Boating is typically a relaxing and enjoyable experience for everyone involved. When the person in charge of operating the vessel and overseeing passengers’ safety fails to do their job, however, the consequences can be devastating and even deadly. There are many different types of boating accidents, including capsizing accidents. This type of accident is particularly scary because it results in passengers being thrown overboard into the water or being trapped underneath the overturned vessel. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart boating accident lawyers are prepared to help you understand your right to compensation following a devastating boat capsizing accident.
If you plan on being on a boat at any point, it is a good idea to take a course in water safety that will include instructions on what to do in the event that the vessel capsizes. Also, if you intend to operate a boat in Florida, there are certain trainings and courses that you must complete, called Mandatory Boating Education. These classes include information on how to operate watercraft safely, such as maintaining an appropriate speed.Claim Compensation from a Careless Boat Operator
If you were injured in a boat capsizing accident, you can bring a personal injury action against the individual responsible for your injuries. In a personal injury lawsuit, you must establish that the defendant’s conduct fell below the standard of care. In boating situations, the standard of care requires all boat operators to use the same prudent and careful skill and attention that a reasonable boater would use. This involves obtaining certifications and trainings, refraining from distracted boating activities, and obeying all boating rules and regulations. There are many reasons that capsizing can occur. First, shifting cargo can cause the weight and ballast of the boat to change unexpectedly. This can change the momentum of the ship and cause it to capsize. A collision with another vessel or object can also lead to capsizing, particularly when the collision happens at a high speed. The same is true for running aground, which can happen if the operator is not paying attention to the location and direction of the vessel. Flooding and poor decisions by the operator are also common causes of boat capsizing accidents.
After proving that the defendant failed to use due care, your lawyer must show that this failure was a direct cause of the injuries that you sustained. If the defendant can show that some other factor was the substantial cause of the accident, such as severe weather or a mechanical malfunction, you may be precluded from recovering compensation from that defendant.
Since capsizing accidents typically result in victims being thrown overboard into the water or trapped underneath the overturned vessel, it is not uncommon for the incident to result in fatalities resulting from drowning or hypothermia. If you lose a loved one as a result of a boat capsizing accident, you can bring a wrongful death action against the responsible party. In a wrongful death case, you must show that the defendant failed to use due care and that this failure was the direct cause of your loved one’s death. A diligent boating accident lawyer can assist you with determining whether you are eligible to bring a wrongful death claim.Seek Guidance from a Boating Injury Lawyer in the Stuart Area
At Donaldson & Weston, our seasoned team of accident lawyers is knowledgeable in Florida’s maritime and personal injury laws. We have assisted many victims in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Jupiter, and other cities in Port St. Lucie and Martin Counties. We are ready to help your family and you seek the justice that you deserve after this devastating incident. Navigating the legal system and ensuring that you are making smart decisions to protect your legal rights can be confusing and overwhelming. Let us assist you during this time while your family and you focus on recovering and healing. To schedule a free consultation, call us now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online.