If a negligent boater causes an accident on the water, you could end up injured. If you were involved in a boating accident in Jacksonville and suffered injuries, we can help. Florida law allows you to hold the boater responsible for the damage to your vessel, the medical treatment you require, and other accident-related expenses and losses.
The boat accident attorneys from The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offer free case reviews and consultations for victims of Florida boat accidents. If you believe another party acted negligently and caused your injuries, you may be able to hold them accountable by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
Boating Accidents: A Serious Concern in Jacksonville, FL
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), more boating accidents occurred in Florida than in any other state in 2020. In fact, Florida reported over 650 accidents. The next closest state, California, only reported 324 recreational boating accidents.
These accidents can happen anywhere. However, according to the FWC, the majority of boat accidents occur in a bay or sound. Other common places for accidents include the:
- Ocean or gulf
- Rivers and creeks
- Cuts and canals
- Ponds and lakes
- Passes and inlets
A few accidents also occur in harbors and ports. A boat accident attorney in Jacksonville can take your side after a boating accident in any location. Our team provides you with responsive legal care after an accident, and we go the extra mile to handle all your legal needs.
For a free legal consultation with a boat accidents lawyer serving Jacksonville, 800-747-3733
Common Damages in a Jacksonville, FL Boat Accident Case
Our legal team will work to show how the other party caused your boat accident injuries. We may be able to collect compensation for a range of damages by filing an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit.
The damages in this type of case may include:
- Medical treatment costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Prescription drug costs
- Inpatient rehabilitation
- Physical therapy
- Other health care costs, such as home modifications
- Lost wages
- Reduced earning capacity
- Repair or replacement of your boat and/or personal property
- Pain and suffering
We can calculate your damages and speak with your doctors to understand how your injuries will affect you in the future. Our aim is for you to suffer no further losses due to your injuries, so we will account for any applicable damages in your case.
If You Lost a Loved One in a Jacksonville Boat Accident
When a boat accident proves fatal, you have the option to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit. In this case, you may qualify for:
- Loss of inheritance if your loved one provided an income for the household
- Funeral expenses
- Your loved one’s medical bills
- Your loved one’s pain and suffering
You can grieve your loss in peace while we calculate your damages and pursue fair compensation.
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Types of Boat Accidents in Jacksonville
Our experienced team handles all types of boat accidents in the Jacksonville area. We put our knowledge of similar cases to work for you when you contact us for legal assistance. Primary types of boating accidents include:
Collisions with Other Vessels
According to the FWC, collisions with other vessels represent the most common cause for boating accidents. Boat operators may strike one another if they fail to pay attention while controlling their boat or enter an area of water without legal permission.
Collisions with Fixed Objects
Striking a fixed object represents the second most common cause of boat accidents in Florida. Boat operators may strike underwater items, like large rocks. They may also collide with man-made structures, including docks or pilings.
Not all boating accidents involve a collision. Sometimes, these accidents occur when a passenger slips and falls on the boat or falls overboard. Improper safety precautions may lead to a fall, and falling overboard could result in drowning.
Capsizing a Boat
Capsizing occurs when a boat tips upside down. Manufacturers design boats to prevent this occurrence, but dangerous activities from a boat operator could cause it to flip over. Heavy winds and storms may also cause a boat to capsize.
Grounding a boat involves running it onto the shore or a man-made docking structure. Grounding a boat often damages the hull and may cause injuries to any passengers if they are thrown around due to the force of the impact.
Other Reasons for Boating Accidents
We’ve covered the five most common causes of boating accidents in Florida. However, these accidents may occur for many other reasons, including:
- Collisions with a swimmer or floating object
- Fires or explosions
- Flooding or swamping of the boat
- Mishaps involving water-skiers
Our team provides you with dedicated support regardless of the cause of your accident. We look into the circumstances that led to your accident and discuss your options for seeking compensation. Throughout your legal case, we keep you informed and answer all your questions.
Reach out to us now to learn more.
