A boating accident could leave you or one of your passengers with severe injuries that can leave a lasting impact on the rest of your life. Many people cannot afford the expenses associated with boating accident injuries and are left in a financial lurch. If you think someone else may be to blame for your accident, you should consider filing a personal injury lawsuit to get compensation for your damages.
Our Lake George boating accident attorneys can help you file your lawsuit and get the compensation you need to cover your expenses. For a free legal consultation, please call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (866) 386-1762. Our legal team consists of knowledgeable and experienced lawyers who can help you through this difficult time.
Common Injuries from Boating Accidents on Lake George
Boating accident injuries are nothing to joke about. Unlike motor vehicle accidents, passengers on a boat are usually not enclosed within the vehicle. Instead, they are exposed to the open air. They are also not generally wearing safety devices like seat belts. A life jacket may be all that stands between you and painful injuries. For these reasons, serious injuries are common in boating accidents.
Many boat accident victims report head injuries and trauma. This may include bruising, bleeding, and concussions. It could also mean suffering a traumatic brain injury that may leave you disabled for the rest of your life. Spinal cord injuries are also frequently reported after boating accidents. Spinal cord injuries can be devastating and permanently affect your ability to walk. Additionally, injuries such as broken bones and lacerations are also commonly reported due to being thrown about the boat.
In addition to the injuries mentioned above, victims of boating accidents face the added risk of drowning. It is very easy to be thrown from the boat during an accident. If you fall unconscious due to head injuries or are otherwise unable to swim, death by drowning is a real possibility. In such circumstances, your family would have to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the responsible parties.
While it is unsettling to think about, people have also been known to disappear after boating accidents. A boating accident can be a very hectic scene with everyone struggling to stay on the boat. Sometimes, people slip under the water and fail to resurface. At the time, it is unknown if this person is alive or dead because a body never washes up. Survivors of such incidents could be lost in the water for a long time before being rescued. For more information about injuries and damages, please speak with our Lake George boating accident attorneys.
Boating Accidents on Lake George and Maritime Law
Boating accidents do not always fall under ordinary state law. Maritime or admiralty law is a federal body of law that governs accidents and behavior on the water. If you were involved in a boating accident, you would want to hire an attorney knowledgeable in both state law and maritime law. Our Lake George boating accident lawyers are skilled in both subject areas and are prepared to represent your case in either situation.
Maritime law applies when an accident occurs on a navigable waterway. Exactly how the term “navigable waterway” is defined has been known to vary between courts. However, a general rule tends to apply. Navigable waterways are those in which interstate or foreign commerce is conducted or could be conducted. This typically includes larger bodies of water, like large lakes and the high seas. Smaller bodies of water like rivers might be excluded. Speak with our Lake George boating accident lawyers to determine if your case falls under maritime law.
Fleeing the Scene of a Boat Accident on Lake George
Most drivers on the roads and highways know that if you are involved in a car accident, it is illegal for you to leave the scene before the police arrive. The same rule applies to boating accidents on Lake George and other bodies of water in Florida.
According to § 327.30(5) of the Florida Statutes, someone operating a boat or vessel involved in an accident may not leave the scene before rendering all possible aid to any injured parties and notifying law enforcement. Additionally, if the boat accident involved an unattended boat, like a docked ship in a marina, you are required to make reasonable efforts to locate the owner before leaving the scene.
If you flee the scene of a boating accident that involved bodily injuries, you may be guilty of a third-degree felony. If the accident only involved property damages, you may be guilty of a second-degree misdemeanor.
If the other boat operator in your case is the one who fled the scene, we may be able to use this information as evidence of a guilty conscience. Additionally, if the other boat operator faces criminal penalties for fleeing the scene, we may want to wait until all criminal proceedings are finished before pursuing a civil lawsuit. If the other person is convicted, we can use that guilty verdict against them in civil court. Our Lake George boating accident lawyers can help you determine the best strategy for your case.
Wrongful Death Cases for Boating Accidents on Lake George
You might not be the person who was involved in the boating accident. Instead, you may wish to sue because your loved one was killed in a boating accident. If that is the case, you will want to consider a wrongful death claim. According to § 768.19 of the Florida Statutes, a wrongful death can be caused by a wrongful act, negligence, or breach of duty. The statute also mentions explicitly that fatalities on the water are included. A wrongful death claim must be filed by the representative of the decedent’s estate, usually a spouse or other family member.
A wrongful death lawsuit may include claims that the decedent could have made had they survived the accident. Things like pain and suffering of the decedent before they died and lost wages can be claimed. Also, family members can make specific claims based on their relationship with the decedent. If you were supported by the decedent financially, you could claim a loss of support. If you were a spouse, you could claim loss of companionship. For more information about wrongful death claims, contact our Lake George boating accident lawyers.
Contact Our Lake George Boating Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Case
After suffering injuries in a boating accident, you deserve to be compensated for your losses and damages. Call our Lake George boating accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. Call (866) 386-1762 to speak with our team about a free consultation.