Boating accidents: How to determine if you have a valid claim
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Boating accidents: How to determine if you have a valid claim

| Dec 4, 2020 | Injuries |

If you’re fortunate enough to have access to a boat, then the chance is that you probably like getting out there on the water from time to time. Unfortunately, just like on the roadways, accidents can occur.

Determining negligence for either one of these incidents can be difficult. You can’t merely claim negligence on the basis that you suffered injuries while on a motorboat or sailboat. You must be able to prove that they failed to act with reasonable care to sue for damages. The following are some of the most common types of boating accidents and information about how insurers determine liability in such cases:

The boat you are in collides with another

Insurers often consider both boat operators to share liability for the accident when a collision occurs. You might be eligible to file a lawsuit against the boat’s skipper if you suffered injuries in the crash. 

Your boat hits another boat’s wake or a wave

Big wakes or waves can cause a significant jolt to the boat, throwing passengers about or even overboard. Both state and federal laws require the boat operators to look out for hazards such as these or else face a potential negligence lawsuit from their victims. 

Circumstances such as the size of the wake, the boat’s speed, the visibility, boat traffic and a skipper’s warnings to passengers, can all significantly impact an insurance company’s decisions about liability in these cases.

You are in a boat that hits a submerged object, rock or the land

Hitting something under the water or grounding a boat isn’t that common, but the consequences can be devastating to everyone on board.

An insurance adjuster will likely want to know more about the moments leading up to the incident, including whether the skipper had nautical charts onboard, what their speed was at the time of the incident, and whether they were sober before making any determination of liability. 

Who can you sue?

There’s a strong likelihood that insurance adjusters will start reaching out to you soon after your Florida accident. You shouldn’t speak with them until after you consult with a personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights in your Florida case first.