Tampa Boat Accident Lawyer
What You Need to Know About Boating Accidents
Boating accidents are an unfortunate yet all-too-common reality in the waters around Tampa. Although nearly one-third of all boating accidents involve a driver who is over the legal blood alcohol limit (which is also a crime of boating under the influence, or BUI), there are many other causes of boating accidents. For example, severe and unexpected weather is a common cause of boating accidents. Equipment malfunctions including engine failures also lead to boating accidents along with basic reckless boating, or negligence.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, a boating accident is defined as any one of the following:
- A boat passenger dies or becomes seriously injured
- A boat passenger disappears and death or injury is suspected
- A boat causes or sustains damage
If you or a loved one falls under any one of these categories, you need to seek the professional advice of an attorney with experience in Florida boating accidents, such as Attorney James O. Cunningham.
Your Boating Accident Case
In a boating accident, whether or not one is entitled to damages will come down to a determination of damages (or injuries) sustained and liability of the parties involved in the accident. The standard that the law uses in making a determination as to liability is whether a person had acted negligently, which means that he or she failed to act as a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances. In the situation of a boating accident, a judge or jury will make this determination by looking to see whether one followed all safety rules and precautions.
This is why it is imperative that, following a boating accident, you immediately file an accident report. In fact, when serious injury or death is a result of a boating accident, the report must be filed with the appropriate authorities within 48 hours of the accident. When only property damage is involved, the report must be filed within ten days of the boating accident.
In addition to filing your boating accident report, you should also take pictures of the accident scene and get the contact information of the other parties involved. Regardless of how serious you believe your injuries are, seek immediate medical attention. Also, call your insurance carrier to file a claim. Most importantly, always call a boating accident attorney to discuss your situation.
Your Tampa Boating Accident Attorney
Working with a qualified and knowledgeable personal injury attorney will ensure you get the compensation you deserve for the injuries and damages you sustained. If you have been injured in a boating accident and would like to speak with an attorney, please contact the Law Offices of James O. Cunningham, P.A. at 813-355-9772.