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Do the Families of Victims of the Fisher Island Ferry Accident Have a Right to Sue?

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The Fisher Island Ferry, which transports people to and from Fisher Island every day, suffered a tragic accident in February 2020. In this accident, a car fell into the water, leading to the drowning deaths of its two occupants. Accidents like this are quite rare, but for the family and friends of the deceased, these accidents are also especially tragic.

If you are a family member of those killed in this accident or you were injured or lost a loved one in a similar ferry accident, the lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. might be able to help. Our attorneys for deaths in the Fisher Island Ferry accident might be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation for the deaths of your loved ones or anyone else injured in a similar accident. To schedule a free legal consultation on your case, call our law offices today at (866) 386-1762.

Suing for a Ferry Accident Near Fisher Island, Biscayne Bay, and Government Cut

The Fisher Island Ferry shuttles vehicles and people from Miami Beach to Fisher Island, and many people use these services every day. Details are still hazy about the events leading up to this accident, but it is apparent that a Mercedes-Benz somehow rolled off the ferry and fell into the water below.

According to other people familiar with the ferries used for this route, the front and back of the boats allegedly do not have walls or gates to prevent cars from moving off the ferry – they only have a tarp pulled across the end. This could conceivably qualify as negligence on the part of the ferry company and crew. Without gates, wheel locks, or tire wedges, it is possible for vehicles to roll off the deck of the ferry, resulting in exactly this kind of problem. Especially if the ferry crew does not make checks to ensure that vehicles are in “park” and properly secured, this could qualify as negligence.

In cases where a ship’s crew is responsible for dangerous conditions on the vessel or preventable accidents, the responsible staff and crew, as well as the company that operates the ship, might be held liable in a lawsuit. These lawsuits are often filed against the boat company under a doctrine called “respondeat superior,” which allows an employer to be held responsible for its employees’ errors.

To prove a case against the crew and the ferry company, the lawsuit would need to prove a few core elements. First, the victim’s family would have to prove that the defendant owed the deceased a duty to keep them safe. Second, they would need to prove that the defendants breached that duty, likely by arguing that they failed to properly secure the vehicle. Third, they will need to prove that this negligence in fact caused the injuries and death, as opposed to some intervening cause. Lastly, they will need to prove the damages that they faced, which would focus on the loss of their loved ones.

Damages for Lawsuits Against the Fisher Island Ferry

If you or a loved one faced injuries, you might be entitled to sue for the medical expenses, lost wages, and the victims’ pain and suffering. These damages could be substantial, especially in cases of severe injury, amputation, or permanent disability. In the case of a loved one’s death, the damages can be even higher.

Money obviously cannot replace a loved one, but the damages received in a wrongful death lawsuit might be able to help you and your family move forward after a tragic death. First, families are usually entitled to damages for anything the deceased would have been able to sue for had they survived. This would mean that any end of life medical care or pain and suffering could be claimed. Since the deceased in this accident were not found until after they died, there were likely no medical care costs involved, but the conditions leading up to the death were likely frightening and could lead to pain and suffering damages.

Additionally, the deceased’s loved ones are usually entitled to sue for damages they face as the surviving family members. The deceased’s contribution to the household and household income can be compensated with damages for lost household services and lost wages. In addition, the family will face damages for funeral and burial expenses and could face other damages for grief counseling, lost companionship, lost spousal benefits, and more.

In some cases, the defendant might accuse the deceased of contributing to their own injuries. For instance, if the deceased had accelerated and driven their car off the ferry, the defendants might argue that this contributed to the accident. It will then be up to the jury to determine whether that should have been prevented by checks to ensure that vehicles were in “park” or installation of safer barriers at the ends of the ferry. If the court rules that the victim did partly contribute to the accident, the plaintiff’s damages might be reduced by the percentage of fault that the victim caused. In Florida, there is no limitation on these kinds of comparative fault damages, and plaintiffs can claim damages even if the victim was 99% at fault for their own accident.

Call Our Attorney for Fisher Island Ferry Deaths and Injuries

If you or a loved one was injured on the Fisher Island Ferry or if you are a family member of any of the victims of the tragic Fisher Island Ferry accident discussed above, Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. might be able to help. Our lawyers represent the families of deceased boat accident and cruise ship accident victims, and we work to get them the compensation they deserve through compassionate, assertive legal representation. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call our attorney for deaths in the Fisher Island ferry accident today at (866) 386-1762.

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