What to Do if You Are Injured as a Passenger on a Boat
Boating is a fun vacation activity. Many people have their own boats or charter boats when they take trips to the beach or lakes. Unfortunately, passengers are often injured because of the boat operator’s negligence.
If you are a passenger on a boat injured in an accident, you should contact emergency help immediately. Depending on where you are, there might be specific law enforcement agencies you should contact, like the Coast Guard. After getting help and getting to shore, you should contact an attorney about how to take legal action to get compensation for your injuries and damages. Boat accidents can be very serious, and you might be dealing with painful injuries and expensive medical treatment. You can often file an insurance claim or a personal injury lawsuit to recover damages. In either situation, you will need evidence from the accident and proof of your injuries.
Although boating can be fun, boat operators must be very careful. If you were injured as a passenger on a boat, our boat accident lawyers can help you. For a free case review, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.
Calling for Help if You Are Injured as a Passenger on a Boat
The first thing you should do if you are injured in a boat accident as a passenger is call for help. Boat accidents can be very serious, and people sometimes end up in the water and drown. If possible, you can use a cell phone to call for help. If you are on a personal watercraft with friends or on your own, you or someone with you might have to make the call. If you are on a larger vessel, like a ferry, charter boat, tour boat, or a rented yacht, there might be crew members who can provide emergency assistance and call the authorities for help.
Depending on what state you are in and what kind of body of water you are on, there might be specific authorities who can help you. For example, you can call the Coast Guard if you are boating in the ocean along the coast. If you are boating on a lake, there might be a specific law enforcement agency designated to patrol that lake.
In some accidents, people might lose their cell phones, or perhaps they did not bring a cell phone on the boat. In such cases, boaters must be prepared to signal for help using other methods. People can use different light signals and flares to signal for help. During the day, you should use red or orange flares or smoke signals to send a visual distress signal. At night, you should use electric light distress lights. In many states, boaters must always keep this equipment on board.
If you were injured because the boat operator in your case failed to supply emergency signals and nobody came to your aid, you can hold the boat operator liable for your injuries. Our boat accident attorneys can help you get your injuries and other damages covered.
Taking Legal Action if You Are Injured as a Passenger on a Boat
If you were a passenger on a boat during a boat accident, you can speak to our boat accident lawyers about taking legal action against the boat operator. If the boat you were on collided with another vessel, you might be able to hold both boat operators responsible.
If the operator of the boat you were on has boat insurance, you might be able to file an insurance claim to get compensation for your injuries. Boat insurance serves a very similar purpose to auto insurance. After an accident, the insurance helps to pay for damages of boat operators and passengers.
How the boat accident happened will play an important role in your insurance claim. Possible causes of accidents include collisions with other vessels, crashes with stationary objects like jetties or buoys, accidents at docks or piers, or mechanical problems on the boat.
Unfortunately, not all states require boat operators to carry boat insurance. As such, there is a chance that the operator in your case was uninsured. In that case, our boat accident attorneys can help you explore other legal options.
Personal Injury Lawsuits
A personal injury lawsuit may be the best way for injured boat passengers to cover their damages after a boat accident. Perhaps one of the most significant advantages of lawsuits is that you may be able to claim more damages. Insurance often limits claimants to things like medical bills and various economic damages, and things like pain and suffering are not usually available.
Our boat accident attorneys can help you figure out what kind of damages you can claim and how much your total damages are worth. For example, we can add up your medical expenses, lost income from missing worth, and the value of any destroyed property to determine your economic damages. Non-economic damages are more subjective, and determining their worth requires assessing how they have impacted your daily life.
Evidence you Need After Being Injured as a Passenger on a Boat
After a boat accident, you should immediately consider what kind of evidence you will need and how you will gather it. If the boat in your accident sunk, physical evidence might be lost, and we might need to rely on other forms of evidence. Witness testimony, including your own, is paramount to your case. The more people who can back up your claims, the more likely you will win your case.
Depending on where your boat accident happened, there might be security camera footage of the incident. For example, if the boat you were on crashed into a marina dock, security cameras might be monitoring the marina. Our Tampa boat accident attorneys can contact the marina and ask about possible security camera footage.
Contact Our Boat Accident Attorneys for Help
If you were a passenger on a boat during an accident, you should contact our boating accident lawyers for help. We can assist you in getting financial compensation for your damages. For a free case review, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.