The captain of a ship or the skipper or pilot of a smaller vessel is in charge of everything that goes on aboard the vessel. This means that most issues of safety, navigation, and operation of the boat are ultimately on their shoulders, and if mistakes or errors in judgment lead to serious injuries, the captain should be held responsible.
Our Florida boat accident lawyers caused by captain error work to hold negligent ship captains and their employers responsible for boat accidents, cruise ship accidents, and other maritime injuries in the Florida area. If you or a loved one was hurt in a boat accident in Florida, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today to schedule a free case consultation with our injury attorneys. Our phone number is (866) 386-1762.
Types of Accidents and Injuries Caused by Captain Error in Florida
Accidents with a small boat or a large ship tend to occur in different ways. With smaller vessels, most accidents involve single boat crashes where the operator will drive into a stationary object, hit rocks, or flip the boat while trying to show off. Many of these crashes are caused by inexperience, inattention, or even intoxicated boating. These vessels, however, could crash into each other, causing injuries to occupants of each vessel. With larger ships, accidents tend to involve slightly different errors.
Large ships can crash into stationary objects like rocks or piers if the captain comes in to dock too fast or if navigation errors take the ship into shallow waters. Other problems occur when the ship goes out into dangerous weather when it would have been better to stay at port. However, the majority of accidents and injuries on a large ship are caused by conditions aboard the ship rather than issues with the operation and movement of the ship itself.
The captain is also responsible for the staff and crew aboard the ship. That means the captain is ultimately responsible for ensuring that the decks are clean and safe for passengers, that the kitchen produces food that is safe to eat, and that the passengers are safe from violence or sexual assault committed by crewmembers or other passengers. If you were injured in a slip and fall, if you suffered injuries from other unsafe conditions on the ship, if you came down with food poisoning, or if you were the victim of assault or sexual assault, you might have a case against the captain of the ship and the rest of the crew.
Suing Ship Captains in Florida for Boat Accident and Ship Accident Injuries
If you were injured because of an error the captain made that caused the vessel to crash or caused you to be injured while aboard the ship, you might be entitled to sue a few different parties. First and foremost, the individual crewmember who allowed you to be injured is often directly responsible for the injuries. This could mean suing the captain for crashing the boat or suing a janitorial or maintenance worker for failing to clean up or repair dangerous conditions.
If an employee causes injuries while working within the scope of their duties, the law usually allows the victim to sue that worker’s employer for their injuries. This means that if the captain was the one who employed the negligent crewmember who injured you, the captain can be held liable for their crewmember’s mistakes.
If the captain and the rest of the crew all work for some other company, such as a tour boat company or a cruise line, you can usually sue that company as well. This can often give you access to full coverage, as many of these large transportation and cruise companies are able to fully cover any damages you might have faced with a combination of out of pocket payments and insurance payouts.
Damages for Injuries Caused by Negligent Ship Captains in Florida
If your injuries were severe, you might be entitled to substantial compensation for your injuries. These damages can usually be separated into “economic” damages, which include medical expenses and lost wages, and “noneconomic” damages, which include pain and suffering.
Economic damages can be claimed to cover the full cost of any expenses you faced because of an injury. This can cover the cost of emergency medical transportation to get you off the boat and to a hospital, plus the cost of medical treatment once you get to the hospital. If you needed additional follow-up care from your doctor or you received ongoing physical therapy or rehabilitation care, this should also be covered. Damages can also be claimed for other expenses, such as the value of lost wages you missed because the injury kept you from returning to work.
Noneconomic damages cannot be tracked and proved with financial records like economic damages can, but you can still claim monetary compensation for these harms. The pain associated with a serious injury can be very intense, as can the mental suffering and emotional effects of dealing with a serious injury. Despite the fact that these harms are difficult to measure and hard to explain in court, you can still claim financial compensation for these noneconomic damages in court.
It is vital to work with a lawyer who can help explain to you what your case should be worth. You should never rely on the ship or the cruise company’s legal team to evaluate the cost of your case. Instead, work with a lawyer who is on your side and legally required to represent your best interests.
Call Our Florida Lawyer for Boat Accidents Caused by Captain Error
For a free legal consultation on your potential claim against a captain, a cruise company, or a tour company, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our Florida lawyers for boat accidents caused by captain error may be able to help you file a lawsuit against the captain who injured you and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (866) 386-1762 to schedule your free legal consultation.