Can You File a Lawsuit After the Boat Crash at Port of Miami?
A recent boat crash between a private boat and a tour boat highlighted the dangers of boating accidents. With at least a dozen people injured, this kind of accident brings to light how many boat accident victims need their injuries treated at hospitals and could be left with potentially serious or long-term injuries. Our lawyers understand that victims from this crash and others may have questions about when to sue and how to go about filing a lawsuit for these kinds of crashes.
Fortunately, Florida law usually does allow you to sue for injuries in a boating accident at the Port of Miami. Accidents can occur at port in many different ways, and this may slightly alter how you go about suing, especially if you were a passenger injured by two boat pilots’ combined mistakes.
For help with a boat accident lawsuit, call the Port of Miami boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today at (305) 204-5369.
February 11, 2024 Boat Crash at Port of Miami
On Sunday, February 11, there was a crash between a tour boat and what authorities are reporting was a private boat at the Port of Miami in Fisherman’s Channel. Apparently, 13 individuals were taken to the hospital, with at least one being airlifted. A total of 30 people were apparently on these boats, with many facing only minor, allowing them to leave the scene without having to go to the hospital.
At the time of this writing, it appears there have not been enough details publicly released about this accident as to the cause, but our local Port of Miami boat accident attorneys are ready and willing to help any injury victims from this crash get compensation from the responsible parties.
This crash comes eight months after another fatal boating accident in the Port of Miami, highlighting the dangers of boating.
Can You Sue for a Port of Miami Boating Accident?
In general, lawsuits can be filed for any type of injury case. With boating accidents, the rules and regulations are often somewhat specialized. Even if the case is ultimately filed in a state court, working with a maritime injury lawyer who has experience with boating and ship accidents is key.
In a boating accident, you usually sue whichever party is responsible for the accident. But, legally speaking, fault could fall on more than one party. For a party to be responsible, in a legal sense, you must point to something they did wrong, such as piloting a boat while under the influence or taking a vessel out on the water during dangerous weather. This last cause is a somewhat common issue with tour boating accidents like the one discussed above, though there are no indications as of the writing of this article that that is what caused that accident. More commonly, the mistakes involve speeding, not navigating properly around other vessels, or coming into port too quickly and crashing.
Problems with a boat’s safety are also common issues that cause crashes. In these accident cases, the crash occurs because of unrepaired damage or maintenance problems with the boat, such as malfunctioning rudders or motors.
If you were a passenger on a tour boat, ferry, or other boat with tickets available to the public, you could be entitled to sue anyone who injures you by crashing into the boat. In these cases, they might be responsible for injuries to anyone and everyone on the tour boat. In other cases, the tour boat pilot and the company that operates the tour boat would be responsible, but there might be complications in suing them.
Legal Issues with Suing Tour Boats in Miami
Suing a tour boat or the company that operates the tour boat is often quite possible. However, there are some practical and legal issues that arise in these cases that often make the case much easier to handle with the help of an experienced attorney.
First, when you get a ticket for a tour boat ride, the ticket itself often has terms and conditions about your trip. These might include rules about what courts you will be able to sue them in in case anything goes wrong. There may even be waiver language – what is known as “exculpatory” language – to try to dodge liability for the boating company. Sometimes, these waivers do not work because you did not explicitly agree to them, but clauses selecting what court will hear the case might be valid.
In any case, our lawyers will have to review your case to determine what, if any, restrictions on your right to sue might be present in your case.
Another legal issue goes into more depth on the question of what court you will sue in. Many injury cases in “navigable waters” should be filed in federal court under the U.S. Government’s jurisdiction over maritime cases – i.e., cases involving boating and shipping. However, many cases close to port can be filed in state court instead, and our Florida boat accident lawyers will have to look into what court is best for filing your case.
In any case, the lawsuit likely must be filed here in Miami for a boat crash in PortMiami. If you live far away from South Florida and were injured while here visiting or on vacation, you may need to come back to handle your lawsuit. However, our attorneys can do what we can to file suit and handle negotiations and court hearings on your behalf while you are back home recovering.
Damages for Port of Miami Boating Lawsuits
If you faced any injuries serious enough to require you to go to the hospital, you likely have a case for damages. In most injury cases, damages will be paid for medical bills, lost wages caused by the injury, and any pain and suffering related to the accident. However, getting insurance companies and defendants to agree to pay full damages is often difficult and requires intense negotiations or a trial.
Call Our Port of Miami Boat Accident Lawyers Today
For a free case evaluation, contact the Port of Miami personal injury lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind by calling (305) 204-5369.