Each year, hundreds of people are injured or killed in boating accidents. The causes range from operator inattention to inexperience to operating the boat while intoxicated to machinery failure. In any of these cases there is liability on the part of the operator or possibly the boat manufacturer, depending on the machinery failure.
The U.S. Coast Guard keeps track of the statistics on these types of accidents. They track the number, type of craft, cause of the accident, and the result of the accident – injury or death. In 2015, the last year statistics are available, there were 4,158 boating accidents in Florida. These accidents resulted in 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries. They also caused $42 million in property damage.
First Get a Lawyer
In any case, you may have a case if you were injured or you lost a loved one in a boating accident. If you live near Melbourne, Florida we can help. We are personal injury attorneys who specialize in getting you the settlement you deserve. This could cover your medical costs, future medical costs, depending on your injury. You could also be eligible for damages due to the traumatic experience you had, particularly if you have residual emotional damage.
Take the recent case of Florida Marlins’ star Jose Fernandez, who was killed in a boating accident. Two passengers were also killed and their families filed lawsuits against Fernandez’ estate. They are both asking for $2 million in damages due to wrongful death. Recently it was revealed that Fernandez had both been drinking alcohol and using cocaine while operating the boat. Had he lived, he could have been charged with manslaughter as well as boating while intoxicated. In addition, he could have also been charged vessel homicide and reckless or careless operation due to the area he was operating in and the time of day, which was night.
Lessons to be Learned
The first lesson is to retain a lawyer if you are injured in an accident. Commercial companies, insurance companies and even private individuals will frequently call the injured victims and offer them a settlement. Though on its face this may seem generous, the unsolicited offer you get is rarely what your injury is worth. Usually the first call will be from someone that has limited authority. They can usually only offer you up to a specific amount. If you refuse, the next caller will be able to offer more. And up the ladder it goes. Call a lawyer and get what you will need to fairly compensate you for what you have suffered.