Florida Boating Accident Attorneys
Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.
Florida has the second-longest coastline in the United States, offering an abundance of recreational boating opportunities. The port of Miami is considered to be the cruise ship capital of the world and the cargo gateway of the Americas.
Along with the opportunities and fun that come with water-based activities comes the risk of serious injuries. When you’ve been injured during a boating accident in Florida, you need experienced Florida boat accident attorneys to bring your claim against those responsible.
The Florida boating accident and injury attorneys at Rivkind Law are equipped to handle many different types of boating accident cases statewide.
Maritime Laws and Regulations for Boating Accidents in Florida
Many people – and lawyers alike– do no know that when a boating accident occurs on a public waterway in Florida, it falls under federal admiralty jurisdiction. This means that sometimes your case must be brought under the Florida Federal courts.
A separate set of laws applies to the injuries sustained from boating or cruise ship accidents. An experienced Florida boat accident attorney will know which standards to use when bringing your claim to court.
Maritime law is also a specialized area of law which, in some states, requires attorneys to hold additional certification to be permitted to practice maritime law in Federal court. The experienced Florida boat accident attorneys at Rivkind Law are certified and experienced to represent your boating injury accident claim.
Causes of Boating Accidents in Florida
With many people from all over the world traveling to Florida to participate in their water-based tourism and recreational activities, there are a number of common causes of boating accidents we have seen. These causes include:
In certain situations, the operator of a boat can be held liable for a crash if they acted in a way that is through to be negligent. To prove a negligence case, your Florida boating accident attorney will need to show four things: that the boat operator had a duty, that they breached that duty, that this breach was the cause of your injuries or property damage, and that identifiable damages resulted. For example, all boat operators in Florida have a duty to follow all laws of boating and of the waterways, whether state or local. In Florida, it is against the law to drive the boat over a particular speed limit, especially in certain areas and certain scenarios. Therefore, if the boat operator was driving 25 miles over the posted speed limit when they crashed into your boat, they would be in breach of their duty to abide by the boating laws of the state of Florida.
Next, your boating accident lawyer will work to show that the breach, here the operator’s speeding, was the cause of the accident and the injuries or property damage that resulted. This can be the toughest part of a negligence case to prove, and where a skilled Florida boat accident lawyer like those at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A will be most helpful. We know how to collect the evidence and make the arguments necessary to show that the speeding was the cause of the crash. Then, we will explain the damages that resulted from the case, including boat repair or replacement costs, medical bills, physical therapy, and lost wages if the injury caused you miss work. We will work to get you wholly compensated for the pain and suffering this accident caused.
Other example of negligence action by boating operators include the following:
- Failure to have boating safety equipment on board
- Hitting a wake at speed
- Crashing into another boat or object in the water
- Operating a boat that is too crowded or weighed down
Boating Under the Influence
In Florida, the same rules apply to boating as to driving, meaning that it is illegal to consume drugs or alcohol and then drive a boat. If the other party involved in your boating accident injury was under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they are first and foremost going to face criminal liability with the state of Florida. If, for example, an intoxicated boat operator crashes his vessel into yours, they will be charged with boating under the influence resulting in property damage, or boating under the influence resulting in bodily injury, depending on the result. The first is a misdemeanor while the second is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in jail.
For your purposes, you should contact a skilled Florida boating accident attorney like those at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A as soon after the accident as possible. We can try to get you reimbursed through negotiating with the insurance company, and, if their offer is not enough, we can file a civil negligence suit, as described in the section above. If the operator is convicted of a criminal offense related to the accident, this can be used against them in civil court to prove our case. We can request damages for medical bills, property damage, as well as pain and suffering.
Injuries to Crew and Workers
If you were working on a boat and experienced an injury due to the negligence of your co-workers or your employer, you may be entitled to compensation. While seamen and other employees who work on boats generally cannot file for worker’s compensation, you may be entitled to compensation under either the Jones Act, if you are a seaman, or the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act.
The Jones Act, a federal law, sets up a system where seamen can receive compensation if their injuries are the result of negligence by the owner or any employee of the vessel, even if that negligence was their own, in fact. However, it is only applicable to those who meet the federal definition of seaman, which means that you must spend at least 30% of your time working aboard a vessel. The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act, meanwhile, applies to those who split their time between land and sea, such as the following:
- Ship builders
- Crane operators
- Ship repairmen
- Forklift operators
- Marine construction workers
- Vessel repair workers
- Gas and oil rig employees
Typically, both the Jones Act and The Longshore and Harbor Worker’s Compensation Act are exclusive remedies, meaning you must go through these procedures to get reimbursed rather than, say, filing a civil suit. A skilled Florida boat accident lawyer like those at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A can help you determine where and how to file a claim to give yourself the best chance at receiving the maximum possible payout. We can make sure that the insurance company and your employer are not low-balling you and that you are fully compensated for the injuries you suffered as a result of their negligence.
Common Types of Florida Boating Accidents
Our Florida boating accident and injury attorneys have experience representing clients that have been injured in the following type of boating accidents:
- Defective boat repair
- Fuel fire & explosion
- Collisions with other water vessels
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Falling overboard
- Striking underwater objects
If you or a loved one have been in a boating accident and have suffered harm, death or injury, call an experienced boating injury attorney today.
Common Types of Boats Involved in Florida Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are not just limited to cruise ships. The Florida boat accident attorneys at Rivkind Law have experience representing client injuries from the following type of water vessels:
- Cruise ships
- Ferry boats
- Jet ski & wave runners
- Tour and dinner cruise boats
If you have been injured while traveling or working on any of the aforementioned water vessels, you may have a case. Contact an experienced boating accident and maritime law attorney.
If You Were Hurt in a Boating Accident in Florida, Our Attorneys Can Help
The boating accident attorneys at Rivkind Law have years of experience fighting for personal injury and wrongful death claims due to boating accidents in Maimi, Florida, and nationwide. We can help you recover compensation for injuries sustained in a boat while on a Florida public waterway.
Our Florida boating accident lawyers at Rivkind Law, are dedicated to not only serving those accident victims in South Florida and worldwide boating accidents but also advocating for better boating safety laws and regulations. Contact our boating accident attorneys online or call us at (305) 374-0565 for a free consultation.