Boat Accidents

What to Do if You’re in a Boating Accident

boat accidentsWhile a day out on the water can be relaxing and fun or can simply be another “day at the office” for some, there are many potential dangers and safety hazards lurking that can result in extremely serious consequences. With over one million boats registered in Florida, it’s no surprise that more boat accidents occur in Florida than in any other state in the nation.

Boat accidents can take on many forms. Boats can collide with other vessels or fixed objects, can overturn or capsize, can run over swimmers or water skiers, or can be operated in such a way that passengers are thrown from the boat. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boat accident through no fault of your own, you may be eligible for compensation to cover current and future medical expenses, as well as compensatory damages for pain and suffering, loss of work and other legal damages.

When you are injured due to a boating accident, maritime laws may differ compared to laws on land; results can often be catastrophic. That’s why it’s important to use a personal injury attorney that is knowledgeable about maritime law and the unique intricacies involving accidents. Personal injury attorneys with experience in boat accidents can inform you of any aspects of the law that may affect your lawsuit, claim or potential recovery. At the Eltringham Law Group we have the proper knowledge and experience to protect your rights and help you receive the compensation you deserve.

Reasons for Cruise Ship or Boat Accident Legal Cases

Although the specific circumstances surrounding any boating accident will differ from case to case, some of the most common reasons for boating accidents causing injury include:

  • Boat operator negligence, including high speed operation, hitting waves or wakes at unsafe angles, failing to look out for passengers or other watercraft
  • Operating while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Navigating boat in unsafe weather or surf conditions
  • Lack of knowledge about operation of watercraft or safety rules
  • Improper training or inexperience
  • Not knowing the “rules of the road” (the navigational rules)
  • Failing to avoid a collision with another vessel or fixed object
  • Using poor judgment or being reckless
  • Overcrowding or overloading a vessel
  • Having an insufficient number of life jackets or lack of safety equipment
  • Defective boat construction or lack of maintenance

Types of Boat or Cruise Ship Accidents:

Boat accidents can occur on all types of watercraft, both large and small. Some of these include:

  • Yachts
  • Cruise Ships
  • Sailboats
  • Motorboats
  • Cabin cruisers
  • Runabouts
  • Airboats
  • Fishing boats
  • Commercial boats
  • Tenders
  • Inflatable boats
  • Kayaks / Canoes
  • Personal watercraft (Jet skis / Wave runners)
  • Paddleboards

Whether you were a passenger on a friend’s boat, were on a commercial boat or were operating a personal watercraft, it’s important to have the experience of the Eltringham Law Group on your side to help you receive the compensation you deserve due to personal injury, property damage or death.

What to Expect Following Your Boating Accident

When you choose the Eltringham Law Group to represent you following a boating accident involving personal injury, property damage or death, here is what you can expect to happen:

  • We offer free consultations so you can get all your questions answered and can spend time talking directly with an experienced attorney about your rights and expected outcomes.
  • Leave all the work to us. We will be in contact with doctors, hospitals, witnesses, insurance providers, police, attorneys and anyone else necessary to settle your claim. We will thoroughly investigate your accident and will build a solid case so that you are more likely to be awarded additional compensation from insurance companies or other parties.
  • You focus on you. Whether you are still recovering from injuries or are simply dealing with the stress and anxiety that is common following boating accidents, now is the time to focus on your own needs while you leave the details of your case in the hands of experienced attorneys that will get the job done right.
  • We work on a contingent fee basis. This means that you don’t need to lay out any money up front in order to have our injury attorneys work on your case. We don’t get paid unless we recover a financial settlement or jury award for you.

For more information on boating and cruise ship accidents, contact the Eltringham Law Group at 561-338-0420.

Legal Questions About Boat Accidents

When you are involved in a boating accident, you may have many questions and may not know where to turn since there are likely few people that have been in your shoes and know the answers. Here are some of the most common questions you may have:

If you were involved in a boating accident and sustained injuries, it is important to report this injury to the proper authority. Collect the names, contact and insurance information of all parties involved. If you are able to document your injuries and the event, that is helpful as well. Seek medical attention immediately and contact our attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group to discuss your next steps at no cost to you.

Under Florida law, the statute of limitations for suing the reckless driver of a boat is four years from the date of the accident. Under maritime law, a torts claim must be made within three years from the date of the accident. The location of the boating accident in proximity to shore is what determines the type of law that will govern your case – state or maritime.

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The most common boating accidents in Florida include collisions with commercial boats, pontoon boats, and jet skis. Other types of boating accidents include collisions with docks, channel markers and marinas. When you have been injured in any type of boating accident, speak to our attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group at no cost to review your case.

While boating accident cases are similar to car accidents when it comes to insurance claims, there are some key differences. The location of the boating accident in proximity to shore is what determines the type of law that will govern your case – state or maritime. It may be possible to bring a negligence lawsuit against a company operating a vessel, such as a ferry or boat, or even a recreational boater.  However, every boating accident is extremely unique and it is best to speak with one of our experienced attorneys at the Eltringham Law Group to help you better understand your circumstances.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers. Call the Eltringham Law Group today at 561-338-0420 for these and any other personal injury questions you may have.