Tampa Boat Accident Lawyer
Bulluck Law Group has dealt with many boat accident cases in the past. As a Tampa boat accident lawyer, our attorneys have earned awards and accolades that less than 1% of attorneys in the country and 2.5% in the state have received. We work tirelessly for all our clients and demonstrate our dedication in the results of our cases. If you were involved in a boat accident because of another person’s negligence, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit. Contact Bulluck Law Group for more information and guidance about what to do next.
With the ocean just a car ride away, boating is an almost irresistible activity in Tampa. Speedboats, sailboats, and cruise ships are among the many types of boats people use in Tampa and throughout the state. A fun day on the water, however, can quickly turn into a horrifying incident that could affect your life forever. Boating accidents can occur at any time with any kind of boat, including smaller boats such as Jet Skis.
What Do I Do After Being Injured in a Boat Accident?
Treat any boating accident as seriously as you would treat a car wreck. Call the authorities and stay where you are. It’s possible the other boater was intoxicated, which could have contributed to or even cause the incident. It’s also just as illegal as driving while drunk. If you are hurt, try not to move until a medical professional has seen you. If you are able, check on the safety of other passengers. After this, document as much as you can. Take note of as many details as you can remember. Police officers will take statements, write a report, and help get anyone medical attention who needs it. Do your best to avoid admitting any responsibility for the incident. If you admit fault, it could affect your case later in the process and impede your efforts to prove that the other party is responsible.
Try to take as many photos as you can. If your phone was ruined in the accident, ask to borrow someone else’s camera or phone. Photograph the boats that were involved, the scene of the incident, and any other relevant factors in the crash. It is also helpful to take pictures of any injuries that you have, so you have proof of how bad your injury was immediately after the accident. If there were any witnesses, try to get their contact information. Your attorney can contact them later for statements if you need to strengthen your case with more evidence.
After you have documented the accident and received any medical attention that you need, contact a personal injury attorney with experience in Florida boating accidents. Your attorney can guide you through the next steps of the process, as well as communicating with the insurance company. Keep in mind, the insurance company’s goal is to settle your claim by paying the smallest amount possible. An experienced attorney will do all he or she can to defend you from the insurance company’s tricks and get the most compensation possible – including lost wages and medical bills.
Potential Compensation and Damages
The two main types of damages are property damage and bodily injury. Property damage involves compensation for damage to physical property. In a boat accident case, a property damage claim would cover the cost of repairing or replacing your boat.
The second type of compensation is bodily injury. These claims involve compensation for medical help and future rehabilitation. If you spent money on hospitalization bills, surgery, or any medical attention, the defendant may have to compensate you for the cost. The court could also award damages for lost wages. Lost wages would include any money that you lost because of days that you needed to take off work to recover from the accident. It would also encompass a reduced earning potential if you are no longer able to make as much as you could before.
DUI Laws and Boat Drivers
The DUI laws are the same for drivers of cars and drivers of boats. Boaters’ alcohol level cannot be above 0.8 for them to legally be able to drive a boat. If you are injured in a boat accident where the driver as an alcohol level over 0.8, the court may assign punitive damages to the defendant. Unlike most of the damages in personal injury cases, punitive damages are meant to punish the at-fault driver, as opposed to helping the victim recover. The court will assign punitive damages if it believes that the at-fault driver was acting willfully. Driving while under the influence is an intentional choice.
Common Causes of Boating Injuries and Fatalities
One of the most dangerous vehicles on the water is the Jet Ski. Not only are they smaller and more vulnerable in an impact situation, Jet Skis are more likely to have drivers who are not as experienced. Many people do not think that you need to be as experienced to drive a Jet Ski, and some people are careless in their attempts to ride them. Boaters also tend to be more relaxed than other drivers, because boating accidents do not seem to be as likely as car accidents.
Boat Accidents Statute of Limitations
Generally, the statute of limitations for boat accident claims in Florida is two years. A statute of limitations is the amount of time that you have between the time of the incident and the time that you file a claim. Despite this limit, there are some circumstances when the court will extend the statute of limitations, so discuss your case with an attorney before deciding it happened too long ago. Though it is most likely two years, extraneous circumstances could mean a different statute. Regardless of your specific time limit, try to file as quickly as you can after the incident to ensure you will be eligible to file a boat accident claim.
Cruise Ship Accidents
Boat accident claims can become confusing if the accident happens in other jurisdictions. For instance, if you are involved in an accident on a cruise ship away from Tampa, you need local representation. Cruise lines have specific rules and regulations about accidents, because they mainly operate on international oceans. When you are involved in a cruise ship accident, your attorney needs experience in international water laws – beyond Florida statutes. You need an experienced attorney by your side to help you navigate the complexities of cruise ship accidents.
Tampa Boat Accident Attorney
Tampa’s waters are a mecca for boaters, but it’s the responsibly of everyone on the water to look out for other boaters. If you were involved in a boat accident in Tampa, you need help from a skilled attorney who is knowledgeable about Florida boat accident laws. The attorneys at Bulluck Law Group are renowned around the country for their legal abilities. We have the financial means to take on large insurance companies while still offering personal and prioritized care to each of our clients. We will not ask for attorney fees unless we can win your case, so you do not need to worry about paying large legal fees while you are trying to recover from your accident. Contact Bulluck Law Group for a free consultation and dedicated representation for your boat accident claim.