Largo Boat Accident Attorney
Recreational boating is one of the most enjoyable leisure activities in Florida. Recreational boating is also one of the most dangerous leisure activities in Florida. A lack of operator experience is the root of most boating accidents. Mostly to encourage tourism, Florida has some of the most lax boating safety laws in the country. Many boat operators are lifelong landlubbers who have little or no idea how to safely operate a powerful motorboat or other watercraft.
Boating injury claims are also legally complex. That’s especially true if the tortfeasor (negligent operator) rented or borrowed the watercraft from another person or entity. According to the negligent entrustment doctrine, owners are vicariously liable for collision damages if they allow incompetent operators to use their vehicles, and these operators cause injuries. Given the aforementioned lax boating safety laws, almost every novice boater is legally incompetent. Florida’s unique vicarious liability law adds an extra wrinkle to these claims.
Because of this complex legal and medical environment, only an experienced Largo boat accident attorney from The Reep Law Firm can obtain maximum compensation for your serious injuries. The process of obtaining maximum compensation begins when we evaluate your case. Then, to raise the claim’s settlement value, we collect evidence that supports your claims and refutes insurance company defenses. Then, because of our experience, we focus exclusively on your needs and goals when the case goes to court.
What Causes Boat Accidents?
We mentioned a lack of operator experience above. This lack of experience usually shows up in one of the following ways:
- Aggressive Boating: Many inexperienced operators assume boats are a lot like cars. After all, they both have the same basic control and operational mechanisms. But there are some big differences. For example, cars have breaks, but boats must drift to slow down or stop. So, it’s a lot harder to control a boat, especially if the water is choppy.
- Impaired Boating: Most novice boaters are inherently distracted. Their minds are divided between enjoying the natural scenery and focusing on operating the boat. People can safely multitask their way through a day at the office, but they cannot safely multitask behind the wheel, whether they’re on land or water. Alcohol use is a major problem as well. Alcohol impairment begins with the first drink.
Aggressive or impaired boating, or a combination of the two, could cause a boat collision or a serious passenger fall.
Serious boat collisions are especially common on non-holiday weekends. On weekends like Labor Day and Memorial Day, so many boats are on the water that boaters can barely move. On other weekends, boaters are more tempted to open up their throttles.
Falls are an ever-present danger on decks that are wet, rolling, and pitching. Most falls cause serious injuries, like broken bones and head injuries. If the victim falls overboard, that’s even worse. Life preservers, which many people don’t wear, only prevent some drownings.
If aggressive boating, impaired boating, or other operator negligence caused injury, a Largo boat accident attorney can obtain compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Experience matters in this area as well. As mentioned, a third party is often financially responsible for damages. Frequently, this third part is an out-of-state conglomerate.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced boat accident attorney in Largo, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. Attorneys can connect victims with doctors, even if they have no money or insurance.