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From the Gulf Coast to the Atlantic Ocean to all the rivers and lakes in between, Floridians have plenty of navigable waters to enjoy on a boat. Of course, there are risks involved with water-related adventures, so boating accidents are an unfortunate reality. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, more than 400 people are hurt every year in incidents involving various types of watercraft. Plus, Florida tops the list of fatal boating accidents when compared to all other US states.

If you were hurt in a boating accident, it’s important to realize that you have rights that are similar to other personal injury cases. You may be entitled to compensation for your losses, and our lawyer at the Payer Law can help with the legal process. We’re experienced in dealing with insurance companies, and we’re ready to take your case to court to get the monetary damages you deserve. Please contact our office to set up a no-cost consultation with an boat accident attorney today. You might also find it useful to review some basic liability concepts.

Liability in Florida Boating Accidents

Though a boat has little in common with an automobile, the underlying legal concepts are very similar when you’re seeking compensation for your losses as an injured victim. These cases are typically based upon the theory of negligence, so you must prove four essential elements to recover monetary damages:

  1. You must show that the responsible boater had a duty to operate the watercraft with reasonable care;
  2. You need to prove that the boater breached this legal duty by engaging in careless misconduct;
  3. You must establish a direct connection between the breach of duty and the boating accident in which you were injured; and,
  4. You need to prove that you suffered losses because of your injuries.

To illustrate, common types of negligence in boating accidents include:

  • Not complying with navigational signals and markers;
  • Operating at high speed in a no-wake zone;
  • Failing to refer to and understand navigational charts;
  • Operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs; and,
  • Many others.

Filing a Claim for Monetary Damages

In many boating accident cases, you’ll seek compensation through the responsible boater’s insurance company. The process can be very challenging, since your claim is a threat to the insurer’s financial interests. If the insurance company refuses to pay a fair amount, you may need to take your case to court. Our lawyers at the Payer Law are aggressive in dealing with insurers, and we’re equally prepared to file a lawsuit. We’ll fight to ensure you receive damages for your medical costs, lost income, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Trust an Orlando Boat Accident Attorney to Protect Your Interests

For more information on your rights and remedies as the victim of a boating accident, please contact the Orlando, FL office of the Payer Law. You can schedule a free case evaluation by calling 407-307-2979 or visiting our website. After we review your circumstances, we can explain your options for recovering compensation for your losses.

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