With so many miles of beautiful coastline to enjoy, Florida is a haven for people who enjoy yachting, sailboats, and powerboats. As pleasurable as these vessels may be, they are not without risks. An idyllic day on the water may quickly turn into a catastrophic, life-altering event if due caution is not exercised by all of the parties responsible for the upkeep and operation of a sea-going vessel. The Miami yacht accident lawyers at Rivkind & Margulies, P.A., can advise your family and you if you have been hurt or lost a loved one anywhere on the Florida coast. When you are pursuing compensation for your injuries, consulting a boating injury attorney is a critical step to take.Pursue Compensation Following a Yacht Accident in Florida
Just as people who own and operate automobiles on land have certain duties to fellow motorists, passengers, and pedestrians, people who possess or work aboard a yacht or other pleasure vessel have a duty to obey the appropriate rules for boaters, including state and federal safety regulations. When someone is injured due to a yacht owner’s failure to take proper care, the victim may be able to pursue damages for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, among other forms of harm. If a family loses a loved one due to the careless actions of those in charge of operating a yacht, the family or the estate of the victim may have a wrongful death claim for losses such as funeral and burial costs, the victim’s medical expenses resulting from the accident, and lost net earnings to the estate. Certain relatives may also have a claim for non-economic losses, such as loss of consortium with the victim.
Typically, claims arising from boat accidents are based on negligence. This means that they require proof of the elements of duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. The plaintiff has the burden of proof and must establish their version of events by a preponderance of the evidence. There are many ways in which negligence may occur on a yacht, including operating the vessel at an unsafe speed, overcrowding or overloading, striking a fixed object or another watercraft, failing to obey basic navigational rules, failing to keep a proper lookout in front of the vessel (or behind the vessel while towing), boating under the influence, and distracted boating.
Some yacht accident lawsuits may also involve other legal theories, such as product liability if a yacht’s design was defective. This may involve a theory of strict liability rather than negligence, which requires proving only that a defect existed and that it caused the yacht accident. Certain federal laws like the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, or the Death on the High Seas Act may also be possible avenues of recovery in some cases, especially those filed by captains, cabin stewards, navigators, helmsmen, engineers, cooks, or other injured crewmen.Consult a Knowledgeable Yacht Accident Lawyer in Miami or Elsewhere in Florida
Victims who have been hurt because of the careless conduct of a yacht owner or another party responsible for the operation of a vessel should talk to an attorney about the possibility of taking legal action to seek damages from the responsible party. The experienced Miami yacht accident attorneys at Rivkind & Margulies, P.A., offer a free, confidential case evaluation. To set up an appointment to discuss your case, call us at 866-621-2142 or contact us online. We represent victims throughout the state of Florida in Palm Beach, Jacksonville, Tampa, Key West, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, and Brevard County, as well as in the Florida Panhandle.