Boat Accidents

Legal Guidance for Accident Victims in South Florida

Boat slowly sinking Florida boasts some of the most scenic bays and waterways in the United States. While our state has the most boat registrations in the nation, it also has the most boat accidents. If you are involved in a collision on the waters of South Florida, the accident lawyers at Frankl & Kominsky stand ready to assist you. We are seasoned injury attorneys who offer personalized counseling and aggressive representation in boat crash cases. If you have been hurt because someone else carelessly operated a vessel, contact our office today to learn how you can assert your rights.

Pursue Compensation for Injuries on Florida Waterways

Boat accidents are not uncommon. In 2013, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported over 4,000 boat accidents that caused 560 fatalities and 2,620 injuries. Approximately 77 percent of boat accident fatalities were the result of accidental drowning. Florida alone had 685 boat crashes in 2013.

The USCG also reported the leading causes or contributing factors in boat crashes. They include excessive speeding, mechanical failure, operator inattention or inexperience, and improper lookout. Boat operator alcohol use was a factor in 16 percent of fatal boat accidents.

Accidents on the water are often caused by careless conduct. By filing a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, you can hold the defendant in your case liable for your harm and possibly recover damages. If your claim is based on negligence, you must show that the defendant had a duty to act with reasonable care, breached that duty, and caused your injuries and damages.

You may consider pursuing a claim against several different parties after a boat accident, including the boat operator, the boat owner, and the boat manufacturer. Boat operators must act with care to avoid injuries. If they fail to exercise care, such as by speeding, they can be liable for any related damages. Meanwhile, boat owners sometimes allow others to operate their vessels. If an owner entrusted a boat to someone whom he or she knew posed an unreasonable risk of harm to others, the owner may be liable for negligent entrustment.

A boat accident may be caused by malfunctioning equipment, such as the boat’s brakes. A manufacturer of a vessel can be held strictly liable if the boat or its parts were unreasonably dangerous as a result of a defect in its manufacture or design.

In some cases, you may base your claim on negligence as a matter of law, or negligence per se. Many boat accidents, particularly fatal crashes, have been influenced by alcohol consumption. You can base your claim on negligence per se if the boat operator was intoxicated at the time of the crash. A person is negligent per se if he or she violates a law intended to protect a certain group of people from a particular type of harm. In Florida, it is a crime to operate a boat while drunk or drugged. You would need to point to the statute to show that the defendant violated the law, and then you would need to prove that his or her actions caused your injuries and damages.

If you succeed in your lawsuit, you may be able to recover damages for injuries you sustained in a boat crash. You can seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other forms of damages. If you lost a close relative in a fatal boat accident, you can file a wrongful death claim and potentially receive compensation for your loved one’s medical and funeral expenses, loss of companionship, and more.

Florida requires that you file your claim within four years from the date of the crash. Wrongful death suits must be filed within two years.

Boynton Beach Lawyers Skilled in Negligence Lawsuits

At Frankl & Kominsky, you can depend on our commitment to never settle for less for our clients. Based in Boynton Beach, our injury attorneys are ready to help you assert your right to compensation if you were hurt in a boat accident. Our team of lawyers has extensive experience handling complex claims for people who have suffered serious harm. We can provide the representation you need to hold responsible individuals or entities accountable for their actions. Please call us at (855) 800-8000 or complete our form online to schedule a free consultation. We serve clients in Deerfield Beach, Coral Springs, and Fort Lauderdale, among other Florida communities. We are fluent in Spanish and Creole.

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