Summer is nearly upon us and soon thousands of people across Florida will hit the lakes. Thousands more will enjoy the state’s gorgeous shorelines and rivers. Florida is number one in the United States in registered boats, with 915,713. Meanwhile, the state has more than one million unregistered water vehicles. This includes kayaks, sculls, and canoes.
The Dangers of Florida’s Waters
In 2015 alone, there were just under 750,00 boating accidents in Florida. Luckily, the same year saw just 55 deaths due to Florida boat accidents, which was 18 fewer than the previous year. If you are injured in a boating accident, are you entitled to compensation? If so, how much?
If you are injured in a boating accident, you must prove that the operator of the watercraft was responsible. Compensation can only be claimed if negligence can be proven on the part of the boat’s driver. If the negligence of the boat’s operator can be shown, you can claim compensation for your injuries. The amount of compensation is dependent on medical bills, injuries, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
What is Negligence?
Negligence is when someone acts without thought, reason, or care. If you were injured in a boating accident, it does not always mean you can obtain compensation. Your injuries may not have been due to any negligence whatsoever. Therefore, compensation would be unobtainable.
Types of Boat Accidents
If you are in a boating accident, it is important to determine just which type of incident you are involved in:
- Boats hitting other boats,
- Boats colliding with another boat’s wake,
- Boats hitting large waves, and
- Boats hitting objects such as rocks or land.
In the case of two motorboats colliding with each other, the passengers of the boats may be entitled to claim compensation from both operators. If a motorboat collides with a sailboat, it is often seen as the motorboat’s fault. Motorboats can travel at a faster velocity than sailboats, and sailboats have the right of way when the two meet.
Recently, a 16-year-old boy using a type of rowboat known as a scull was hit by a motorboat. The operator of the motorboat said he did not see the boy when the two watercrafts collided. The boy is a college rowing hopeful and the injuries sustained could prevent him from competing later in life.
Similarities to Car Accidents
Like an auto accident, compensation claims in boating collisions are paid out only if negligence on the other party can be shown. But what exactly can you receive compensation for?
You may be able to obtain compensation for medical bills, a loss of earnings from your employer, a loss of future earnings from your work, and for pain and suffering.
Of course, the first thing you must do after suffering an injury in a boating accident is to contact a reputable personal injury lawyer.
Lulich & Attorneys
If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, Lulich & Attorneys can help. Lulich & Attorneys can help you with all your personal injury law needs.