For tourists in Florida, tour boats are a pleasant way to experience the state’s thousands of miles of waterways and coastline. What many tourists fail to realize is that by stepping foot on these vessels, they put their safety and well-being in the hands of the company that maintains and operates the tour boat. There are numerous dangers and risks that tour boat operators must take into consideration, and when they fail to do so, passengers can be seriously injured.
At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., our Florida tour boat accident lawyers have handled a wide variety of maritime and boating injury claims, including duck boat and tour boat accidents. We understand how daunting and stressful this situation is for you and your family, especially when catastrophic injuries or fatalities are involved. If you were injured on a tour boat or duck boat ride, call us today at (866) 386-1762 to learn more about how we can assist you and to schedule a free legal consultation.
Holding Tour Boats Responsible for Passenger Injuries Under Florida Law
Injuries on a tour boat can occur in many different ways. Accidents involving capsizing, sinking, fires, or explosions are quite rare, but these accidents can cause catastrophic injury to everyone on board the ship. Other more common examples of injuries include slip and falls on the boat due to a wet deck, trip and fall injuries resulting from cluttered walkways or unsecured cargo, intoxicated passengers acting dangerously, and accidents involving passengers falling overboard. In virtually all of these accidents, the tour boat operators could be held responsible.
The crew of a tour boat and the company that operates the tour boat can typically be held liable for any injuries aboard the boat that result from their negligence. In general, proving negligence involves showing that the operator owed you a duty of care and failed to meet the expectations of that duty. Due to the complexity of water-related accidents, most cases require a thorough investigation to establish liability and to gather sufficient evidence. In some cases, the tour company’s liability might lie in a failure to properly assess the risk of bad weather before setting out on the tour or failing to properly clean and repair damage to the deck that could cause slip and fall or trip and fall injuries.
In addition to proving that the defendant did not act with due care, you must show that this failure was the direct cause of the injuries that you sustained. If some other factor served as the cause or partial cause of your injuries, your compensation may be blocked or reduced. You must also show the damages that you suffered so that the court knows how much to compensate you for.
Suing for Duck Boat Accidents in Florida
Duck boats are amphibious vehicles that have wheels as well as propellers, allowing them to travel both on land and on water. Duck boats are very popular for tourists, but they are also very dangerous. In a somewhat recent example, a duck boat operating in another state capsized and killed 17 passengers, including small children. Some reports have suggested that the operator of this particular vessel was warned in 2017 about significant design flaws and passenger safety issues well before the tragic accident happened. These accidents and similar warnings put other duck boat operators on notice, and continuing to operate a dangerous or defective duck boat can be seriously negligent and could result in injury or death for passengers.
As with other tour boats and ferry boats, an injured passenger can seek compensation for injuries and damages with the help of a tour boat accident attorney. While some injuries are caused by dangers and risks unique to duck boats, duck boats are prone to the same sorts of dangers and risks on other tour boats, including improper maintenance and poorly trained crews. Because duck boats travel on land as well, passengers could be injured in accidents with other vehicles or other “car accidents” that might be handled under Florida law like any other vehicle accident. For accidents that occur on the water, you might need the help of a Florida boat accident lawyer to ensure that your case is handled properly and that you get the compensation you need.
Damages for Tour Boat and Duck Boat Injury Claims
If you were injured on a tour boat or a duck boat in Florida, contact a lawyer before you accept any damages for your injuries. In many cases, the tour boat companies and insurance companies involved in the case will fight to make sure that they pay as little as possible for injury claims. These companies will often use low initial settlement offers to try to convince victims that their claim is worth very little, or they will deny that the victim has a case altogether. Our maritime injury lawyers can help you understand what your case is truly worth and how to go about getting the compensation you deserve.
Most injury cases involve a claim for damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering stemming from the accident. With serious injuries like burns or serious back and head injuries, the medical care might be ongoing, and you could suffer lost wages for years off work – or you might be unable to return to work altogether. This can result in very high damages. In addition, the pain and suffering of a serious injury might be worth substantial compensation, which is calculated separately from the damages for medical expenses.
If a loved one was killed in a tour boat accident or duck boat accident, the damages you claim might be even higher. The loss of a loved one is impossible to compensate fully with money, but the damages for lost companionship, lost spousal benefits, burial and funeral expenses, and other damages can help you and your family move forward with the financial support you need.
Talk to an attorney about what your claim might be worth – and be sure to do so quickly because there might be strict deadlines to file your case.
Call Our Florida Tour Boat Accident Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., we understand how complex and frustrating the legal process can be. If you suffered an injury on a tour boat or duck boat, chances are that you are still struggling with the aftermath. Our seasoned team of litigators can explore every possible avenue of recourse on your behalf. Our Florida boating accident lawyers have handled cases on behalf of victims and families nationwide and in cities throughout Florida. To schedule a free case consultation, call us today at (866) 386-1762.