Boating is a popular recreational pastime in the state of Florida, where waterways, coastlines, and lakes abound. Unfortunately, the high rates of boat traffic also can result in catastrophic boating accidents. If you or a loved one has sustained injuries in an accident on the water, you may wish to speak to a New Port Richey boat accident lawyer.
Specific laws govern boating accidents, and personal injury claims resulting from these accidents may be complicated. Therefore, seeking advice and guidance from a personal injury attorney may be highly beneficial.
Negligence Laws and Boating Accidents
Most boating accident claims rely on the legal concept of negligence, or the careless behavior of another party. When the conduct of a boat operator falls below the standard of care of reasonable people in the same situation, then they may be negligent if their behavior causes any injuries.
Many people assume state law governs boat accident cases, as is often the case with other personal injury claims. However, if a boat accident occurs on a navigable waterway, admiralty law applies, which is different from state law in some respects. Additionally, these cases may heard in federal court rather than state court.
Common Examples of Negligence
Boaters must follow various safety rules and regulations that vary depending on the waterway. However, the state does not require that boat operators undergo any training. Some of the most common examples of negligent boat operators include the following:
- Drivers who are inexperienced in operating boats or navigating a specific waterway
- Operators who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Boat drivers who fail to ensure that passengers take specific safety precautions, such as wearing life jackets
- Operators who are unaware of or fail to comply with the rules and regulations of a particular waterway
All these situations can easily lead to accidents resulting in injuries, such as colliding with other boats or stationary objects, running aground, and capsizing. Injuries in these cases can be devastating or even fatal. When individuals suffer injuries in boating accidents, they may be able to bring a personal injury claim with the assistance of a boat accident attorney in New Port Richey.
Recoverable Damages After a Boating Accident
Victims who suffered injuries due to the negligence of boat operators may be entitled to compensation for the injuries and associated losses. Some common damages available in boat accident cases include:
- Medical expenses, surgical costs, and emergency transport for treatment
- Lost wages and loss of future income due to an inability to work
- Property damage to boats or other items of personal property
- Trauma, pain, and suffering stemming from the accident
While injury victims can seek damages for their injuries, collecting them can be another matter altogether. Although motor vehicle operators are required to carry minimum amounts of liability insurance coverage, boat operators are not. A boat accident attorney in New Port Richey could help victims identify all available sources of compensation and seek fair payment for their losses.
Work with a New Port Richey Boat Accident Attorney
You only have a limited time to pursue damages arising from a boat accident. While a personal injury claim may not be the first thing on your mind, you should strongly consider contacting a New Port Richey boat accident lawyer as quickly as possible. Otherwise, you risk missing out on your chance to recover damages for your injuries.
Boat accident claims can be incredibly complex, mainly due to the potential involvement of maritime law. However, with experienced legal counsel on your side, you may be in a better position to achieve a favorable resolution to your claim. Call today for a consultation.