Weekends on the waterways of Delray Beach are usually without incident, but occasionally boating mishaps cause serious injuries.
A Delray Beach boat accident lawyer’s experience and dedication can achieve compensation to accommodate for the physical and mental expenses stemming from the accident. Contact a compassionate accident attorney for help in your claim today.
Florida Boating Laws
Just like rules of the road, the rules of the water promote safety and courtesy. Florida maritime law covers navigation on waters that have access to the sea and include accidents that occur on water, docks, piers, in shipping, etc. This area of law has its own court system, and most boating accidents are adjudicated by Florida’s maritime laws.
If maritime law does not apply to the boating incident, the case will be held in Florida’s circuit court system, which handles civil and criminal cases.
In either court system, the doctrine of comparative negligence holds everyone who caused the boating accident financially liable based on a percentage of faults. A jury or the court decides the percentage of fault based on the facts of the case.
For instance, a boat operator who is 40 percent at fault can only claim 60 percent of the damages the collision caused.
Proving Negligence in a Boat Accident Case
To prove someone acted negligently, a boat accident lawyer in Florida needs to show that all of the elements of negligence law are satisfied. First, the defendant had a duty of care toward the boater. This is satisfied in that both defendant and plaintiff shared the waterway or dock.
Second, the defendant breached that duty by committing an act that a prudent person would not have done. The breach led to the incident and monetary damages.
The offending person can be cited by authorities and sued by those in the plaintiff’s boat and even passengers in the offender’s craft.
How Boating Accidents Happen
About 44 percent of boating incidents are collisions with other boats or docks, and accidents occur when cruising, changing direction, or altering speed, according to the Division of Law Enforcement of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
The agency reports that that many boating wrecks happen because the boat operators are inexperienced and training is not mandatory. Speeding, recklessness, carelessness or impairment also significantly contribute to waterway accidents. The agency also reports that boat passengers sustain more serious injuries than the operators.
Reporting a Boating Accident
Florida law requires that a boating accident be promptly reported to the proper authorities in specific circumstances. These are if a person is killed, disappears with death as a possibility, and when those injured require medical attention, not just first aid. Reporting is also necessary if the craft is totaled or property damage is $2,000 or more.
Speak with a Delray Beach Boating Accident Attorney Today
If you have been the victim of a waterway incident, you should contact a Delray Beach boat accident lawyer to pursue compensation and ensure the best possible outcome.
The attorney will review circumstances surrounding the injury and assess if a lawsuit can accomplish a victim’s goals. Additionally, a lawyer can explain the law involved and answer questions.
Personal injury attorneys commonly work on contingency, meaning there is no need to pay a lawyer to begin a boat accident injury suit. The attorney fees are paid at the conclusion of the case, based on the damages the received. If the case does not accomplish what it is intended, the lawyer is not paid.