Boating Accident Attorneys Serving North Tampa
With its beautiful beaches, bays, and lakes, Florida ranks number one in the country for both boat registrations and, unfortunately, boating accidents. The Spring Hill boat accident lawyers at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can help if you were seriously hurt in a boating crash. With over 50 years of combined legal experience, our attorneys are seasoned litigators who have counseled clients in a range of personal injury matters, and who are prepared to help you seek the compensation you deserve.
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reported over 12 million boating vessel registrations in 2012. There were more than 4,500 boating accidents, which caused 651 deaths and 3,000 injuries. Florida had the most boat registrations of any state, with over 870,000 recreational boating registrations. It reported 662 boating accidents and 50 fatalities. Among the top 10 causes for boating accidents, according to the USCG, are:
- Operator inattention and inexperience
- Boat machinery failure
- Improper lookout
Alcohol was a factor in 17 percent of fatal boating crashes. Most injured boating accident victims suffered fractures, lacerations, sprains, and head trauma as a result of a crash.
Accountability for Boating Accidents
If you were injured in a boating accident, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the party you believe was responsible for causing the accident. The boat operator, owner, or boat manufacturer may have caused the crash. If you can prove the defendant’s liability, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries.
In many boat accident cases, the boat operator is responsible for the accident. Operators must exercise care to prevent injuries to others. An operator violates this duty of care if he or she fails to act in a way that a reasonably prudent operator would act under similar circumstances, such as by speeding or failing to maintain a proper lookout. If you can show that the operator’s failure to exercise care caused your injuries and damages, you can hold the operator liable for his or her negligence.
If the boat operator was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the accident, you may base your claim on negligence per se. This occurs when a defendant violates a statute that imposes a duty of care to protect a certain class of persons. It is a criminal offense in Florida to operate a boat while under the influence. If an operator was drunk or drugged when the accident occurred, he or she is negligent as a matter of law. Nevertheless, you still must show that the operator’s negligence caused your injuries to recover compensation.
If the boat operator is not the owner, you may hold the boat owner liable for negligent entrustment. This happens when the owner knew, or had reason to know, that a person posed an unreasonable risk of harm to others by operating the boat, but the owner nevertheless let the person operate it.
In some cases, a boating accident is caused by a machinery or mechanical malfunction. You may hold a product manufacturer strictly liable for your injuries if a manufacturing or design defect, which existed when the product at issue went into the stream of commerce, made the product unreasonably dangerous to its users.
You can seek compensation for your boat accident injuries. Your recoverable damages can include lost wages, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. You must initiate your lawsuit within four years from the date of the accident.
If a loved one died in a fatal boating accident, you may pursue a wrongful death action. You could potentially obtain compensation for your relative’s medical bills, funeral costs, and other damages, such as loss of companionship. The statute of limitations on wrongful death claims is two years.
Experienced Legal Counseling
The North Tampa boating collision attorneys at Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC can offer the experienced legal counseling and representation you need to get results in your boat accident case. We can review your case and discuss your possible legal options with you. If we move forward as your lawyers, you can depend on our steadfast advocacy to help you fight for the compensation that is fair for your injuries. We serve clients in Pasco, Hernando, and Citrus Counties, as well as the surrounding areas. Call us today at (866) 597-0009 or contact us online to arrange an initial consultation at no cost.