How Do You Prove Fault in a Miami Boat Accident Case?

Boat accidents aren’t like regular motor vehicle accidents. The police can’t rush out to the accident scene and do their typical investigation. This is why it can be a bit harder to prove fault in a Miami boat accident case.

Here, we’ll explain what your Miami boat accident lawyer can do to prove liability. If you have any questions about your own case, feel free to contact our office directly.

Your Miami Boat Accident Lawyer Will Thoroughly Review the Evidence

When you first meet with your Miami boat accident lawyer, they’ll review whatever information you have.  They’ll also talk to witnesses and review any reports that are available. Evidence your attorney may use to build a case can include:

  • Photos of the scene, damage to vessels, and weather conditions
  • A Coast Guard boating accident report (if one was filed)
  • Witness statements from passengers and other boaters

Do the Facts Support Your Claim That the Other Operator Was at Fault?

There are three things your lawyer needs to establish to prove liability in a boat crash case:

  • The boat operator was negligent, meaning they didn’t show the level of care expected of them.
  • The boat operator’s actions caused the accident.
  • You were injured.

With boat operators, there are unique rules and regulations they need to follow. If your Miami boat accident lawyer can demonstrate that the other party didn’t abide by these rules, this shows they were negligent.

Can Your Miami Boat Accident Lawyer Prove the Defendant Was Reckless or Careless?

According to Florida Statute §327.33, boat operators must not drive their vessels or operate in a reckless or careless manner. If your Miami accident attorney can prove that the other boater was careless or reckless, it will go a long way toward proving fault. There are many ways to do this.

For example, your lawyer could prove the defendant was drinking at the time of the boat crash. It’s against the law to drink alcohol or use drugs while operating a watercraft, and it puts others in danger.

Boat Operators Must Follow the Florida Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Boating Regulations

Boaters in Miami must also abide by the regulations put forth by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. These rules essentially require boat operators to exercise reasonable care and common sense while out on the water.

Specifically, these regulations require that all boaters follow the necessary safety regulations. For example, if someone is operating a vessel in Florida waters, they need to complete boating safety courses.

The reason this is worth pointing out is that, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, in more than 75% of all boat accidents, the operator had failed to receive the proper training. These accidents are almost entirely preventable.

a boat crash can result in severe damages

What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Boat Accidents in Florida?

Over the years, our Miami accident attorneys have come to learn the most common causes of boat accidents. While there are some boat accidents that don’t involve another vessel, many of them do.

Some of the more common causes of boat accidents in Miami include the following:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Failure to maintain safety gear and equipment
  • Inexperienced boat operator
  • Operating a boat while distracted
  • Speeding
  • Dangerous and inclement weather
  • Equipment failure

There are occasions when a boat operator’s equipment malfunctions on them. For example, if the sonar system isn’t working properly, it’ll be difficult to navigate the boat safely. The same is true if the engine isn’t working properly.

What Compensation Can You Get in a Boat Accident Case?

The reason people hire a Miami boat accident attorney is because they want compensation for their injuries. Your lawyer may demand payment for some or all of the following damages on your behalf:

  • Medical bills
  • Future medical bills
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost future income
  • Pain and suffering

How much you’ll be entitled to will depend heavily on the nature and extent of your injuries.

What Are Some Common Injuries in Boating Accidents?

Some of the injuries you may sustain in your boat accident include:

  • Drowning
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Spinal cord injury
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Burn injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Facial disfigurement

Of course, this list isn’t exhaustive. There are any number of injuries you could suffer in a boating accident. The bottom line is that, if the accident wasn’t your fault, you should be compensated fairly.

Call Our Office and Schedule Your Free, Initial Consultation

If you or your loved one were injured in a boat accident in Miami, you may be entitled to significant compensation. Rather than sit back and hope that the insurance company will pay your claim, contact our team at the Klotzman Law Firm.

We have handled many boat accident cases and can help you get the compensation you deserve. Our firm offers all new clients a free, initial consultation. All you have to do is call our office at (954) 758-7197 and speak with one of our agents. They’ll help you pick a date and time that works for you.