensacola to start your case and pursue justice.
Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida
There are over one million registered boats in Florida. Along with a high number of boats come serious boating accidents. In Florida, there were 32 fatal boating accidents in 2022 and another 165 accidents that caused injury.
Here are some common causes of boat crashes that result in injury:
- Drunk boaters
- Inexperienced operators who do not know how to drive a boat
- Distracted boating
- Inadequate maintenance of a boat
- Getting too close to other boats
Florida Boating Laws
Florida has extensive laws about boating safety that impose numerous obligations on boaters. One of the key boat operation requirements under Florida law is that:
“A person who operates any vessel upon the waters of this state shall operate the vessel in a reasonable and prudent manner.”
Boaters must follow speed limits and navigational requirements. The navigational rules require boaters to remain in channels when marked and to properly overtake other boats. They must also maintain the proper speed in wake zones.
Florida boating law specifically states that:
“The ascertainment of fault in vessel operations and boating accidents shall be determined according to the navigation rules.”
It should go without saying that one should not operate a boat when they are under the influence.
Who May Be Responsible for a Boating Accident?
When you have been injured in a boating accident, you need to find the proper defendant to sue. In most cases, the defendant would be another boater who was involved in an accident with you or caused your boat to be involved in an incident.
Your attorney would investigate the cause of the accident and determine who you may sue. Some other defendants in a boating accident case may include the following:
- Driver of another boat that caused you to capsize
- Owner of the dock or marina if the accident happened when the boat was docked or near the marina
- Operator of the boat that you were on if they were reckless or negligent
- Manufacturer of the boat, if the accident was caused by a defective vessel or part
- Owner of the boat or a rental company, when they did not properly maintain the boat
- Other passengers on the boat whose recklessness caused the accident
How Liability Is Proven in Boat Accidents?
You have the burden of proof to show that someone else has the legal obligation to pay you. The legal standard in a boat accident case is negligence. You have the burden of proof to show someone else did something that would be considered unreasonable under the circumstances.
If you can prove that the other party was violating the law, they may be responsible under the legal principle of negligence per se.
Some forms of evidence that your lawyer can use in a boating accident case are:
- Photographs of the accident scene
- The damage to the boats
- The report from the marine police that came to the scene of the accident
- Witness testimony from bystanders and fellow boaters
- Expert witnesses who can recreate the accident
- Parts from the boat itself
How Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers Can Help You
After you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, you may not even know where to start. You need an attentive lawyer who makes your legal case their mission. Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers in Pensacola will handle all aspects of your case from start to finish to put you in the strongest possible legal position.
Here is what we can do for you:
- Learn more about you and your case so we can explain your legal options
- Investigate the cause of your boating accident and gather the evidence that you need to prove liability
- Review your case to come up with a total that you should seek in damages
- Determine all possible responsible parties from whom you can seek compensation
- File a claim with an insurance company or a lawsuit in court against the responsible parties
- Negotiate a possible settlement that will compensate you for your injuries
- Argue your case in court if you cannot reach a settlement agreement
Our boating accident lawyers will handle your case with determination and integrity as you seek the financial compensation to which you are entitled by law.
Reach Out to Our Pensacola Boating Accident Lawyers
You need to speak with a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible after you were injured. There are too many things that can happen in the days after the crash for you to be without legal help.
Contact the Pensacola boat accident attorneys at Stevenson Klotz Injury Lawyers today to schedule your free initial consultation. You can send us a message online, or you can call us today at 850-444-0000. There is no fee unless you are able to recover money in your case.