Who Do You Sue if a Boat Hits You in Florida?

June 21, 2022 | Firm News

If you are involved in a boat collision that leaves you injured, you may be considering taking legal action to recover for your injuries.  After all, if the accident wasn’t your fault, someone else should be paying the bills for your medical care or boat repairs.  However, boating accidents are often more complicated than car accidents for the purposes of lawsuits.

If a boater negligently hits you in Florida, you should usually sue that person.  However, Florida does not require boat owners or operators to carry insurance, unlike car owners.  Therefore, if a boat hits you and causes you injury, your recovery may be limited to what that individual can pay rather than what their insurance company can pay.

For more information about your potential lawsuit after a boating accident, call Newman Injury Law.  Our experienced Florida boating accident attorneys can assess the facts of your specific case and provide you with the information you need to determine your next steps.  For your free initial consultation, call our offices at 954-495-8500.

How to Determine if You Can Sue When a Boat Hits You in Florida

Boating is a fun, enjoyable pastime, but accidents do happen.  Sometimes, in instances where two boats are involved in a collision, fault is shared between the two boat operators.  However, a boat accident victim can sue the other operator for their fair share of fault.

The size and capability of the vessels involved will typically dictate which party bears more fault for the accident.  For instance, where a collision involves a motorboat and a sailboat, the motorboat bears greater responsibility more often than not.  Where the collision involves much smaller vessels, such as canoes or windsurfing boards, the larger entity will often be more at fault.  While these are the average tendencies, courts may view individual situations differently, especially if one of the parties involved was inebriated while operating their vessel.

In order to sue for a boating accident under a theory of negligence, you must prove that the harms you sustained occurred due to the failure of the other party to operate the boat with reasonable care.  External factors such as weather and visibility may play a role in the boating accident and complicate a finding of negligence.  Speak to a Miami boating accident lawyer to hear more about whether you may file a personal injury lawsuit for your boating accident.

How Does Compensation Work if a Boat Hits You in Florida?

Legally, if a person negligently causes you harm in a boating accident, they are liable to you for monetary damages.  If you are injured in a boating accident because of the other operator’s negligence, you could win more compensation in court or through settlement than through an insurance claim.

Damages available to boat injury victims in Florida include compensation for direct expenses associated with the injury.  These expenses include costs of medical care, such as emergency procedures, doctor’s appointments, and physical therapy.  If you miss time at work while recovering from your injuries, you could also be compensated for your lost wages.

You will also be compensated for the pain and suffering you experience as a result of your traumatic experience and the resulting injuries that may leave you with psychological discomfort or chronic physical pain.

Determining how much you may stand to win in a court case depends on several factors.  Courts will analyze the specific facts of the accident, the nature of the injuries, and the background of the victim to come to a figure. The only way to get a reasonable estimate of what your case is worth is to speak to an experienced Hallandale personal injury attorney.

Typically, larger vessels, especially those that are commercially owned and operated, will have insurance policies that cover injuries to persons and property caused by employee negligence.  If you are involved in a boating accident, be sure to collect all relevant contact and insurance information from the other party at the scene of the accident.

Liability for Manufacturing Issues Causing a Boat Accident in Florida

Occasionally, a boating accident may occur where the at-fault party is not the operator of the boat.  If an injured victim can prove that their accident occurred because of a defective part on the boat involved in the collision, such as an ineffective kill switch or an inaccurate sensor, liability extends past those people at the scene.  The victim could sue the manufacturer of the part for building a defective part.  The victim could also sue the boat retailer for failing to discover the defective part at or before the time of sale.  If there was a maintenance company that was responsible for inspecting the boat for wearing or defective conditions, the victim may choose to sue that company as well.

If there is an issue with a defective part that gives rise to a liability issue after an accident, it may be best to sue all potential parties that could be at fault for the accident and let them battle it out amongst themselves.  Your Florida boating accident injury attorney can help you prepare your lawsuit to maximize your chances of recovery from those responsible.

We Can Help You with Your Lawsuit After a Boat Hit You in Florida

You deserve experienced, competent legal assistance to help you deal with the consequences of a boating accident.  The Pembroke Pines personal injury lawyers at Newman Injury Law are ready to help.  Call us at 954-495-8500 for a free initial consultation.

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