Seminole Boat Accident Attorney
Mostly to attract tourists to the state, Florida has some of the lowest boat operator requirements in the country. Frequently, people can operate sophisticated high-powered watercraft even though they have never set foot off land before. Many of these people assume operating a boat is like operating a car. But there are some big differences. Cars have tires that grip the road, but boats float. Cars have brakes, but boats must drift to a stop.
Poor operational skills are a major hazard on area waterways, but they’re definitely not the only hazard. “Man overboard” drownings and serious falls are common on rolling, pitching decks that are often wet. Life preservers greatly reduce, but don’t eliminate, the risk of fatal or serious drowning. These life vests do nothing to prevent falls, especially at night. Boat operators have a duty of care not only to boat safely, but also to ensure the safety of passengers.
In contrast, an experienced Seminole boat accident attorney at The Reep Law Firm routinely handle boat accidents and other such matters throughout Pinellas County and nearby jurisdictions. Therefore, we are fully familiar with all the local procedural and evidentiary rules. That includes the written and unwritten rules. So, we focus entirely on your case and on your claim for compensation. This compensation usually includes money for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering.
How to Find the Right Lawyer
Any one of the thousands of lawyers in Pinellas County could probably handle a basic boat accident claim. However, very few such claims are “basic.” They normally involve advanced legal theories, like vicarious liability and venue issues. Only the best attorneys can handle such cases. Some qualities to look for include:
- Experience: At The Reep Law Firm, our Seminole boat accident attorneys have years of practice experience. Furthermore, we have substantial trial experience. So, you can trust us not to take the easy way out or look for a fast settlement.
- Dedication: Our professional team focuses exclusively on personal litigation matters, like personal injury, family law, and criminal defense. In other words, we are dedicated to the protection of your legal and financial rights, whenever they are threatened.
- Accessibility: Our main office is convenient to almost anywhere in the Tampa Bay area. We also do virtual consultations.
Always do your homework when selecting a lawyer, but never take too long. Victims have a limited amount of time to act.
Negligence Basics in Florida
All injury claims are different, but they all have the same basic building blocks. The basic components of a negligence case are:
- Duty: As mentioned, boaters have a duty to boat safely and also a duty to ensure their craft are reasonably safe.
- Breach: Basically, a breach of duty is a lack of care. Not every operational error is a lack of care, but most of them are. Common breaches of duty include impaired operation and a failure to actively watch passengers.
- Cause: Factual cause is a connection between the breach and the damages. Legal causation is foreseeability (possibility) of injury. A Seminole boat accident lawyer must prove both things by a preponderance of the evidence (more likely than not).
- Damages: Usually, the victim must sustain a tangible injury which money can address. There’s a difference between a tangible injury and a visible injury. And, although money cannot reverse the events that lead to an accident, money makes life more bearable.
Negligent entrustment is the most common third party liability theory in boat accident claims. Property owners, including boat owners, could be financially responsible for damages if they allow incompetent people to borrow their vehicles, and the incompetent person causes an injury.
Reach Out to a Dedicated Pinellas County Attorney
Injury victims are entitled to substantial compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced Seminole boat accident attorney, contact Reep, Coleman & Stubbendorff. We do not charge upfront legal fees in these matters.