Boating accidents on Lake Okeechobee can cause serious injuries that might need medical attention and hospitalization. Some accident victims could even face long-term injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI) or back injuries that could prevent them from returning to work. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident while boating on Lake Okeechobee, call our Lake Okeechobee boat accident lawyers for help.
The injury attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. may be able to take your case and fight to get you compensation for your injuries from the at-fault boaters and operators who caused your injuries. For a free legal consultation on your potential case, call our law offices today at (866) 386-1762.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents on Lake Okeechobee
Lake Okeechobee is a fun destination for families, fishing enthusiasts, and tourists. Locals also enjoy boating, fishing, water-skiing, and swimming in the water. However, when boats, jet skis, and other vessels are operated without the proper care and skill necessary, people can be seriously injured.
Many boat accidents are caused by very dangerous choices like drunk boating. Operating a boat while under the influence can be unsafe for the people in the boat, for people in other boats, and for swimmers in the water. If you were injured because of a drunk boating accident, you might be able to sue for injuries.
Canoes, kayaks, rafts, and other small boats are commonly used on lakes. Since these boats share the water with larger speedboats, fishing boats, and tour boats, it can become dangerous for boaters in small vessels and for swimmers if larger boats do not see them or if their operators fail to drive with caution around them. Accidents between larger boats can often cause catastrophic injuries to canoers, kayakers, or swimmers who are hit by boats.
Improper lighting and failing to follow proper boating safety rules can cause serious injuries and accidents at nighttime. On a lake at night, everything can just look black, and it can be impossible to see another boat if it does not have the required lighting. If the boat pilot misinterprets lights and thinks the boat is going a different direction or if the pilot fails to follow safe-passing rules at night, the occupants of both boats could be seriously injured.
In the end, most boat accidents on lakes are caused by pilots who are either inexperienced or trying to show off. If either of these mistakes causes an accident, the injury victims could be entitled to sue for damages.
Suing for Boat Accident Injuries on Lake Okeechobee in Florida
If you were involved in a boat accident on Lake Okeechobee, you might now be dealing with serious physical injuries that require intensive medical care and treatment. Victims of accidents can often sue the at-fault boat operator for injuries to get compensation for things like medical bills and lost wages related to the injury.
If the boaters have insurance that could cover the damages in the accident, this coverage might not be enough to get the victim the compensation they need. May insurance companies require deductibles to get compensation, and they might pay only a portion of the damages when all is said and done. Additionally, the terms of an insurance policy might block damages for pain and suffering, which are often an important part of serious injury cases.
If you sue instead, you can often get these damages covered in full. However, you first need to prove the case to the judge and jury to win damages in court.
Proving a Lake Okeechobee Boat Accident Lawsuit
An injury lawsuit is usually based on a claim that the at-fault individual or company (the “defendant”) either caused the injuries intentionally or through negligent or reckless acts. If someone was horsing around and knocked you off a boat or flipped your boat with their wake, that could still cause serious injuries, and they could be held liable for their intentional, dangerous acts. If they failed to use the proper care, lacked the necessary skill, or violated boating laws, they could alternatively be found negligent for those mistakes and violations.
To win your case, you will need to prove the defendant’s fault by presenting evidence. Your testimony about what happened will be an important piece of evidence, as will testimony from other witnesses. Photos of the boat damage and injuries can also provide evidence of the harm you suffered, as can medical records and testimony from your doctor, if necessary.
If you can prove that it is more likely than not that your injuries happened as you claimed they did and that the defendant was at fault, you will be able to win your case. Your lawyer can help collect evidence and build a strong case to present to the jury. Our attorneys have decades of experience handling boat injury cases and maritime injury cases in Florida, and we can work to present your case as well.
Calculating Damages in a Lake Okeechobee Boat Accident Case
The damages you can claim in your case will vary from case to case depending on what damages you suffered. Serious injuries often require expensive medical treatment and time off work, which can lead to damages for the medical bills and lost wages. You can also claim damages for pain and suffering and other damages. If a loved one died in a boat accident, the damages might be even higher. Talk to a lawyer about calculating damages in your Lake Okeechobee boat injury case.
Call Our Lake Okeechobee Boat Accident and Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind represents boat accident victims in Florida, including victims of boat accidents on Lake Okeechobee. If you or a loved one was injured, our Lake Okeechobee boat accident lawyers may be able to take your case and fight to get you the compensation you need. For a free case consultation, call out Florida boat accident attorneys today at (866) 386-1762.