Boat Overloading Accidents
Florida is a popular destination for people who love watersports and recreational activities that take place on the water. In fact, Florida leads the country in boat ownership. With the popularity of boating activities comes an increased risk of boating accidents. There are many different types of boating accidents, including collisions with recreational vehicles and intoxicated boating accidents. One of the most dangerous types of accidents that takes place are boat overloading accidents. This easily avoidable incident involves a situation in which the boat operator fails to distribute freight evenly on a boat or fails to take into account the maximum weight limits that the vessel can carry. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart boating accident attorneys have assisted numerous victims throughout St. Lucie, Palm Beach, and Martin Counties. We are prepared to put our skills and experience to use for you.Understanding Your Right to Compensation From a Careless Boat Operator
The first step to asserting your right to compensation following an overloaded boat accident is to file a personal injury claim against the operator of the boat. If the operator is different from the owner, you may want to consider also filing a claim against the owner of the vessel. If the owner knew or had reason to know that the individual operating the boat was not qualified to operate the vessel or had a history of negligent boating, the boat owner may also be liable.
In the lawsuit against the operator, you will need to prove that the operator failed to use reasonable care and skill in loading the vessel and that this failure was the cause of the injuries that you sustained. Understanding weight distribution and ballast on a water craft is critical. Each vessel has a suggested carrying capacity. Overloading the boat can consist of placing too much cargo on the boat, placing too much cargo in one area of the boat, or allowing too many people onto the boat. An overloaded boat is more prone to capsizing and will have a harder time withstanding inclement weather. If you can show that the defendant violated a boating law at the time of the crash, you will be likely to persuade a judge or jury that the defendant was negligent at the time of the accident.
The next step in the lawsuit involves substantiating the amount of damages that you sustained as a result of the defendant’s conduct. There may be many different types of damages that you can claim in the lawsuit. For example, medical bills include emergency responder fees, hospitalizations, and ongoing medical care costs. If your injuries are catastrophic and result in a permanent disability, you can also claim compensation for your estimated future medical care needs. Other types of damages that you can claim include missed income while you were healing from your injuries, in addition to pain and suffering damages.
If an overloading accident results in a fatality, the victim’s estate can bring a wrongful death action against the defendant to receive compensation for funeral expenses. The victim’s surviving family members can also receive compensation for the loss of their loved one’s society, companionship, and support. A seasoned personal injury lawyer can help you ensure that you are compensated appropriately.Meet With a Compassionate Boating Accident Attorney in Stuart
Having represented victims of boating accidents throughout Florida, the legal professionals at Donaldson & Weston understand how traumatic this experience is for your loved ones and you. Whether you are starting to explore your legal options or you are already involved in a lawsuit, we can offer a free consultation to discuss your situation. Our clients are located throughout Martin, Palm Beach, and St. Lucie Counties, including in Stuart, Jupiter, and Port St. Lucie. You should not hesitate to assert your legal right to compensation, since time may be running out on your claim. Call our attorneys now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online.