Boating is an extremely enjoyable activity in the wonderful Tampa weather, and many people, residents and visitors alike, take advantage of our weather to get out onto the water. It may come as no surprise to learn that Florida leads the United States in boating accidents each year. In 2016, Florida reported 684 boating accidents (15.3% of the 4463 accidents reported nationally), and 59 out of 624 (9.5%) boating fatalities in the entire United States. This is due to a variety of factors, beginning with the fact that Florida has such consistently good weather for outdoor activities, but combines with a variety of other factors including inexperienced boaters, alcohol, recklessness, and more.
If you have been involved in a boating accident in Tampa that someone else caused, and you have suffered injuries as a result of this accident, then you deserve to be compensated for your injuries and a variety of other impacts that these injuries likely have had on your life. Whether you are working with an insurance company or directly with a defendant and their legal team, hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in Tampa with a history of boat accident experience is one of the best ways to increase your chances of a positive outcome to your case.
1-800-Injured provides access to a wide network of experienced and diligent personal injury lawyers who are ready to take your case today. Finding an experienced, aggressive attorney for your case can be an extremely overwhelming step to take, especially in the early stages of a personal injury claim, which can lead to second-guessing later on in your case, or may lead to many people putting off hiring an attorney at all. When you are able to find a Tampa boat accident lawyer through one proven source, this stress is greatly reduced and you can start focusing on recovery and getting your life back on track.
Read more below about Florida boating accidents, the legal process that comes after these types of accidents, and how a personal injury lawyer can help. Contact 1-800-Injured as soon as possible to be connected with an aggressive lawyer who is ready to take your case today.
What To Do After a Tampa Boating Accident
First Steps After a Boating Accident
A boating accident can be an extremely scary experience, and the reality of being surrounded by water quickly becomes apparent as panic and adrenaline begin to set in. It is important to stay as calm as possible in this situation and contact the proper authorities as soon as possible using the marine VHF radio or another communication device that you have on board.
Seeking Medical Attention
From there, it is important that you receive the appropriate medical care for your injuries. Depending on the situation, this could mean taking an airlift to an emergency room, getting in an ambulance once ashore, or maybe leaving the scene under your own power. Regardless, it is essential that you get medical care, both to treat your injuries and to establish an official record of your injuries.
You will need to determine who was at fault for your accident so that you can then determine which insurance company to contact, and how to proceed with a claim. Once the claim is filed, there will additional steps to determine the degree that each involved party shares the fault, known in Florida as comparative fault, which will ultimately determine the percentage of your overall claim you will ultimately receive.
Hiring a Boating Accident Attorney
Whether or not you are able to clearly determine fault immediately after the accident, hiring a personal injury attorney is an extremely prudent decision that will save you a lot of extra stress and bring clarity to your case from the start. Many people believe that they should wait until after they file an insurance claim to work with a lawyer, but the sooner you get legal assistance, the more informed and intentional each step you take during this process will be.
Filing a Claim
As with any type of accident, you have a right to seek compensation from the party responsible for causing the crash, whether through negligence or recklessness. As with car accidents, alcohol is a common factor in these types of accidents, and is, in fact, the main contributor to boating accidents in the US. However, whether or not alcohol is involved in the crash, there are many other reckless or negligent behaviors that people may engage in that can lead to an accident.
Why Should You Hire a Boating Accident Lawyer in Tampa?
There are many different benefits to working with a professional after you have been injured in an accident that someone else caused. The following are just a few brief reasons that working with an attorney is such a good idea in this situation, but your experience and individual benefits may go beyond these, as well.
Stress plays a major role in injury recovery, and when you are trying to navigate a personal injury claim on your own, all of the stress and burden of the process falls on your shoulders. Whether or not you are experienced with these types of legal actions, taking a claim on without support means that you will need to take on a lot of stress that can have a serious impact on your physical recovery.
In addition to having someone else to take on the stress of your case, it is important that this person has legal experience in these situations and can give you guidance towards receiving a settlement amount that you truly deserve. Insurance companies have strong legal teams who are focused, almost singularly, on limiting the amount of money that any individual claim costs the company, and your claim is no different. It is important to have an experienced professional who can counter the insurance company.
After the investigation of your claim is complete, you will receive a settlement offer from the insurance company intended to settle your claim with a one-time payment. In exchange for accepting this offer, they will likely compel you to waive any rights for future actions stemming from this accident, regardless of whether or not it covers all of the financial impacts of your injuries. When you have an attorney representing you, they will use this initial claim as the starting point for negotiations and will fight aggressively to get you the money that you deserve, and not just the money that the insurance company hopes to pay.