Technology has resulted in many improvements to our daily lives, but it also affects safety behind the wheel. This is just as true for boat operators as it is for motorists operating regular passenger cars. While you are operating a boat, there are countless factors that you must consider at all times, such as the current weather conditions and water conditions, as well as the speed limit in the area. It can also be difficult to see other swimmers, kayakers, or canoers in the water if you are not paying sufficient attention. At Donaldson & Weston, our Stuart distracted boating accident lawyers have the experience and knowledge that it takes to help you pursue the compensation that you deserve from a negligent boat operator. We can assist you in all aspects of the litigation, including gathering evidence and negotiating with insurance companies. It may seem daunting to bring a legal action against the person who caused your injuries, but we can guide you through each step of the process and ensure that you understand your rights.Pursue a Negligence Claim Against a Distracted Boater
People frequently fail to take distracted boating as seriously as they take distracted driving. There are many reports indicating that boaters are busy looking at their cell phones or boat equipment or conversing with other passengers instead of paying attention to their surroundings and the location of swimmers or other boaters. One report even indicates that distracted boating and operator inattention is the primary cause of boating accidents. These statistics apply to recreational boat users, as well as commercial operators like professional captains. If you are injured in a boating accident, and you believe that it was a result of the other operator’s inattention, you can bring a negligence action against the operator to recover compensation for your injuries. In a negligence claim, a distracted boating accident attorney in the Stuart area must prove that the defendant failed to drive their boat with the appropriate level of care and skill.
When it comes to operating a vessel, Florida law imposes many rules and regulations. Courts have also implied a general duty to use reasonable care and skill and to be prudent at all times. Since a prudent operator would obey all boating rules and regulations, a violation of any applicable regulation constitutes clear evidence that the defendant was driving negligently. However, proving that the defendant was engaged in distracted boating can be complicated. Identifying any witnesses to the crash or obtaining copies of the official reports prepared regarding the crash can help establish that the defendant was not paying adequate attention.
After proving that the defendant failed to use sufficient care and skill behind the wheel of their boat, your Stuart distracted boating accident attorney must next prove that this failure was the cause of the injuries that you sustained. In some cases, the victim was also negligent at the time of the crash. Florida has adopted a pure comparative negligence rule that allows a defendant to offer evidence of the plaintiff’s negligence. The jury can then assign a percentage of fault to the plaintiff, which will be used to reduce any award in the plaintiff’s favor. However, they will still be able to receive some damages from a liable defendant, no matter how high their percentage of fault.
The last phase of the trial requires the plaintiff to provide evidence showing the amount of compensation to which they are entitled. One category of damages that plaintiffs often seek is medical bills. These cover emergency medical services, hospitalization bills, medications, and physical therapy, as well as any future ongoing medical needs associated with the accident. The plaintiff can also recover compensation for lost wages and any reduction in earning capacity that results from permanent disabilities. A seasoned boating accident lawyer can assist you with determining the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.Learn About Your Legal Rights from a Distracted Boating Accident Lawyer in Stuart
After a boating accident, it can be difficult to understand your legal rights and options. At Donaldson & Weston, we pride ourselves on assisting Florida boating accident victims with obtaining financial support. We have counseled clients in Stuart, Port St. Lucie, and Jupiter, as well as other areas of St. Lucie and Martin Counties. We know how important it is for you to receive responsive and knowledgeable legal counsel. To schedule your free consultation, call us now at 772-266-5555 or contact us online to get started. We also assist people who have been struck by intoxicated boaters or others acting carelessly on the water.