What Should I Do After Being Hurt in a Boat Crash?
Treat a boat crash as seriously as you would handle a car accident. Contact the authorities and stay where you are. The other boater may have been intoxicated or impaired and contributed to or caused the crash. Drunk boating is just as illegal as driving while drunk. If you get hurt, try to move as little as possible until you’ve been seen by a medical professional. If you are okay, check to see if any of the other passengers are hurt. Then, document as much of the incident as you can. Take down as many details as you can recall. Law enforcement officers will take statements, write a report, and help anyone who needs medical attention.
Do not admit any responsibility for the crash. If you say you were at fault, it could impact your case later and hinder efforts to prove the other party is to blame.
Take pictures! If your phone was damaged in the crash, see if someone will lend you one. Snap photos of the boats, accident scene, and other relevant elements. You should also take pictures of your injuries, so you can show their severity. If any witnesses were around, get their contact information. Your lawyer can get in touch with them later for statements if you need more evidence to build your case.
Once you’ve received medical attention and documented the crash, call a personal injury lawyer with boating accident experience in Florida. Your attorney can help you through the stages of the process, as well as communicate with the insurance company.
Remember, the insurance company wants to settle your claim by paying the least amount of money. An experienced lawyer will do all they can to protect you from the insurance company’s schemes and get you as much compensation as possible, including money for medical bills and lost wages.
Possible Compensation & Damages
There are two main types of damages: property damage and bodily injury. Property damage involves reimbursement for physical property damage. In a boating accident, this type of claim would cover the cost of fixing or replacing your boat.
Bodily injury is the second type of compensation. These claims involve reimbursement for medical assistance and future rehabilitation. If you pay for surgery, hospitalization bills, or other medical attention, the defendant may have to pay you back.The court may also award damages for lost wages, including money you didn’t earn on days you had to take off work for recovery. This would also encompass reduced earning potential if you can’t make as much money as you could before.
Boat Drivers & DUI Laws
DUI laws are the same for drivers on the road AND water. A boat operator’s alcohol level cannot be higher than 0.8 for them to legally drive a boat.
If you are hurt in a boat crash where the driver’s alcohol level is over 0.8, the court may assign punitive damages. Unlike most damages in personal injury cases that help the victim recover, punitive damages are focused on punishing the at-fault driver. The court will award punitive damages if it’s believed the at-fault driver acted willfully. Driving under the influence is viewed as an intentional choice.
Common Reasons for Boating Injuries & Fatalities
The jet ski is one of the most dangerous vehicles on the water. They’re small, vulnerable, and more likely to have inexperienced drivers. Many people think you don’t need to know much to drive a jet ski, and some are careless. Likewise, boaters tend to be more laid back because they don’t believe a boating accident is as likely as Car Accidents.
Boat Crash Statute of Limitations
You can file a claim for a boat crash in Florida up to two years after the accident. However, the court will extend the statute of limitations under certain circumstances. It’s best to consult an attorney if you think the accident happened too long ago to file a claim. Extraneous factors could result in a different statute. Regardless, act as fast as you can after the crash to make sure you’re eligible to file a claim.
Cruise Ship Crashes
Boat crash claims can get tricky if the accident happens in another jurisdiction. For example, if you are in a cruise ship accident away from St. Petersburg, you should seek local representation. Cruise lines have particular rules and regulations about crashes because they operate in international waters.
If you are involved in a cruise ship accident, your lawyer will need experience in international water laws that go beyond Florida statutes. An experienced lawyer can help you navigate the complexities of cruise ship crashes.
St. Petersburg Boat Crash Lawyers
St. Petersburg is a popular place for boating. Everyone has a responsibility to look out for each other on the water. If you get involved in a boat crash in St. Petersburg, you’ll need the assistance of a skilled lawyer who is familiar with Florida boat wreck laws.
The team at Bulluck Law Group is renowned across the country for its legal abilities. Our lawyers have the financial means to go up against large insurance companies, while still providing personal and prioritized service to our clients. We do not ask for attorney fees unless we’re able to win your case. So you don’t need to worry about paying a big legal bill during recovery.
Contact Bulluck Law Group for a free consultation and dedicated representation for your boat accident claim.