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Boating Accident Attorney in Pensacola, Florida

Boating accidents are devastating events that can lead to serious injuries or even loss of life. If you or a loved one has suffered from such a mishap in Florida, it's crucial you grasp your legal rights and the options available to you.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating accident in Pensacola, Florida, it's vital to seek legal representation from a trusted and experienced boating accident attorney. Attorney David Lee Sellers understands the complexities of boating accident cases and is committed to helping victims pursue justice and fair compensation. Contact his law firm today for a free consultation to discuss your case and understand your legal rights. 

Boating Accidents Are Common in Florida

The Sunshine State, with its alluring coastline and myriad waterways, is a paradise for boating enthusiasts. Yet, when discussing boating accidents, it's key to recognize that this encompasses many types of watercraft vehicles; from motorboats, sailboats, and jet skis to kayaks and canoes. Regardless of the type of vessel involved, accidents can occur on lakes, rivers, or even coastal areas. 

Recreational boating is prevalent across the state. Boating and maritime accidents can arise from various circumstances, including collisions with other vessels, striking submerged objects, capsizing, or even onboard fires. It's vital to consider that boating accidents can transpire in any body of water, not solely the ocean.

Have You Been Injured?

Who Can Be Liable for a Boating Accident

Establishing liability in a boating accident can be intricate. The driver or owner of the boat carrying the injured individual may be liable. If another vessel was implicated in the accident, the driver or owner of that boat could also share liability. In certain scenarios, the manufacturer of the boat or even the dock owner where the boat was moored can be held responsible. Consulting with a boating accident attorney can provide clarity on the specific circumstances of your case. 

Florida's Personal Injury Liability Laws 

Florida operates under a comparative fault system for personal injury cases, including boating accidents. This means that even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you can still recover damages, although your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For instance, if you are found to be 20% responsible for the accident, your total damages would be reduced by 20%.  

In most boating accident cases, the injured party must prove that the defendant was negligent or careless, and that this negligence caused the accident. Negligence might involve operating the boat while intoxicated, failing to adhere to boating safety regulations, or not maintaining the boat properly.  

It's important to note that Florida has a two-year statute of limitations on personal injury claims, which means you have two years from the date of the accident to file a lawsuit. The state used to have a four-year deadline until recent legislative changes shaved two years off the limit. This recent amendment may introduce complications to your boating accident claim, so it's strongly recommended to seek legal advice as soon as possible after a boating accident to ensure your rights are fully protected. 

Drunk Boating

Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs significantly contributes to boating accidents. Similar to drunk driving, drunk boating is illegal and poses a grave risk to all waterway users. If a boating accident was caused by the negligence of an intoxicated boat operator, they can be held accountable for the ensuing injuries and damages. 

Consequences of Drunk Boating

Boating under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol poses serious legal and personal repercussions. In Florida, violators can face criminal penalties similar to those for drunk driving. These may include fines, imprisonment, mandatory boating safety courses, and even revocation of boating privileges. Further, the operator's driving privileges may also be affected. 

Beyond these legal consequences, the physical and emotional toll can be devastating. Drunk boating accidents can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities, forever altering the lives of victims and their families. In such cases, victims may have the right to pursue a civil lawsuit against the intoxicated operator, seeking compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. 

Proving Negligence

Establishing a successful boating accident claim necessitates proving negligence. This involves demonstrating that the liable party had a duty of care towards others on the water, breached that duty, and that the breach directly resulted in the injuries sustained. Gathering evidence – witness testimonies, accident reports, expert opinions – is vital to prove negligence.  

Compensable Damages

Victims of boating accidents may be entitled to compensable damages, which can include medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and rehabilitation costs. Each case is unique, and the specific damages will depend on the severity of the injuries and the impact on the victim's life.

Boating Accident Attorney in Pensacola, Florida

Facing the aftermath of a boating accident need not be a solitary struggle. Attorney David Lee Sellers, an experienced boating accident attorney in Pensacola, Florida, is here to guide you through the legal process and defend your rights. Don't delay – call today to schedule a free consultation and take the first step towards obtaining the compensation you deserve.