Picture of Motor Boat

Florida may be best known for the beautiful weather, amazing beaches, and sunny days. Consequently, boating in Florida is a very popular activity. While it’s always an amazing time getting out on a boat to enjoy the views back on the coast, some incredible sportfishing, and other entertainment, like tubing and waterskiing, boating can also be dangerous. For all of the benefits of boating in Florida, there are some risks as well. Operating a motorboat is a much different experience than operating a motor vehicle, and to make matters worse, people commonly operate boats while also drinking alcohol. The combination of alcohol and sunlight can lead to serious lapses in judgment, and make boating even more dangerous.

Boating accidents are frightening, in part because of the accident itself, but secondly, because the victims in the accident quickly find themselves in an unfamiliar environment, swimming in open water, and waiting to be rescued while also trying to manage the pain and fear caused by their initial injuries. Boat accident survivors often face long periods of physical, mental, and emotional recovery.

1-800-Injured is an attorney and medical referral service. We connect boating accident victims to attorneys for a free initial consultation. Once one of the boating accident attorneys in our network gathers the details of your injuries and the incident that led to them, they can advise you on the proper course to take. Since boating accidents and the insurance claims process that follows can be much different than a car accident or other land-based accident, it is important that you work with an attorney who has a strong understanding of maritime law, has worked with these situations before, and has had success with their clients. The 1-800-Injured referral network gives the victims of accidents a wide range of options with regard to boating accident lawyers in their area as well as medical service providers. 

Read more below to learn about how a boating accident is unique, and how working with the right attorney for your case is one of the most important first steps to take in getting the justice that you deserve.

Common Boating Accidents in Florida

Image of Yacht

We understand that no two boating accidents are alike and that the details of your accident need to be discussed with an experienced attorney in order to understand how to move forward. However, there are some types of accidents that are much more common than others, even though the injuries, causes, and other details may vary.

Boat Collisions

Boat collisions are extremely common in areas with high boating traffic, such as in harbors or near boat launches. In many cases, the collision may be caused by an inexperienced boat pilot confusing the right of way, the result of reckless driving, or because of intoxication. It is important that everyone involved in the collision, as well as any witnesses, gives their account of the accident to determine fault.

Falling Overboard

Falling overboard may or may not be the fault of the victim. If you have fallen overboard a boat and suffered injuries as a result, there are many different factors that will need to be considered in order to determine the cause and the amount of fault before moving forward with a personal injury claim.

Capsizing

There are many different reasons that boats capsize, and while some are the result of negligence or inexperience, others can be caused by environmental factors, like inclement weather, or mechanical failures that are beyond the control of the operator. As with all boating accidents, you will need to work with your attorney to determine the cause of the accident who’s at fault. 

Colliding With Obstacles 

When navigating along coastal waters, there are many different obstacles that a boat operator must avoid, such as pilings, docks, buoys, rocks, and even the shore. Depending on a variety of factors, you may file an injury claim with your own insurance company, or the company insuring the boat and the driver. Again, your attorney will help you determine how to work towards a full recovery.

Determining Fault In a Boating Accident

Yachts in the dock

Determining who was at fault for an accident on a boat can be complicated, and in some cases, more complex than a car accident or other land-based crash. This is because of the unpredictable and inconsistent nature of the ocean or other bodies of water, and in many cases, there are a lack of credible witnesses other than those who were in the crash. It is extremely helpful that you partner with a boat accident attorney as soon as possible so that they can give you the guidance that you need through every step of this process.

Depending on the group who responded to the accident, such as the Coast Guard or the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, you will need to get a copy of the accident report, as well as any eyewitness statements that will help to support your claim and present a clear picture of the situation to the insurance company. If you believe that someone else is at fault for your injuries, you will be able to develop a strategy with your attorney about how to prove this before moving forward with the rest of your case.

How To Find The Right Boating Accident Lawyer in Florida

Finding the right attorney to represent your case after a boating accident is an important step towards your recovery. If you are working with an attorney who is a great personal injury lawyer but has little or no understanding of maritime law, you may find that you are unable to build a strong case. This is where 1-800-Injured comes into play. We will connect you with an attorney for a free initial consultation where they will discuss your accident, your injuries, and the situation that caused these circumstances.

Finding an attorney can be stressful if you try to do it on your own. Especially when you are also focusing on trying to recover from a boating accident. 1-800-Injured helps boating accident victims by connecting them with aggressive, professional boating accident lawyers who can handle the business of negotiating with insurers, medical providers, etc.

Working With an Insurance Company After a Boating Accident in Florida

Whether or not you decide to retain the services of a personal injury attorney through your injury claims process, you will need to work with an insurance company and an insurance adjuster. During the process, they will investigate the accident as well as the impact that the accident has had on your life, both personally and financially, and they will ultimately return with a settlement offer. This settlement offer is almost never the amount that you actually deserve, and we strongly advise against accepting an initial offer from an insurance company without consulting with your own attorney.

If you are being represented by a boating accident lawyer, they will use this initial offer as a starting point in negotiations. Your attorney will push to reach an agreement where the insurance company pays the amount that you are truly owed for your injuries and suffering. It is important to note that the amount you will accept for a settlement will typically be less than the amount that you will seek during a full lawsuit in the Florida court system, but this difference takes into consideration the time and money that a lawsuit costs.

Filing a Lawsuit

If your attorney and the insurance company are unable to reach an agreement about the amount of money you deserve during settlement negotiations, you will then need to decide whether you will accept less than you deserve or if you will pursue a full lawsuit in order to get what you are truly owed. This decision is between you and your lawyer and will take many different factors into consideration. Ultimately, there is no right answer about which option you choose, and is very subjective depending on your unique situation.

Contact Us Today

The first step to finding the right attorney getting the money that you need to get your life back on track is to contact 1-800-Injured. We will connect you with an attorney for your free initial consultation today. During this consultation, they will talk about all of the unique factors of your accident and injuries that will help them determine the right course of action. Our robust referral network means that you will have access to the right lawyer for your case, no matter what the circumstances are.