Boat Accident Lawyer
If you have been in a boat accident contact Gallagher & Hagopian. As highly experienced boat accident lawyers we will help you achieve the best possible result.
Boat accidents happen far more frequently in Florida than you might think. These accidents, just like a car or truck collision, can also result in legal liability as well. When the boat accident is caused by someone else, in whole or in part, you might be able to assert a legal claim against the person or entity that caused the damage. A boat accident lawyer will be able to review your situation and let you know what your legal rights may be.
What Causes Boating Accidents in Florida?
The United States Coast Guard reports that Florida has the highest number of recreational boating accidents of any state in the U.S. It is also home to the most deaths that occur on the water as well.
The most common causes of recreational boating accidents have to do with operator error. Careless operation or operating a boat while intoxicated top the list of reasons that boat accidents occur in Florida. Boat maintenance problems and failure to follow boating rules and regulations are also common causes of boat accidents.
Legal responsibility can arise when someone else makes a mistake in their boat’s operation. Money damages may be awarded for any injuries or property damage that occurs.
What Does a Boat Accident Lawyer Do?
In a boat accident case, you have to prove that the accident occurred because someone else was negligent. “Negligence” is a legal term that generally means the same thing as carelessness. When someone operates in a boat in a way that a reasonable person would not handle it, and it causes damage, that person is negligent.
Everyone on the water has a duty to follow the rules and regulations regarding boating in that area. When they recklessly operate their boat, go too fast for the area, or drive the boat drunk, they put everyone else around them at risk.
You have to gather evidence and information about why the accident occurred to prove your legal case. That information must be provided to an insurance company or presented at trial. A boat accident lawyer will not only investigate the accident on your behalf but will also help you follow the required rules to protect your legal rights effectively. They will negotiate with any insurance company involved on your behalf as well.
Florida also has unique maritime laws and boating regulations. You need a boat accident attorney who is familiar with these specific laws and regulations to help you with your case. For example, many people do not realize that some boating accidents are governed by federal law because of the location where the accident occurred. Those federal laws can be very complicated and the legal case that results from them must be asserted a certain way to be valid. An experienced boat accident attorney will help boating accident victims work through this complex legal process.
Who Is at Fault for a Florida Boating Accident?
Anyone that recklessly or carelessly operates a boat or other water vessel (including smaller vehicles like jet skis) is responsible for any damage they cause to other people on the water. One common way that legal liability arises is because the person operating the boat is not following normal safety precautions, such as driving too fast or coming too close to other vessels.
In some cases, the person who caused the damage does not even have to physically touch the other person or their boat to be at fault for an accident. Traveling too fast, for example, can create wakes that damages another boat. In those situations, finding the person who caused the wake and getting their contact information is vital to assert a legal claim against them.
When Should I Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer?
The sooner you contact a boat accident lawyer after an accident, the better. Talking to an attorney right away increases the chances of a successful outcome in your legal case.
At Gallagher & Hagopian, we can come to you to talk about your legal rights after a boating accident. We will travel to your home or even the hospital to discuss your case and get the legal process started right away. Learn more about our services and how we can help by calling our team today: 888-280-4878.