Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States. People come from all over the country and the world to relax on our beaches and swim in our waters. A popular activity among tourists as well as Florida residents is cruising on charter boats. However, any ship, including a charter boat, requires passengers and crew to follow safety precautions to keep everyone safe and happy. When these precautions are not followed, passengers or crew can be injured.
Charter boats can be a great way to enjoy your beach vacation. But they can also spell disaster if people are not careful. If you suffered injuries on a charter boat due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness, please call our Florida lawyer for injuries on charter boats. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762. Speak with our legal team about setting up a free, confidential legal consultation.
Applying Maritime Law to Cases of Injuries on Charter Boats in Florida
You might be surprised to learn that cases involving accidents on boats may not fall under ordinary state laws. Instead, they may fall under federal maritime or admiralty law. Such laws were initially intended to regulate ships on the open ocean but have expanded to encompass all “navigable” waters. Navigable water is any body of water or waterway used for interstate or foreign commerce or could be used for such purposes. This means rivers and lakes may also fall under maritime law. Additionally, your injury must have a connection with traditional maritime activities. Usually, this means a link to some commercial activity, although this may not always be the case. Our Florida attorney for injuries on charter boats can help you figure out if maritime law applies to your case.
Charter boats are often rented out in one of two ways. First, a person or a group rents a boat and they operate it on their own. Second, a person or group charters a boat that includes a crew to operate the vessel while the passengers enjoy themselves. If you are a passenger who chartered the boat, you can sue the owner for negligence for your injuries. However, crew members may also sue because their employer, the boat’s owner, must provide them with a safe work environment. If you worked as a crew member or you were a passenger who was injured on a charter boat, please call our Florida attorney for injuries on charter boats.
Proving Negligence for Injuries on Charter Boats in Florida
Negligence claims are common among personal injury lawsuits. It is not unusual for a plaintiff’s injuries to be the result of the defendant’s negligent actions. However, proving negligence in court requires establishing four key elements. If even just one element is missing from our case, we cannot establish the defendant’s negligence. These elements are duty, breach, causation, and damages.
Duty refers to the duty of care a defendant owed to a plaintiff. In the case of an injury on a charter boat, this duty would fall upon the owner of the boat and the crew hired to operate the boat. Someone who charters a boat does so with the understanding that the boat will be made safe by the owner. They also charter the boat under the impression that any crew onboard will operate it safely.
This brings us to the second important element, which is a breach of the duty of care. A breach occurs when the defendant violates their duty of care. For example, if you charter a boat, the boat owner must ensure the boat is structurally sound to take out on the water. If, while on the water, the boat springs a leak and sinks, the boat owner has breached their duty of care.
We must prove more than a mere breach of a duty of care. We must also show that the breach is the cause of your injuries. A defendant could have breached some duty of care they owed you before you were harmed. However, if your injuries stem from an independent source, perhaps your own carelessness, the defendant may not be liable.
Finally, we must demonstrate you actually suffered injuries. Your injuries cannot be theoretical. This means we cannot file a lawsuit based on the injuries you could have sustained. The lawsuit must be based on your real injuries. Contact our Florida attorney for injuries on charter boats for more information.
Who You Can Sue for Injuries on a Charter Boat in Florida
The question of who you should sue probably seems like a no-brainer. You sue the person responsible for your injuries, of course. Unfortunately, precisely who that person is not always so crystal clear. If your injuries are due to the owner’s negligence, you would obviously sue the owner of the boat. However, if your injuries result from a crewmember’s negligence, you could sue the crewmember, their employer, or the owner of the boat. Who you sue depends on the nature of your injuries and the circumstances of your case. Consult with our Florida lawyer for injuries on charter boats to determine who you should include in your lawsuit.
Other Types of Lawsuits for Injuries on a Charter Boat in Florida
While negligence and personal injury lawsuits tend to go hand-in-hand, your case may require a different approach. Not every injury is always the result of negligence. Sometimes, injuries are the result of intentional conduct rather than negligence. These intentional torts will have different elements we must prove depending on the nature of the tort and your injuries. If you were assaulted or physically struck by a crewmember on a charter boat, you may be able to sue for the intentional torts of assault or battery. If the crew, for whatever reason, did not allow you to leave the charter boat, you could sue for the intentional tort of false imprisonment. Our Florida attorney for injuries on charter boats can analyze your case and determine the best course of action for your lawsuit.
Call Our Florida Lawyer for Injuries on Charter Boats Today
If you or someone close to you suffered injuries while aboard a charter boat, please reach out to our Florida attorney for injuries on charter boats. Call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, at (866) 386-1762 or contact us online to set up a consultation about your case.