Miami’s many canals and waterways are commonly used for boating, yachts, and even travel from point to point within the city. The many party boats, boat tours, and even water taxis in Miami use these waterways and canals nearly every day. With so many boats, there are bound to be accidents in these waters. When these accidents happen, turn to Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. for help with your injuries and damages.
Our Miami canal boat accident lawyers represent victims of boat accidents on the canals and intracoastal waterways throughout Miami. We fight to help victims get compensation for their injuries and fight to hold the at-fault boaters who injured them responsible for the damages they caused. For help with your case, call our Florida boat accident attorneys today at (866) 386-1762 to set up a free legal consultation.
Injuries and Damages in Miami Canal and Waterway Accidents
Boating accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries. When two boats crash, there are no brakes, and the harsh force of the impact can throw passengers to the deck or push them into bulkheads where they can potentially suffer serious back and head injuries. If a swimmer or operator of a small boat is hit by a large boat, they could suffer traumatic injuries that could cause serious internal injuries or even death.
Even if there is no actual collision between boats or between a boat and a stationary object, other accidents can happen on boats in these waters. Slip and falls from dangerous conditions, overboard accidents, and even fires can cause serious injuries or threaten peoples’ lives.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Miami’s Canals and Intracoastal Waters
Accidents happen for a number of reasons in Miami’s canals and waterways. Our Miami canal boat accident attorneys represent victims in many different kinds of boating accidents, and we work to help them get compensation from the at-fault operators and boat owners responsible for their accidents.
One of the most common causes of boat accidents in Miami is a lack of skill or experience. Boaters without licenses, tourists, and people driving a boat for the fist time can often cause accidents, especially if they try to take a boat out into the canals and waterways throughout the city without the skill and training they need to do so safely. When a driver’s mistakes and poor judgment cause an accident, they can usually be held responsible for negligence.
Violating boating laws can also cause accidents. There are many rules that boaters need to know, and while this often goes hand-in-hand with inexperience, violations of boating laws are independent errors and mistakes that a boater can be held liable for. If a mistake like speeding in a no-wake zone causes an accident, the pilot who violated the law can be held liable for the resulting crash.
One of the most common and most serious boating law violations in the Miami area is drunk boating. Boating under the influence can be just as dangerous as driving under the influence and is punished in similar ways. A driver with any amount of alcohol in their system could be unsafe, even if they have a BAC under the “legal limit” of .08%.
Suing At-Fault Drivers for Boat Accidents in Miami’s Canals
To get compensation for an accident, you might be entitled to sue the at-fault boat operator. In many boating accident cases in Miami canals, violations and mistakes like those listed above can be presented as evidence of that driver’s fault. If you can convince the jury that those mistakes indeed caused the crash and the resulting injuries, you can get compensation for any damages the accident caused.
In some boat accident cases, one or both operators will have insurance that could cover the accident. However, insurance companies typically do not cover damages in full, and they might not cover damages for pain and suffering at all. Because of this, you might need to hire a Miami canal boating accident lawyer and take the at-fault boater to court instead.
In a lawsuit, you can claim damages for any harm stemming from the accident. Before you can get these damages paid, however, you have to prove the harm in court and prove that the defendant was responsible. Your testimony about what happened will be an important piece of evidence, but you can also present other witness testimony, photos, medical records, and other evidence of how the accident happened and who was responsible.
Unlike criminal cases that need to be proved “beyond a reasonable doubt,” the burden of proof is much lower in civil injury cases. In these cases, you need to prove your case “by a preponderance of the evidence,” which basically means proving that it is more likely than not that your story is correct and that the defendant is at-fault for the accident.
Whom to Sue for Boating Accidents in Miami Canal Waters
When you sue for boating accidents in Miami, there might be multiple parties at fault. The actual operator of the boat likely shares some level of fault, so they will often be included in the lawsuit. If you were injured as a passenger in a single-vessel crash, that would mean suing the operator of your boat. If you were in a crash involving multiple vessels, that could mean suing any operators involved in the crash.
If the accident was caused by improper maintenance or upkeep of a boat, the owner might be responsible instead of the actual operator. In boats with larger crews, there might be a captain or skipper in charge who can be sued alongside the actual operator. Similarly, boating companies like tour companies and ferry companies can be sued for their crewmembers’ and operators’ mistakes.
Your Miami boat accident lawyer can help you determine whom to sue in your case.
Call Our Miami Canal and Waterway Injury Attorney for a Free Consultation
If you were injured in an accident in the canal waters in Miami, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today. Our Miami canal boat accident lawyers have been representing victims of boating accidents for decades, and we might be able to help with your case as well. Call us today at (866) 386-1762 to set up a free legal consultation and learn more about your potential case.