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Water sports are popular in Florida, due to its thousands of miles of coastline and seasonable weather. This also means, however, that accidents stemming from water activities like the use of sail boats, ferries, and jet skis are common. At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., we understand how daunting the process of bringing a boating accident claim can seem. We will stand by you through every step of the legal process, from negotiating with insurance companies to gathering evidence to identifying witnesses for trial. Water sports accidents can happen in a wide variety of contexts and can lead to a broad range of injuries. While some of these injuries are relatively minor and heal after a few weeks, others can be severe, resulting in permanent conditions or even fatalities. It is critical that you speak to a Miami water sports accident lawyer as soon as possible in this situation.Understanding Your Rights After a Water Sports Accident
There are many ways in which a water sports accident can occur, but in most situations, an accident victim can bring a negligence claim against the person or business that they believe is responsible for their injuries. In a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant failed to exercise reasonable and prudent care and skill and that this failure was the cause of the injuries that the plaintiff sustained. When it comes to a boating accident, this standard requires boat operators to obtain appropriate licensing and training, to operate the watercraft safely in light of the weather conditions and other activity on the water, and to refrain from operating a boat while under the influence, among other things.
Florida acknowledges a doctrine called negligence per se, which strengthens a plaintiff’s case of negligence if they can show that the defendant violated a statute or regulation at the time of the accident. If the accident involved a ferry or another commercial vessel, it is especially important to review whether the defendant violated any applicable regulations and requirements. A water sports accident attorney in the Miami area will be familiar with the various rules that may have applied.
If the accident involved jet skis or wave runners, kayaks, or other smaller vessels, the plaintiff may also have a claim against any rental facility that rented the equipment to the plaintiff. These facilities have a duty to ensure that they are leasing their equipment to individuals who have the appropriate skill and experience to operate them and that they provide any required safety equipment, such as a life jacket.
After establishing that the defendant failed to use due care, you must then establish that there is a causal connection between this negligent conduct and the damages that you suffered. If the defendant can show that some other factor was the primary cause of your injuries, such as a severe storm or your own negligent conduct, you may be precluded from recovering damages, or your damages may be reduced. One way to possibly help establish causation is to provide a copy of any police or lifeguard reports that were prepared regarding the accident.
Finally, once causation has been established, the plaintiff will be allowed to submit evidence showing the amount of damages that they suffered as a result of the accident. Recoverable items of compensation include medical bills like ambulance fees, hospital stays, surgeries, and ongoing medical treatments or medications. The plaintiff can also receive compensation for any missed wages while they were healing, as well as damages reflecting any permanent injuries that will reduce the plaintiff’s overall earning capacity or quality of life.Speak With a Committed Water Sports Accident Lawyer Serving Miami and Beyond
If you have suffered a serious accident as a result of another company or person’s careless behavior on the water, you may be entitled to compensation. At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., we know how sudden and stressful this situation can be for a victim and their family, whether the accident involved a small vessel like a jet ski or a larger vessel like a yacht. Our Miami water sports accident attorneys are prepared to help you assert the full extent of your legal rights. To set up a free consultation, call us now at 866-621-2142 or contact us online. We represent people in Hialeah, Coral Gables, Homestead, Orlando, Kissimmee, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, and Weston, among other cities.