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What to Do if You Get in a Boat Accident without Insurance in Florida

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Getting into a boat accident and facing serious injuries is much easier to deal with if both boat operators have insurance.  However, many cases can still be handled without insurance, and damages are often still available for your injuries even if you didn’t have boat insurance.

If you were injured in a boat accident without insurance, you can still typically file a boat insurance claim against the boat operator who caused the accident.  If you were hit by another boater and they had insurance, you may be entitled to either file a third-party claim against their insurance or sue them directly for your injuries.  If you were in a single-boat accident but you were not driving, you can file the same sorts of claims against the operator of your boat.

For help with any type of boating or maritime accident, call the Florida boat accident lawyers at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today at (305) 204-5369 for a free case review.

Can You Get Compensation for a Boat Accident in Florida if You Didn’t Have Insurance?

Many people familiar with car insurance in Florida might be familiar with how that system works: each driver is required to carry insurance, and you file a claim with your own insurance company if you get hurt in a car crash.  With car insurance, your own insurance company pays you regardless of who is at fault.  With boating accidents, insurance works a bit differently and has different requirements.

Boat operators and owners can purchase boating liability insurance in Florida, plus other forms of boating insurance.  Liability insurance covers them for any injuries they cause to other people while operating their boat.  This means that boat accident victims can file a claim against the boater who hit them to get damages from the at-fault boater’s insurance.  These third-party claims are common ways to get compensation from boaters that have insurance, but you need to prove that they were at fault before their insurance company will pay anything.  Boaters may also be able to get insurance that will pay them after an accident, such as insurance for damage to the boat or injuries to anyone in the boat.

Fortunately, your ability to go after the other driver’s insurance or to file a lawsuit against them is not affected by the fact that you might not have insurance.  In fact, boating insurance is, legally speaking, entirely optional in Florida.  So, while it might be a good idea to get boating insurance to protect you in case of an accident, the fact that you don’t have insurance should not affect your ability to file a claim against another at-fault boater.

Filing Claims for Boat Injuries Against the Operator of Another Boat in Florida (With and Without Insurance)

If you have your own insurance, you would typically file a claim with your own insurance company.  You can also let them know the insurance information for the boater who hit you, and they can typically work out payment from the other boater’s insurance.  However, this is only the case when you have your own insurance.

If you do not have your own boating insurance and you were hit by another boat operator, you can typically file a claim against them for your injuries and boat damage.  Their insurance company can be required to pay a third-party claim if they have liability coverage.  Your Florida boat accident lawyer can help you file a claim and fight to get the damages you need this way.  If the insurance company is uncooperative, your lawyer may be able to file a lawsuit directly against the at-fault boat operator.  This way, their insurance will still step in to make payments, but the pressure of a lawsuit can often push insurance companies to settle, and a neutral judge and jury might be more likely to rule in your favor than a biased insurance adjuster.

If the other boater did not have insurance, that might not be an issue either.  Since insurance is not required for boaters in Florida, many cases are resolved directly through lawsuits.  In these kinds of cases, your Ft. Lauderdale boat accident lawyer will take steps to collect evidence and file the case in court.  Most cases still settle after negotiations with the other side’s lawyer, but if it is necessary, we can fight your case at trial.

Boat Passengers Injured in Florida Boating Accidents without Insurance

If you were riding in a boat and the operator did not have insurance, then you might have no choice but to sue them for damages if they caused the crash.

Unlike private individuals, commercial boat operators who use the vessel for fishing, as a ferry, as a tour boat, or for any other commercial purposes usually do have some kind of insurance.  If you were injured in one of those kinds of accidents, our Lake Kissimmee boat accident lawyers can help you file an insurance claim against the policy of the operator or the owner of the boat.  If the insurance company denies you the payment you deserve, we can turn to a lawsuit.

If you were injured while riding on a private individual’s boat, there might be no insurance to turn to in case of an injury.  Since the boat owner/operator is not required to carry insurance, you might not have insurance that will protect you.  That means there might be no other option but to file a lawsuit against the operator of your boat.  If the boat operator is willing to negotiate a settlement, our Florida boat accident lawyers might be able to avoid the need for a trial – but if a settlement cannot be reached, we can directly fight your case in court.

For a Free Case Review, Call Our Florida Boat Accident Lawyers

Whether you have insurance or not, there is often a path to recovering compensation after a boat accident in Florida.  For a free case review, call the Miami boat accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind today at (305) 204-5369.

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