I Was Hurt Bad on a Boat in Florida – What Do I Do?
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If you were out boating on a rental boat, a friend’s fishing boat, or even a tour boat or ferry, there is always a chance you could be injured. If you fell on the deck, were involved in an accident, or were hit by a propeller, you could face serious injuries that might have left you with scars or permanent disabilities. The Florida boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represent injured boating accident victims and fight to help them get compensation for their injuries. Our lawyers explain what you should do after an accident and how to fight for compensation.
What to Do After a Serious Boat Accident in Florida
In the aftermath of an accident on a boat or a physical collision involving a boat or some other vessel, you could face serious injuries that need immediate medical attention. Your first priority should be getting the medical care you need, whether that means being taken to shore, calling for help from the Coast Guard, or being evacuated on a helicopter for treatment. If your injuries are very severe, you will not be able to do much by way of collecting evidence of what happened, and you should instead focus on getting better.
If you have a friend or loved one who was able to stay behind at the scene, they could begin collecting photos of what happened, getting the names and contact info of anyone who witnessed the accident, and writing down the registration number and any other identifying details about the vessels involved. Sometimes the pictures are not very impressive if they just show open water and two vessels, but they might show the relative positions of the boats, especially if one is lodged into the other. Also have your friend get the boating license information for any boaters who were involved.
If the Coast Guard or other emergency services responded to the accident, you should also be able to obtain an accident report that will contain much of the information you need.
Dealing with Bad Injuries After a Boat Accident in Florida
If you were seriously injured in a boating accident in Miami, a jet ski accident, a kayaking accident, or any other accident in Florida, you could have faced serious injuries. If these injuries caused substantial interruptions in your life, you might face damages that you might be able to seek compensation for. As you go through your recovery, you should document any expenses and damages you face and talk to a lawyer early on about keeping a good record of these harms.
The medical expenses you face for treatment could be quite expensive. Especially if you need ongoing care or follow-up appointments, you could max out your health insurance deductibles and find yourself facing expensive bills for out-of-pocket expenses.
If your injury kept you from going back to work, you could now face lost wages. If your injuries are not expected to improve much or you face disabilities that keep you from being able to go back to work at your full capacity, you could face ongoing lost wages and even see your total lifetime earning capacity reduced because of the injuries. Keeping track of missed pay stubs and financial records that show these losses is important.
Lastly, you could be experiencing substantial pain and suffering because of your injuries. It is important to document your recovery and your experiences because your statements and testimony about your experiences will be the core evidence used to prove these damages later. Keep a journal or log of how bad the injury was, the fear you faced because of it, the stress of recovery, and the anguish of finding out that your injuries were permanent. Also keep a record of how the injury affects your life going forward, such as how it affects your ability to enjoy certain activities.
Getting Compensation for Bad Boat Accident Injuries in Florida
When you face expensive medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering after an accident, there may be multiple avenues you can take to get the financial recovery you need for your injuries. In some cases, boat operators and boating companies might carry insurance that can cover some of your needs. However, insurance companies do not usually pay out full damages without a fight, and you might be better off working with an attorney who can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf, all while filing a personal injury lawsuit on the side.
When you deal with insurance companies, they will usually try to settle the case as low and as quickly as they can to avoid paying high damages or the ongoing legal fees to drag out a court case. In many insurance policies, there are also clauses that prevent the insurance company from covering noneconomic damages like pain and suffering. This means that many insurance offers, especially early offers, are far too low to cover your needs.
With really bad injuries, you might be better off filing your case as a personal injury claim in court. When you take your claim before a judge and jury, you can sue any parties that were responsible. Even if you are found partly at fault, you can still receive compensation from them for their share of the harm they caused. The damages in these kinds of injury cases are not restricted, either; you can claim damages even for intangible things like pain and suffering, and perhaps for future damages like lost ongoing wages.
Talk to a boating accident lawyer about the best way to file a boat injury lawsuit and get the compensation you need.
Call Our Boating Accident Lawyers in Florida for a Free Case Consultation on a Bad Injury Case
If you or a loved one was badly injured in a boating accident, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today. Our maritime injury lawyers have decades of experience handling boating injury cases, and we offer free legal consultations to help injury victims figure out what to do next and how to proceed with their case. For your free case consultation, call us today at (305) 204-5369.