At Donaldson & Weston, our seasoned team of lawyers has dedicated our careers to ensuring that Florida victims receive the compassionate legal counsel that they deserve after a traumatic accident.
Dedicated Stuart Lawyers Handling Cases Related to Boating Accidents
Florida is famous for fantastic water-related recreational activities and boating opportunities. There are thousands of miles of coastline in the Sunshine State, which also make it a popular destination for tourists. As great as these features are for the local economy, there are many safety risks involved with engaging in water-related activities, especially during tourist seasons. One of the biggest risks that you may face consists of boats colliding with recreational vehicles like jet skis, ski-doos, kayaks, and canoes. If a boating operator is not paying attention to their surroundings or intoxicated at the helm, the victim may face severe, debilitating injuries or even death. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart boat accident lawyers can handle cases involving collisions with recreational vehicles. We have the experience that it takes to ensure that your rights are asserted to the fullest extent of the law.
Filing a Personal Injury Claim After a Collision with a Recreational Vehicle
The first step to recovering compensation after a boating accident is to file a claim against the person responsible for your injuries. This usually involves at least some investigation into the accident to determine whether there were any witnesses and to identify the person or people who may be liable for your injuries. Boating accidents can be difficult in this regard because witnesses may not stop, or persons involved with the accident may leave the scene immediately afterward. However, a personal injury attorney can help you look into the situation and investigate who may have been responsible for causing your harm.
In the lawsuit, you will have the burden of proving that the person who caused your injuries failed to use the appropriate level of care and skill at the time of the crash. Florida courts have defined the standard of care that applies to boat operation as the same level of careful attention and skill that a prudent and reasonable boat operator would use. This encompasses all boating rules and regulations, and it means that the operator will refrain from engaging in distracted boating activities at the helm. One of the most common reasons that collisions with recreational vehicles occur is operator inattention. It can be difficult to see jet skis, kayaks, and canoes, especially if visibility is low or the water conditions are rough. Intoxicated boating is another common cause of recreational vehicle crashes, when the operator is too drunk or drugged to be aware of nearby objects.
After establishing that the defendant failed to operate the vessel with appropriate care, you must next prove that this failure was the cause of your injuries. If the defendant can show that some other factor played a substantial role in your injuries, your recovery may be reduced or barred entirely. Even if the defendant failed to use due care, in other words, you must establish causation before you can recover compensation. In recreational vehicle collision cases, the defendant may sometimes argue that the plaintiff was also negligent in failing to stay at a safe distance from the vessel.
After proving causation, the lawsuit shifts to determining the amount of compensation that the defendant owes to the plaintiff. There are many categories of damages that you can seek, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If the accident results in permanent disabilities, you can also seek compensation for future medical care costs and any reduction in your earning capacity. A knowledgeable boating accident lawyer can help you ensure that you pursue the full amount of compensation that you need.
Seek Counsel from a Watercraft Injury Lawyer in the Stuart Area
Understanding your rights after a boating accident can be stressful and complicated, particularly if you are recovering from devastating injuries. At Donaldson & Weston, our seasoned team of lawyers has dedicated our careers to ensuring that Florida victims receive the compassionate legal counsel that they deserve after a traumatic accident. We have served clients in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, and other cities, and we offer a free consultation so that you can learn more about your legal rights and how we can assist you. To set up your appointment, call a boat accident attorney at 772-266-5555 or contact us online.