Can You File a Lawsuit if You Are Ejected from a Boat and Injured in Florida?
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Being ejected from a boat can mean facing injury in the water, especially if you are hit by the boat you were riding in or another boat. It could also mean crashing into rocks, piers, docks, swimmers, or other dangers in the water. Especially if you are ejected at high speeds and were not given proper safety gear – like a life vest – then you could even begin to drown or otherwise face serious injuries. The Florida boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. explain how being ejected from a boat can often lead to a lawsuit and what our Gulf Coast drowning death attorneys can do to help in a case like this.
Can You Sue If You Were Thrown from a Boat in Florida?
Being thrown from a boat can be scary or cause a sudden rush of panic. For many, falling off a boat could just be the result of a minor prank and ultimately end up being a funny experience, but for others, it could mean serious injuries, hospitalization, or even drowning and death. The question of whether you can sue after being ejected from a boat will depend on what injuries or other results occurred as well as what happened to cause you to be thrown from the boat.
Injuries and Harm
If you did not suffer any injuries or emotional distress when you were thrown from the boat, then you likely will not be able to sue. Even if the boat operator intentionally swerved or sped up while you were standing, you cannot typically sue them unless the accident caused you actual harm.
Even if you did suffer injuries, minor injuries like a bruise might not be worth suing for. On the other hand, if the injuries led to medical bills, lost wages, and other damages, then you should certainly consider talking to a Miami boat accident lawyer about suing.
If you did suffer injuries, even slight ones, then you might be able to sue for the emotional distress of the situation as well. Florida law uses an “impact rule” that says victims can sue for emotional distress after an accident as long as there was some impact, even if that impact did not necessarily cause much by way of physical injuries. That means that if you were severely scared and shocked by the incident, you could be entitled to sue if you bumped into the boat on the way down or fell and hit something potentially dangerous.
If you were thrown from a boat because of something that you did, then you might not be able to sue someone else for the results of the accident. For instance, an inexperienced boater that swerves from side to side quickly might fall off the boat during these maneuvers. If that happened, it is unlikely that they have someone else to blame for the accident unless someone acted irresponsibly in letting the inexperienced operator use their boat.
If someone else caused the accident, then you might be able to sue them for ejecting you from the boat. This can only happen if they did something wrong, like causing a crash between two boats or between their boat and a stationary object. Alternatively, unsafe maneuvers or “showing off” could end with passengers falling off and suffering injuries, and this kind of unsafe operation could also result in a lawsuit. In some cases, the fall from the boat might have even been intentional, such as in a case where an operator accelerates to try to make you fall down or actively pushes you from a moving boat, whether as part of a reckless prank or as part of an actual attempt to injure you.
How to Sue a Boat Operator After Being Ejected from a Boat in Florida
If you suffered actual injuries or emotional distress and there is someone else who caused the accident, then you might be able to sue them for causing you to be thrown from a boat. The process of filing a lawsuit for a boat accident is much like the process of filing a lawsuit for a car accident, with some major differences.
Boating accidents are often filed under maritime law instead of normal state law. This means that these cases would be filed in federal court in many situations. An experienced Pensacola boat accident lawyer can help you determine what court to file your case in and double-check that you are following the right path to seeking compensation.
Boating accidents are based on their own laws about what is required of operators and boat owners. These laws could include local laws and state laws about boating, such as speed limits. They can also involve requirements about what a boat operator must do to keep their boat safe. Lastly, there are reasonable standards about what boat operators should and should not do. Breaching any of these rules or duties could be considered negligence that can enable you to sue a boat owner or captain for an accident in Florida.
Call Our Lawyer for Boating Ejection in Florida to Help with Your Injury Case
If you or a loved one was thrown off a boat during an accident or by a negligent operator or pilot, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today. Our Miami personal injury lawyers work to help injured boat passengers get compensation for injuries and accidents involving passengers being ejected from the vessel and other types of dangerous results of operator negligence. For a free legal consultation, call (305) 204-5369 today.