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5 Signs You Need A Boat Accident Lawyer

Many people who live close to water bodies enjoy sailing. While the experience of sailing can be delightful and lovely, accidents do happen. When they do, it is advisable to seek immediate legal assistance. If you happen to be vacationing in the sunshine state and experience an accident at sea, a boat accident attorney in Sarasota FL is easily available to serve you.

Most people that do not sail may assume that a boat accident is not as devastating as a car crash. A common misconception is that a boat accident on water may not result in deadly fire because of such accidents happening on water. Speeding, alcohol influence, or sheer recklessness can be the cause of many boat accidents.

The process of filing a claim for compensation from your insurance policy provider or the at-fault party can get complex. Most insurance companies would rather avoid settling a claim; such companies tend to hire a team of lawyers to ensure just that.

In the aftermath of a boating accident, ensure to gather all the relevant facts while you seek legal assistance. To ensure that your claim is not jeopardized down the road, consider the following factors:

1. Negligence On The Part Of The Boat Operator

Negligence is a key theme in nearly every accident that may prompt further legal action; it is when an individual does not act with reasonable caution while undertaking an activity. Duty of care requires operators of watercraft (including boats) to exercise sound judgement and prudence while carrying out their duties. When an individual fails to act within reason, he may become liable to a civil action. Such operator error can result in devastating tragedy.

Much like a car driver, a boat operator should not drive while under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol. Accidents can also result due to an operator not being competent enough; this incompetence could be the result of inadequate training.

Taking unnecessary risks can also constitute a breach of duty. Certain weather conditions are known to be unsafe for sailing and other recreational water activities. A specific area of the sea may be considered treacherous; it behooves a boat operator to know about such areas and avoid them. Sailing into such waters could constitute reckless endangerment of all those in his charge.

2. Boat Owner Has No Insurance

In some jurisdictions, a boat owner is not required to purchase boat insurance although it is highly advisable.

Such boat insurance protects owners in case of an accident that causes physical damage to the boat or results in injuries or deaths.

Such coverage includes damage to the equipment on board and the hull. If a boat accident occurs but the boat owner is not insured, it becomes urgent to contact a boat accident lawyer. Such a boat owner may have some private insurance policies; it is up to the lawyer to determine if there are legal ways to leverage such policies for settling damages.

3. An Accident Due To Poor Maintenance Of The Boat

Regular boat maintenance is standard practice for any watercraft owner. This maintenance should prioritize safety rather than comfort. Most people underestimate the likelihood of a boating accident; therefore, they may fail to properly ascertain the physical state and seaworthiness of a vessel.

A professional should regularly check the equipment and engine of the boat to ensure proper working order. Most boat-rental agencies carry out regular boat maintenance to ensure the safety of their customers.

Failure to do this could result in accidents and financial repercussions, including fines and settlements.

4. Injuries Are More Severe

The full extent of injuries or trauma may not be clear. Many victims of boat accidents can grossly underestimate the extent of trauma. This scenario is especially true if the victim feels well enough and is ambulatory.

Any competent boat accident lawyer will advise such a victim to seek immediate medical attention. Many settlement claims can be dismissed from court because of equivocal interpretations of injury. If such a victim were to ignore the initial injury and not see a doctor, this could prove detrimental to any settlement claims down the road.

5. Insurance Settlement May Be Insufficient

It is not uncommon for an at-fault boat owner to have inadequate insurance coverage to meet the settlement demands resulting from a boating accident.

Participants of water sports that frequently require the use of boats or other watercraft are advised to carry uninsured or underinsured boat insurance. Such coverage enables you, the boat owner, to pay for any claims that may exceed that covered by your primary boat insurance.

A boat owner that purchases insurance coverage for, say, $50 000 is most likely not wealthy enough to afford to pay additional out-of-pocket claims.

Depending on the investigation and the specific set of circumstances, your boat accident lawyer may advise against launching a lawsuit against such a boat owner.

Some states do not extend liability beyond what an insurance policy can settle. This means that if you are injured in a boating accident but the insurance coverage does not meet your expenses, you may not seek legal redress. The at-fault boat owner may be an individual of means; this fact will have no bearing in your civil settlement suit if the law prohibits it.

The Right Boat Accident Attorney

The ruinous nature of many boating accidents means that swift legal advice is paramount. Finding the right boat accident lawyer, however, may not be straightforward.

The overwhelming ordeal that a boat accident confers upon its victims can be devastating. Most such victims will not have the presence of mind to methodically find a competent boat accident lawyer.
Certain crucial factors should dictate the choice of the attorney you choose. A local boat accident lawyer is preferable to one in another city; an experienced local lawyer is most likely aware of the inner workings of the judicial system with regard to boating accidents.

Most lawyers understand the financial constraints victims may be experiencing. These lawyers usually work on a contingency basis. Ensure that such arrangements are properly documented.