Pensacola’s year-round mild weather and easy access to miles of water make it a prime boating location. Like any other vehicle, Boats can be dangerous if they are not operated correctly, and boating accidents account for thousands of critical injuries in Florida each year. People hurt in boat crashes often require extensive medical treatment, and in some instances, may require lifelong assistance and may be apprehensive about the astronomical costs associated with their care. Fortunately, in many cases, they can recover damages from those responsible for their harm. If you were injured in a boating accident, you should confer with an attorney as soon as possible. The dedicated Pensacola personal injury lawyers of Cardoso Law, PLLC, possess the skills and resources needed to help you seek justice for your losses, and if we represent you, we will advocate aggressively on your behalf. We are available to help people seek damages for boating accidents in Pensacola and other cities throughout Florida.Causes of Boating Accidents
Many factors can lead to boating accidents. An operator who is impaired by alcohol or drugs, or is fatigued, may lack the ability to maneuver a boat properly or react appropriately to hazards and may cause a collision. Similarly, people who lack training or experience in operating a boat may be hesitant or unsure of how to handle it and may inadvertently cause an accident. In some instances, the weather contributes to harmful incidents, as choppy water can make it difficult to control a watercraft, and storms can reduce visibility. Boating accidents can also arise out of issues with the boat itself, which can be caused by improper maintenance or a design or manufacturing defect.Elements of Lawsuits Arising Out of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are typically caused to some degree by negligence. Thus, many people injured in boating accidents are able to recover compensation for their harm from the negligent party. In Florida, negligence is made up of a duty, breach, causation, and damages, and a plaintiff must prove each component to establish liability. Generally, the duty owed is to act with the care a reasonable person would use in the same situation, but it may also be an obligation imposed by a law. A breach is behavior that deviates from the duty imposed, like operating a boat recklessly or while intoxicated. Causation links the breach and damages together in that the plaintiff has to prove that the defendant’s acts or omissions caused the accident, which subsequently caused the plaintiff to suffer actual harm. While other elements may contribute to the incident, the defendant’s breach of the duty owed must be a substantial factor in bringing about the accident in order for the defendant to be deemed negligent.
If a boating accident was caused by a person other than the boat owner, a plaintiff might be able to pursue a negligent entrustment claim against the owner. Essentially, this requires the plaintiff to show that the boat owner allowed a person to operate a watercraft despite the fact that the owner knew or reasonably should have known that the individual lacked the capacity to do so safely and that this permissive use ultimately led to the plaintiff’s damages.Speak to a Trusted Pensacola Attorney
Many people in Pensacola enjoy boating in their spare time, but when boaters fail to operate their vessels safely, they can cause devastating injuries. If you were hurt in a boating accident, you might be owed compensation, and you should speak to a lawyer about your options for seeking damages. The trusted Pensacola attorneys of Cardoso Law, PLLC, are mindful of the suffering and frustration caused by preventable injuries, and if you hire us, we will work tirelessly to help you seek the outcome you deserve. Our office is located in Pensacola, and we frequently aid parties hurt in accidents in the pursuit of claims in Pensacola, Ferry Pass, Brent, Cantonment, Bellview, Century, Milton, Navarre, Gulf Breeze, West Pensacola, Jay, Crestview, Fort Walton Beach, and Niceville. We help people seek damages in other cities throughout Florida as well, including several in Escambia, Santa Rosa, and Okaloosa Counties. You can contact us by calling (850) 466-2073 or using our form online to set up a meeting.