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What Constitutes “Captain Error” in a Boating Accident in Florida?

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Many boat and ship accidents are caused by mistakes at the helm that cause the boat to crash. Many other mistakes are made by captains and skippers who fail to keep a proper lookout or make other errors in judgment that put the passengers and crew in danger. If you were injured in such an accident, our Miami boat accident attorney for boat accidents caused by captain error might be able to help.

Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. represents victims of boat accidents and disasters caused by captain error. We help injured boat crewmembers as well as passengers in their injury cases. For help with your potential case, call our law offices today at (866) 386-1762 to schedule a free legal consultation.

Injuries and Accidents Caused by Captain Error on Ships and Boats in Miami

Captains are in charge of the conditions on a ship and are responsible for all of the staff and crew aboard the vessel. On smaller ships, it might be the skipper or operator who takes on this role. In many cases with smaller boats – like speed boats – the pilot is the only crewmember and would take responsibility for crashes and other mistakes. If the captain or someone else in this role makes unreasonable decisions or commits errors in the court of their duties, the vessel could crash or suffer other problems that could injure or kill those aboard.

Many mistakes involve the actual operation of the vessel. Mistakes at the helm could cause the boat to crash into stationary objects like rocks, piers or cause it to run aground. The captain might also take a boat into a shipping lane or violate boating laws that dictate which direction to go, potentially causing a crash with another vessel. These kinds of mistakes can allow you to sue if you were injured.

The captain might also commit errors and mistakes in how the ship is kept and maintained. If there are serious maintenance problems or equipment malfunctions that were reported to the captain, the captain should not take the ship out with crew and passengers until repairs are made. If they do so anyway, the injuries could be the captain’s fault.

Similarly, a captain or skipper should not take their vessel out under dangerous conditions. If serious storms are inbound, it might be incredibly unsafe to take the vessel out. If weather or other dangerous conditions in the water could put passengers and crew at risk, the captain should keep the ship docked and avoid potential injuries. Doing so anyway could mean that any injuries or deaths are the captain’s fault.

Suing a Captain for Errors and Mistakes Resulting in Injuries and Deaths

If the captain or another crewmember in charge of a ship’s operations was responsible for an accident, you might be entitled to sue them for the injuries and other damages resulting from their mistake. In most cases, this works as a “negligence” lawsuit, where the victim or their family sues for failure to use the proper care or skill.

A negligence lawsuit for a captain’s errors typically accuses the captain of failing to uphold a legal duty that they owed the injury victim. If they breached this legal duty, and that breach of duty directly led to the victim’s injuries, the captain can be held liable in court.
To prove the captain was liable, you must show that they were the one responsible for the decision, not another crewmember. However, as the person in charge of the crew on a ship, most decisions can be traced back to the captain’s responsibilities.

Ultimately, if the captain works for a company – such as a ferry company, a tour boat company, or another boating company – the company might be responsible for its captain’s errors. Similarly, if any other crew member was responsible for your injuries, the company they all work for could be held liable for many injury cases.

Our attorneys can help you determine whom you should sue and how to file your case to maximize the damages you can claim.

Damages for Injury Claims against Captains on Boats in Miami

If you sue for the injuries you faced because of the captain’s errors, you could be entitled to recover compensation for any damages related to the accident. This usually includes compensation for the injuries themselves, as well as the financial effects of the injury.

Damages for pain and suffering are often a big part of the damages you will claim. These damages are paid to reimburse you for the physical experience of the pain you faced as well as your mental anguish and emotional distress. Although these harms are not tangible, your testimony can help prove to the court how much your pain and suffering is worth.

Damages for the effects of the injuries usually include compensation for medical bills and lost wages. Medical bills could include the costs of emergency medical transportation from the boat, procedures at the hospital, and ongoing follow-up care during your recovery. If you missed work because of your injuries, the wages you lost and the ongoing wages you will miss can be compensated as well.

Talk to an attorney about how to prove these damages and for help calculating how much your case could be worth.

Call Our Miami Lawyers for Boating Injuries Caused by Captain Errors

If you or a loved one was injured on a boat in the Miami area because of mistakes that the captain made, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. today. Our Miami attorney for boat accidents caused by captain error represents injury victims and their families in lawsuits to recover compensation for their injuries. Contact our Miami maritime lawyers today to set up a free legal consultation on your potential case. Our number is (866) 386-1762.

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