Jacksonville Boat Accident Lawyer
Our lead trial lawyer Brett Rivkind has an international reputation for dedication and excellence. His hard work and success have been recognized extensively through awards and special recognitions.
Boat accidents are far more dangerous than people tend to think. Many people associate boating with a fun day on the water with a drink in their hand. However, boating can be just as dangerous as a motor vehicle accident. Boating is even more serious because it comes with the added danger of drowning. Boat accidents can leave people with severe, long-lasting injuries that they may not be able to afford. Our experienced Jacksonville boat accident lawyer can help you get the compensation you need to recover from a boating accident.
No two boat accidents are alike. You should speak to a qualified attorney about your accident and explore your legal options. Our legal team can help you figure out who you should sue and how to calculate your damages. To set up a free and confidential legal consultation with our team, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.
What to Do Immediately After a Boat Accident in Jacksonville
If you are involved in a boat accident in Jacksonville, the very first thing you should do is make sure everyone is okay and attempt to get to safety. You or your passengers may be injured and your boat could be sinking, depending upon the nature of the accident. You should immediately call emergency services, such as the coast guard, for help.
Once you are in a safer position and emergency services are either on the scene or on their way, you should exchange information with the other boat operator. In Florida, you are legally required to remain at the boat accident scene and exchange information. Fleeing the scene could result in serious criminal penalties.
Exchanging information will provide you with the personal information of the other boat operator, like their name, address, and contact information, and their insurance information. Insurance will be necessary to cover the costs of medical expenses and boat repairs. If they have no insurance, your case may become more complicated, as detailed below. Our Jacksonville boat accident lawyers can offer more guidance on what steps to take following a boat accident.
Pure Comparative Negligence for Boat Accidents in Jacksonville
Proving negligence means proving that the other boat operator owed a duty to drive their boat responsibly and they violated that duty by behaving carelessly. It also means proving that their bad behavior caused your damages. Proving negligence can become very tricky when defendants argue that plaintiffs should share some of the blame.
The State of Florida and U.S. Maritime Law each follow a rule of pure comparative negligence. The idea of comparative negligence is that when a plaintiff is partially responsible for their own injuries, their total damages should be reduced. These pure comparative negligence rules means that no matter how responsible you are for the accident, you can still recover damages as long as you were not 100% responsible. For example, even if the court finds you to be 90% at fault, you can still recover 10% of your total damages from the other at-fault party.
While partial responsibility will not totally bar you from recovery, we should aim to prove you were 0% negligent. This will allow you to recover as much as you can in damages. Call our Jacksonville boat accident lawyers for more information about negligence.
Damages Related to Boat Accidents in Jacksonville
The term “damages” is a legal term used to describe the costs associated with your physical injuries, property damage, and any other losses you may have incurred. Damages can come from several different sources after a boat accident in Jacksonville.
First, we should look at any bodily harm you suffered and the costs of medical treatment. Treatment could be relatively minimal and consist of only a few visits to a doctor. It could also be very extensive and last for a longer period or even indefinitely, depending on the extent of your injuries. Damages can include medical expenses you have already paid in addition to estimated costs of future medical treatments.
We also must look at the property damage you may have suffered in the boat accident. This will primarily consist of damage to your boat but can also include the loss of personal belongings on board the vessel. Property damage can be the cost of repairs necessary to fix your boat or the total cost of a replacement if your boat is totaled or sank beneath the water.
Other damages you can claim will vary depending on what kind of case you have. For example, if you are suing because a loved one died in a boat accident, you would have a wrongful death case on your hands. In that case, you may claim more intangible losses, like pain and suffering or loss of companionship. Talk to our Jacksonville boat accident lawyers to determine what damages you can claim.
Insurance and Boat Accidents in Jacksonville
In Florida, boat insurance is not legally required. This might be a surprise considering insurance is legally required for other forms of transportation, like motor vehicles on the highway. While you should have boat insurance to cover you in the event of an accident, the defendant in your boat accident lawsuit might not have any insurance. If that is the case, you may have trouble getting compensation because an individual defendant might not be able to cover the costs of your damages out of their own pocket.
Without insurance, we would need to go after the defendant’s personal assets for compensation. Personal assets include things like bank accounts and property that could be used to pay for damages. If the defendant has no personal assets, we might be out of luck. Speak with our Jacksonville boat accident lawyers to learn about your legal options if your defendant is uninsured.
Call Our Jacksonville Boat Accident Attorney for a Consultation
If you were involved in a boat accident and wish to be compensated for your injuries and losses, please get in touch with our Jacksonville boat accident attorneys. To set up a free legal consultation, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.