Fort Lauderdale Boat Accident Lawyer
Florida is a haven for many boaters. With miles of coastline, rivers, and lakes, a waterway is never far from most residents. However, boating accidents are also a feature of Florida’s waterways. Based on statistics kept by the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, almost 2 recreational boating accidents happen every day. About five people die every month in boating fatalities.
If you or a loved one has been injured, there are steps you should take to preserve your right to compensation. Contact the Fort Lauderdale boat accident lawyers at Leifer & Ramirez for more information.
Document the Boating Accident
Your ability to get compensation will depend on your ability to show that someone was responsible for your boating accident and injury. To that end, you need to fully document the accident, so remember to do the following:
Report the accident to the authorities. Florida law requires that you file a boating accident report in several situations, such as whenever a vessel has sustained at least $2,000 in damage or whenever someone has sustained an injury that requires more than first aid. You also must report the accident if someone died
Document the damage to the boat. Use your smartphone to take pictures that show where the boat collided with another object.
Document your own memories of what happened. Did another boat collide with you? Did your boat operator dangerously cross through another boat’s wake?
Also remember to get immediate medical treatment. The medical records will help establish the severity of your injuries. Also, prompt treatment can help you make as much of a recovery as possible.
Fully Document Your Injuries
After an accident, injured victims can receive compensation to cover their losses. For example, our clients have received money for:
- Medical bills incurred by doctor’s visits, surgery, rehabilitation, prescription drugs, and transportation to the hospital;
- Lost wages;
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress; and
- Loss of consortium, for changes to their marriage as a result of their injuries.
To make sure you maximize your compensation, you should hold onto all bills and receipts, as well as copies of your pay stubs or proof of self-employment income. Your Fort Lauderdale boat accident attorney can use these documents to establish your economic losses.
To prove general damages like pain and suffering or emotional distress, keep a diary in which you record how you feel every day. Also record how your injuries have affected your mood. For example, you might feel depressed or angry and have trouble being with your family.
Analyze Your Case with a Boat Accident Lawyer
To receive compensation, you will probably need to prove that someone else was negligent, and that this negligence caused your injuries.
Boat operators must operate their vessels with reasonable care, just as motorists must drive with sufficient care to avoid injuring their passengers or other motorists on the road. When a boat operator fails to be sufficiently careful, they might need to pay damages to you.
Based on our experience, there are some common examples of negligence:
- Being distracted behind the wheel of a boat;
- Operating a boat while fatigued;
- Operating a vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs; and
- Aggressive boating, such as crossing another boat’s wake or passing a vessel too closely.
Your attorney can carefully review the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine whether you have a legal claim against a boat operator.
Reach Out to a Fort Lauderdale Boat Accident Lawyer
If you were injured on the water, you should hire an experienced attorney who can fight for your rights. At Leifer & Ramirez, our lawyers have been representing boating accident victims for decades. To schedule a free consultation, please contact us today.