Boating Collision Claims

On average, more than one boating accident occurs each day in Florida. That statistic is not surprising when considering all of the maritime activity that is conducted in Florida – from recreational boating and water sports to commercial fishing and shipping. All of this activity is aided by the fact that Florida is surrounded by water and beaches. In fact, Florida has the longest coastline in the continental United States. Florida’s waterways are busy places. There are 15 seaports in Florida (Port of Pensacola, Port of Port St. Joe, Port Citrus, Port of Tampa, Port of St. Petersburg, Port Manatee, Port of Key West, Port of Miami, Port Everglades, Port of Palm Beach, Port of Ft. Pierce, Port Canaveral, Port of Jacksonville, and Port of Fernandina), where commercial vessels come and go from all over the world. Additionally, there are marinas throughout Florida’s more than 1,000 miles of coastline where many of Florida’s recreational boats and other watercrafts are kept. Florida leads the nation in registered recreational vessels – and boating accidents. Such accidents commonly occur as a result of carelessness, operator inattention, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol and/or drug use. Although there are rules governing boat safety and navigation, including the Navigation Rules (also referred to as the Rules of the Road), some operators fail to follow such rules. Sadly, this sometimes causes accidents on the water.

How The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke can Help You with Your Boating Accident Claim

Once you retain us to serve as your attorneys for your boating accident claim, we will seek to obtain compensation for your losses, which may include:

  • past and future medical expenses related to the injuries you sustained in your boating accident; and
  • past and future lost wages associated with your boating accident; and
  • past and future pain and suffering from the injuries you sustained in the boating accident.

Things to Do After a Boating Accident

Here are some things you should keep in mind after you are involved in a boating accident.

  • Make your safety and the safety of others your first priority.  Locate a safe place away from the dangers where you can wait until local authorities and/or first providers arrive.
  • Call the local authorities and report the accident.  The United States Coast Guard and/or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission may get involved to assist and investigate the accident.
  • Call for medical assistance if needed.
  • Call your insurer and/or your insurance agent and report the accident.
  • Cooperate with the local authorities and other first responders during their investigation of the accident.
  • Do not make statements that are outside of your expertise.
  • Take photographs of the damage, and the position of the vessels involved in the accident.
  • Get the name, address, telephone number, and insurance information of the person or people who caused the accident.  It is also good to obtain the name of the boat and the hull number.  If the accident involved a commercial vessel, get the name of the company which owns the vessel.
  • Get the name, address, and telephone number for any people who witnessed the accident.
  • Do not provide a written or oral statement to the at-fault operator or his or her insurer.
  • Do not sign any documents related to the accident unless they are from the local authorities, your attorney, your insurer, or your medical providers.
  • Upon leaving the scene of the accident, seek medical assistance, if needed.
  • Preserve the photographs you took and the documentation you acquired related to your accident.  You will want to share those articles with your attorneys.
  • If a representative of the at-fault operator’s insurer calls you, do not talk to him or her.  Rather, refer that person to your attorney.

We will attempt to secure a recovery from the operator who caused the accident. 

In doing so, we will fully investigate your claim by doing the following:

  • Obtaining all accident and incident reports.
  • Inspecting the area where the accident occurred (and reviewing maps of the area).
  • Inspecting the vessels involved in the accident.
  • Identifying and taking statements of the witnesses.
  • Securing and seeking to preserve any evidence that may be destroyed or lost.
  • Collecting any and all photographs of the accident, and the vessels involved in the accident.
  • Working closely with various experts or consultants.
  • Speaking or otherwise negotiating with representatives from the insurance company or companies for the at-fault operator.
  • Obtaining all of your medical records and bills.
  • Preparing and sending a demand to the at-fault operator or his or her insurer.
  • Attempting to settle your boating accident claim on favorable terms.
  • If necessary, filing a lawsuit against the at-fault operator(s).

We may also seek opinions from consultants and/or experts regarding:

  • How the accident occurred, what caused the accident, etc.  Accident reconstructionists and/or engineers typically provide opinions regarding these issues.  Experts on the Navigation Rules (also referred to as the Rules of the Road) are also commonly used for boating accidents.
  • The effects of the impact of the accident on your body.  Biomechanical engineers typically provide opinions regarding these issues.
  • Your medical issues, including the injuries you sustained, the severity of your injuries, whether your medical care after the accident was reasonable and necessary, what type of medical care you will need in the future, etc.  Various types of doctors (including, but not limited to physiatrists, orthopedic surgeons, plastic surgeons, brain doctors, etc.) typically provide opinions regarding these issues.
  • Issues related to your lost wages and ability to work in the future, and in what capacity.  Vocational rehabilitation experts typically provide opinions regarding these issues.
  • Issues related to quantification of your damages.  Economists typically provide opinions regarding these issues.

Each case is different, however, and other experts or consultants may be needed.

Have You Been Injured in a Boating Accident?

Call The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke today for a free consultation regarding your boating accident claim.  If you are injured and unable to come to our office, we will come to see you.

Other Legal Matters Handled by The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke

In addition to boating collision claims, The Law Offices of Donald M. Kreke handles other legal matters including: personal injury matters (including, but not limited to, truck crash claims, automobile accident claims, motorcycle wreck claims, claims against cruise lines, premises liability claims, slip and fall accident claims, negligent security claims, dog bite claims, and defective products claims), property insurance claims – both residential and commercial – and inception claims, and supplemental and re-open claims (including, but not limited, broken pipe claims, fire claims, flood claims, hail claims, hurricane claims, mold claims, roof leak claims, sinkhole claims, storm claims, tornado claims, vandalism and theft claims, water claims, wind claims, loss of business income claims, and extra expense claims), bad faith insurance claims, property damage claims, collection matters, criminal defense matters, traffic offenses (including speeding tickets), claims against insurance brokers and/or agents, medical malpractice claims, nursing home claims and elderly abuse claims, and matters involving contract disputes.  We also assist clients with reviewing and drafting contracts.  If your legal issue or matter is not listed above, please contact us.  We may be able to help.

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