Florida offers some of the finest opportunities for boating anywhere in the country. Whether a person is relaxing on one of the area’s many lakes or cruising offshore, nothing beats a relaxing day on the water. Unfortunately, with all this fun and relaxation comes a certain amount of risk. Much like whenever we get behind the wheel of a car, anytime we pilot a boat, or are anywhere near the water, we put ourselves at the mercy of the actions of others. While it is rare that another boater will intentionally ram a watercraft, accidents can and will happen.

When this is the case, and the accident is another person’s fault, injured boaters have the right to demand compensation for their injuries and losses. A Palm Bay boat accident lawyer helps injured boaters and other victims deal with defendants’ insurance companies and pursue at-fault parties to obtain the compensation they deserve. At Norden Leacox Accident & Injury Law, our personal injury attorneys have decades of expertise that we can put to work to protect your legal rights and allow you to move on with your life.

Boaters’ Legal Rights

Most collisions between two boats are accidents. However, this does not mean that an at-fault boater does not assume responsibility for their actions. Boaters are obligated to protect the welfare of others they may encounter while at the helm and assume this duty whenever they take their boat away from the dock. This obligation extends to other boaters, swimmers, and even their own passengers.

This idea forms the core of the legal cause of action known as negligence. Negligence allows injured people to hold at-fault parties in accidents legally liable for the damage they cause. When applied to boat accidents, common examples of evidence that indicate negligence might include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to follow navigation buoys
  • Not having proper lighting at night
  • Boating while intoxicated

Much like a car crash, any negligence analysis in a boat crash will examine the actions of both operators. A Palm Bay boat accident attorney can help people gather evidence and frame that evidence within the law to demonstrate defendant negligence.

Pursuing Compensation for a Boat Wreck

Florida is one of a few states that does not require boaters to obtain any form of insurance policy. As a result, people injured in boating accidents may need to pursue the operator of that boat directly for compensation. This will typically involve sending a demand letter directly to the defendant or their attorney to request payment for injuries. This can include payment for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and emotional damage.

If the at-fault party’s watercraft is covered by insurance, the claim closely resembles a car accident case. Our qualified attorneys will handle the claim through the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a settlement. Fortunately, our team has an extensive history representing large corporations and insurers. We are able to utilize the past inside knowledge to better navigate the common tactics they use to avoid making payments.

In either scenario, a law known as the statute of limitations contained in Florida Statute § 95.11 states that all claims must be initiated in court no more than four years from the date of the injury. Our Palm Bay boat wreck attorneys are ready to work to meet these strict deadlines.

Reach Out to a Palm Bay Boat Accident Attorney Today

Boat operators have all the same duties to protect others as motorists on land. This includes a commitment to preserve the safety of other boaters, swimmers, and their passengers. If a boater causes an accident by speeding, boating while drunk, or even by a simple lack of awareness, that defendant may be legally liable.

A comprehensive claim will demand compensation for medical costs, lost earnings, and mental anguish. There is a limited time to file, so do not delay; let a Palm Bay boat accident lawyer get to work for you as soon as possible. If our efforts do not bring you compensation, there is no cost for our services. Call now to get started.

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