Miami 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.
The Miami boating accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. have years of experience fighting personal injury and wrongful death cases where injuries were caused by negligence from other boaters in the Miami, Florida area. Our lawyers work to help victims sue the owners and operators of boats that injured them whether they were a passenger on the vessel at the time or were involved in an accident with another boat or ship.
Our Miami boating accident lawyers are dedicated to not only serving accident victims in South Florida but also advocating for better boating safety laws and regulations. If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident in the Miami area, contact our law offices today to set up a free legal consultation with our attorneys. Our phone number is (305) 204-5369.
Boating Accidents in the Miami, Florida Area
Florida is an ideal boating location with a prevalence of waterways, rivers, lakes, and a huge coastline. As a result, Florida is known to lead the nation in registered vessels with 915,713 vessels registered in 2015 alone. In addition, it has been estimated that 1 million non-registered boats actively use Florida’s waters. All the while, Miami’s population is growing, and more and more tourists find themselves in the area each year. This means that Miami’s waterways are showing increased congestion all the time as boaters continue enjoying our beautiful weather and our abundant water resources. However, with this increase in boaters comes an increased number of accidents, injuries, and deaths.
At the end of every year, boating accident statistics are compiled in annual reports by various state agencies. According to one such report, Florida has the highest number of boating accidents of any state yearly, many involving serious injuries and even deaths. According to the most recent report compiled by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, the state agency responsible for enforcement of boating safety laws, there were 628 reported boating accidents and 59 fatal boating accidents in 2018.
This number is down from some of the previous 5 years, but it is still part of a trend of Florida having some of the worst boating accident counts in the country. Generally speaking, the Miami area alone often has a higher number of accidents than the next highest state after Florida.
Clearly, many watercraft operators are unaware of how to safely navigate their vessel and how to respond to emergency situations, which is a common cause of boating accidents and injuries. Boaters often do not realize that the same precautions used when driving a car should also be used when driving a boat, leading them to cause serious accidents.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Miami
Boat accidents are caused by a number of potential issues. In most cases, boating injuries are caused by a pilot’s inattention or failure to look out for dangers they should have avoided. They are also primarily caused by boater inexperience, with fledgling pilots on new boats or rented boats causing these accidents. A significant number of boating accidents are also caused each year by intoxicated operation.
Boat pilots and operators are required by law to follow various rules, but they are always required to use reasonable care and attention when operating a vessel. If they fail to do so, they may be considered “negligent,” and the errors and mistakes they commit can be used against them as evidence that they were at fault for the crash. This can allow passengers on their boat, victims who were injured in other boats or vessels, or swimmers and others outside of the boat to sue the at-fault operator for injuries.
Common Boating Injuries
Many boating accidents can involve catastrophic injuries. Injuries to the head, neck, spine, and back can often cause permanent damage. These injuries are common in sudden crashes, were passengers can be thrown to the deck or into a bulkhead. A fire on a boat can quickly engulf small vessels and lead to severe burns, smoke inhalation, or even death for victims on board. If you were in the water and were struck by a boat, you could also suffer serious head injuries. Any time a boating victim leaves the vessel during a boating accident, they are also at risk for drowning and other injuries in the water.
Our attorneys can help work to seek compensation for any of these injuries and more. Our lawyers also represent the family of boat accident victims who were lost overboard or died during a fatal boating accident.
Suing for Boat Accident Injuries in Miami, FL
As mentioned, boating accidents are often caused by a pilot’s inattention or lack of skill in controlling their boat. This is often called “negligence,” and it is the basis for most injury lawsuits involving accidents. Our Miami boating injury lawyers may be able to help you file a negligence lawsuit against the responsible parties and seek damages for the injuries you faced in a boating accident.
If you were hit by another boater or the pilot/operator on your vessel caused an accident, you might be entitled to compensation for any damages resulting from the accident. However, you must first prove that they were responsible for the accident by proving 4 elements of your case:
- The operator owed you a duty.
- The operator breached that duty.
- The breach of duty caused your injuries.
- The injuries involve damages the court can order compensation for.
Typically, the duty they owe you will be based on what a reasonable boat pilot should have done or based on the laws governing the accident. If you can prove that they violated this duty and that that violation caused your injuries, you can seek compensation for any harm you can prove in court.
Many boating injury cases go to court each year, and our attorneys are prepared to work with you to fight your case at trial and get you compensation for your injuries. Despite this, most injury cases are instead settled before they ever get to a jury decision. However, you must be careful because many early offers to settle a case might involve offers that are far too low to cover your needs. Our attorneys can help you understand the full value of your lawsuit and work to maximize the compensation you receive by negotiating proper settlements or fighting your case at trial.
The damages you can claim in a boat accident injury case often involve damages for medical expenses, lost wages resulting from the injury, and compensation for pain and suffering related to the injuries. If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, you may be entitled to additional damages for their death, including the cost of funeral and burial expenses, lost companionship, lost household services, and other harms.
Ways to Stay Safe While Boating in Florida
Our attorneys also work to spread information about how to stay safe on a boat to help prevent injuries and accidents. We often recommend enrolling in local boating safety courses sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. If you have a son or daughter whom you are going to entrust with a boat, you should insist that they take a boating safety course. The fact that so many boating accidents involve inexperienced boaters shows that getting safety training and supervised experience can go a long way toward preventing boating accidents and injuries.
Our firm acts as safety advocates for boating accident victims harmed at sea, including those involved in boating accidents throughout the Miami area and nationwide. Successfully filing lawsuits on behalf of those injured in boating and maritime accidents not only helps them receive fair and just compensation but also helps improve safety for those who are thinking of boating in the future. If you or someone you love has been involved in a boating accident, contact our highly experienced boating accident lawyers to set up a free case consultation.
Call Our Miami Boat Accident Injury Lawyers for a Free Legal Consultation
Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A. is a maritime and admiralty law firm with an international reputation for dedication and excellence. Our Miami boat accident and injury attorneys have experience helping victims recover compensation for lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and other damages from boating accidents and other injuries on ships and vessels in the Miami area and across the globe. To schedule a free legal consultation after suffering injuries in a boating accident in the Miami area, contact our law offices today at (305) 204-5369.
ABOUT OUR FIRM
HOW WE HELP
THE LAWYER THAT CARES AND MAKES A DIFFERENCE
Brett Rivkind is a lawyer that not only cares but also a lawyer that makes a difference. Whether its speaking in congress to help promote safety awareness in legislation or representing clients in court seeking compensation for their injuries, Brett Rivkind is passionate about his dedication toward both promoting safety at sea and helping clients in need who have been harmed at sea.