Boating accidents can produce devastating injuries. In many cases, accidents occur because of negligent conduct exhibited by operators, mechanics, and other parties. Thankfully, after such accidents, victims may obtain payment by filing lawsuits against those who are at fault.
You can sue for a wide range of monetary damages after a boating accident in Florida. For example, you can pursue payment for medical bills and lost income you incurred because of your injuries. Further, you can seek compensation for non-economic damages like physical pain and emotional suffering. Generally, plaintiffs who suffer more severe injuries will be awarded more payment.
After suffering a boating accident, get help from our experienced Florida boating accident lawyers by calling Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.
Damages Available in a Florida Boating Accident Lawsuit
There are multiple types of monetary damages that may be pursued in your boating accident case. During a free evaluation of your claim, our Ft. Lauderdale boating accident attorneys can help determine which of the following damages may be available to you:
First, you may obtain compensation for medical bills related to the treatment of your boating accident injuries. This includes the cost of all past and current medical expenses you paid because of your injury. Further, if you will require medical treatment in the future, you may obtain compensation for that as well.
Damages for medical expenses are usually obtained using medical records and bills. Accordingly, it is important to seek treatment quickly after your boating accident. If you let your injuries heal on their own, then you may have trouble establishing the full extent of damages you incurred.
Your boating accident injuries may force you to spend time away from your job during recovery. Accordingly, you may seek damages for any lost income related to the harm you sustained. Compensation for lost income will usually be calculated using your average weekly wages.
If your boating accident injuries permanently restrict your ability to work going forward, then you may also acquire payment for your diminished future earning capacity. However, these types of claims can be complicated. Copious amounts of evidence may be required to support a claim for your lost future income.
Many boating accident injuries can produce high amounts of physical pain. As an example, non-fatal drowning injuries, burns, contusions, head injuries, and spinal cord damage can all be excruciatingly painful. Thankfully, after a boating accident, you may be able to sue the other driver for payment related to the physical pain you experienced.
Additionally, you may be able to recover monetary damages stemming from the emotional distress caused by your boating accident injuries. For instance, you may incur a brain injury that prevents you from participating in your favorite activities after your accident. Further, you may sustain spinal cord damage that prevents you from engaging in relations with a family member. In such cases, you may be entitled to financial compensation for the emotional anguish caused by your injuries.
After a boating accident, you can also obtain payment for the property damage you suffered. For example, if your vessel was damaged because of a crash caused by another boater’s negligence, then you may sue them for the cost of your boat’s repair or replacement. It may benefit you to take photos of any damaged property in the immediate aftermath of your collision. These photos can help prove that your damage was not caused by some other, subsequent event.
You may also incur a wide range of out-of-pocket expenses because of your boating accident injuries. As an example, you may need to pay for assistance with child care while your injuries heal. Also, you may need to pay for transportation to and from court proceedings and doctors’ appointments. Thankfully, such expenses may be included in your boating accident claim.
Finally, if your boating accident happened because of another party’s gross negligence, then you may be awarded punitive damages. These damages are not intended to compensate you for a loss. Rather, they serve to punish a defendant for their especially careless or reckless behavior and discourage similar conduct in the future.
Punitive damages are only awarded in rare cases. For you to recover these damages, you must prove that the defendant exhibited a willful or wanton disregard for the safety of others. For example, punitive damages may be awarded in your case if the defendant was severely impaired while operating his vessel at illegal speeds on the wrong side of a channel. Punitive damages can also be capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is higher.
How Much Can You Sue for if You Share Fault for Your Boating Accident in Florida?
Fault can be shared for some boating accidents. For example, you may share some of the blame for your collision if you were speeding when you were struck by drunk driver. If you are partially at fault for your accident, you can still pursue financial compensation. However, the amount of damages you are awarded can be limited.
Damages in boating accident cases will be apportioned based on a system of modified comparative negligence. Simply put, damages are awarded based on each party’s percentage of blame. For example, if you are 15% at fault for your collision while the defendant is 85% responsible, then they only will have to pay for 85% of the damages you sustained while you are left to account for the leftover 15%.
Florida courts used to abide by a system of pure comparative negligence. This meant that you were able to pursue payment for your boating accident injuries regardless of how much fault you shared. However, in March of 2023, a new bill went into effect that established the new system of modified comparative negligence. Now, you cannot obtain any compensation from another party if you are considered to be more than 50% responsible for your boating accident.
Boating Accident Victims in Florida Can Call Our Law Firm for Support
Seek assistance from our experienced Miami boating accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. by dialing (305) 204-5369 today.