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Proving Negligence and Liability in a Boating Accident Case
Some boating accidents happen because of careless mistakes made by distracted or inexperienced boaters. Drunk or reckless boaters may also break rules that lead to crashes. To recover compensation in your case, we need to show the at-fault party acted negligently and caused your injuries.
There are four elements required to prove negligence:
- The other party had an obligation to follow specific rules and behave in a reasonable manner.
- They failed to uphold this obligation, putting you in danger.
- Their failure caused the accident and your injuries.
- You suffered physical injuries or financial losses because of the accident.
Potentially Liable Boating Accident Parties
If we can show the boater who caused your accident acted negligently, Florida law allows us to hold them responsible for your damages through an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit. This law applies if you were driving a boat, riding as a passenger on a boat, swimming, skiing, kayaking, canoeing, and potentially other circumstances.
In rare cases, the liable party may not be the driver of another boat, or there may be additional liable parties. For example, if a boat rental company failed to maintain their craft properly and this led to an accident, they may be responsible. They might also be liable if they knowingly rented a boat to someone who was noticeably intoxicated. As a part of managing your case, we will identify any and all possible liable parties.
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We Can Navigate the Legal Process for You
From the moment we begin our complimentary evaluation of your case, we work to build the most persuasive case possible on your behalf.
Investigation of Your Boating Accident
If we accept your case, we will launch a full investigation to get to the bottom of what exactly happened, how you suffered injuries, and why. As a part of this investigation, we will:
- Request copies of the accident report
- Identify and collect all evidence that pertains to your case
- Analyze eyewitness statements and conduct additional interviews as necessary
- Recover video or pictures from the scene
- Request copies of your medical records
- Call in experts to learn more about your future medical needs
- Work with accident reconstruction specialists familiar with boating crashes
- Collect evidence of your losses and expenses
Filing a Personal Injury Claim
After we conclude our investigation and have proof the responsible party acted negligently, we will approach their insurance provider with our claim. In most cases, this is their homeowner’s insurance policy. In some cases, it may be a business liability policy or a policy that specifically covers the boat and boating accidents.
When we file the claim, we usually begin with a demand letter. This letter explains our case against the policyholder and outlines your damages. It also demands they pay out a fair settlement based on the facts of your case.
Negotiation with the Liable Insurance Companies
Usually, they respond with a counter-offer, which begins negotiations. From this point, we can either negotiate a fair settlement agreement or file a lawsuit to get you the money you deserve.
When negotiating, we will review all offers to make sure the insurer does not undervalue your claim. If you accept an offer, you usually cannot pursue more compensation down the road.
Legal Action Through a Jacksonville Trial
If it becomes necessary, we are not afraid to take this type of case to court. We can file a personal injury lawsuit or wrongful death lawsuit on your behalf and seek a court-awarded offer. We will handle all of the paperwork associated with litigation and present your case to a jury.
Your Time to Act Is Limited
If we do have to file a lawsuit, you should understand the deadlines Florida imposes on taking legal action. According to Florida Statutes §95.11(3)(a), you only have four years after the date of the boat accident to file a suit. Under Florida Statutes §95.11(4)(d), your deadline for bringing a wrongful death lawsuit reduces to two years.
If you miss these deadlines, your suit may be dismissed by the court, and you will lose your chance to hold a negligent party liable. Bear in mind that negotiations with insurers can take a long time. Our firm also needs time to investigate your accident and gather evidence.
The sooner you call us, the sooner we can begin working on your case to abide by the statute of limitations.
Work with a Boat Accident Attorney in Jacksonville, FL Today
The Jacksonville personal injury lawyers from The Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine offer free case evaluations and can help you understand your rights after a boating injury. If you have a valid case, we will handle your claim or lawsuit for you on a contingency basis. You only have to pay for our services if we recover compensation for you.
To discuss your case and discover your legal options, call today. Our boat accident lawyers can take the weight of the legal process off your shoulders while you heal from your injuries.
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