With its beautiful beaches, bays, and lakes, Florida ranks number one in the country for both boat registrations and, unfortunately, boating accidents. The 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. Reach out and discuss your case with one of our Florida boating accident attorneys today.
Boating Accidents in Florida
As a Florida personal injury firm, our boating accident lawyers have seen firsthand how dangerous boating can be. Many boaters simply do not take this activity seriously and choose to drink and boat, speed, or engage in other negligent behavior. If you were hurt in a boating accident, our boat accident attorneys want to help. Here is what you should know about this legal issue. Do not hesitate to reach out for help with your claim.
Florida Maritime Laws and Boating Regulations
Given the popularity of boating in Florida, the state’s laws have comparatively fewer restrictions on operating watercraft. In fact, the state has no minimum age to operate a boat. Most people are not required to hold a boating license or to undergo any formal training or water safety courses to operate a watercraft in Florida.
Maritime laws governing the waterways in Florida fall under federal law. As a result, in many cases, a boating accident lawsuit must be brought in federal court. Federal law has different legal standards for boating accident injury cases. Pursuing a claim in federal court means following different rules and procedures than those used in state court. As a result, you might need a boat accident lawyer qualified to practice in federal court to pursue your legal claim.
Jet Ski Accidents in Florida
Although most people think of recreational boats when talking about watercraft accidents, jet skis frequently are involved in boating accidents in Florida. Jet skis are some of the most popular types of watercraft owned and operated in Florida. In many places, jet skis can be easily rented by anyone with a driver’s license. However, when negligently operated or maintained, jet skis can be quite dangerous, especially when they are involved in a collision with other watercraft.
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. Call our boating accident lawyers in Spring Hill, Florida today if you have been injured.
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.
Why Holliday Karatinos Law Firm Is the Best Choice for Your Boating Accident Claim
When you have a boating accident claim, don’t turn to just any law firm for help. Holliday Karatinos Law Firm is the best choice for our watercraft accident lawyer because:
- We have decades of combined legal experience representing injury victims throughout Florida, which has given us extensive knowledge of the legal process and injury law in this state.
- We offer clients the caring, focused attention they need and deserve as they go through the difficult process of recovering from a serious boating accident.
- We have the expertise and resources to handle even the most complicated boating accident claims.
- Our attorneys have been recognized statewide and nationwide for excellence in representing clients and recovering maximum compensation on their behalf.
- We have the skill to efficiently secure financial recovery for you through a negotiated settlement, but also the skill and readiness to protect your rights and interests at trial if necessary.
If you have been injured in a boating accident in Florida, turn to the skilled trial attorneys of Holliday Karatinos Law Firm, PLLC for help. We have a proven track record of success both in and out of the courtroom, having obtained more than $125 million in financial recovery for our clients. Contact us today for a free case evaluation to speak with a knowledgeable watercraft accident lawyer about your legal rights and options.