Going overboard a boat can be very dangerous. The injuries victims sustain in such accidents are often expensive. Understandably, victims may want to know who is responsible for paying the bills associated with such accidents.
When someone goes overboard because of the negligence of another party, the victim should not be responsible for footing the bill. That includes costs of search and rescue efforts that might take place, as well as any medical expenses a victim might incur because of their injuries. Any other bills related to the accident should be compensable as well, including lost wages. To make sure you do not have to pay any bills associated with your accident at sea, you must file your compensation claim within the statute of limitations. If you do not, you might be barred from recovery.
Call our boating accident lawyers at (305) 204-5369 to have Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. assess your case for free today.
Who Pays the Bills if a Victim Goes Overboard at Sea?
When search and rescue efforts take place to find a victim who has gone overboard at sea, those costs should be incurred by the person or entity responsible for the victim’s disappearance or ensuring their well-being and safety. The victim should not be responsible for paying those costs or any other costs associated with an accident that they themselves have incurred, such as medical expenses.
Cost of Rescue Expenses
Suppose you fall overboard while on a commercial boating vessel, like a cruise ship. Any search and rescue efforts should be the responsibility of the cruise ship. You should not be billed for those efforts. If you are, for whatever reason, inform our Ft. Lauderdale boating accident lawyers immediately. Similarly, if you fall overboard while on a recreational boat, and the U.S. Coast Guard or another entity searches for you, you should not be billed for any of those efforts either.
Cost of Medical Expenses
After being rescued, you might have to go to the hospital to get treatment for certain injuries. If you nearly drowned, you might require treatment for anoxic brain injuries due to a lack of oxygen. Depending on the height you fell from, you might have broken bones or sprains that require medical intervention. You might have even gotten an infection after being in the water for so long that requires antibiotics or other medication. Regardless, suppose someone else’s negligent or intentionally malicious act caused you to fall overboard and be injured at sea. In that case, you should not have to pay any bills associated with your medical treatment. Instead, that responsibility should fall on the person or company whose negligence caused your injury when you file a compensation claim against them.
Other costs that you might incur, such as travel expenses to get medical attention, ambulance costs, in-house care, and even the cost of your ticket if you were hurt while on a commercial boating vessel, may be compensable in a lawsuit. To learn whether or not these costs will be covered when you sue a negligent party, ask our attorneys for confirmation. Virtually any out-of-pocket expense or bill incurred by a victim because of a negligent party’s actions can be compensated for in a claim.
Can Your Bills Be Too High to Recover Compensation After Being Rescued at Sea?
Some states limit the recovery of certain damages in personal injury claims. While you should not be responsible for paying bills associated with your injuries, what if your bills are too high and put you over the limit for recovery?
Fortunately, states typically do not limit recovery of economic damages for injury victims. This refers to any financial losses directly resulting from a negligent party’s actions. So, no matter how expensive your medical treatments are or how costly any other out-of-pocket expenses become, you can recover total compensation for your economic losses in a lawsuit. This is provided that you can submit proof of your financial damages, which is most effective in the form of invoices, bills, or receipts.
In addition to not having to pay the bills associated with your rescue following a fall overboard, you do not have to suffer emotionally without compensation. States typically allow victims to recover compensation for pain and suffering, which is limited in some cases. Recovery of punitive damages might also be available, depending on the circumstances of an accident at sea.
Because economic damages are unlimited, bills can never be too high to receive compensation for following an accident that results in a victim falling overboard and getting injured.
How Can You Make Sure You Do Not Have to Pay the Bills After Being Rescued at Sea?
To make sure you are not financially responsible for the costs you incur after falling overboard at sea, you must bring your claim before the filing deadline.
Depending on where your accident occurred, you will likely only have a year or two to sue for compensation. This is paramount if you require recovery of all financial damages related to your accident. If you do not bring your claim before the statute of limitations ends, you will be barred from recovery entirely.
It is also important to confirm that you are able to sue based on your situation. For example, suppose you fell overboard on a cruise ship. In that case, our attorneys will check your ticket to see if any caveats or stipulations might impede your ability to file a compensation claim.
Then, when you file your case, be sure to provide suitable evidence that meets the burden of proof. If you do not, you will not likely recover sufficient compensation for your damages.
Call Our Lawyers About Your Boating Accident
To schedule a confidential and free discussion about your case with Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A, call our Broward County, FL boating accident lawyers now at (305) 204-5369.