Daytona Beach Boat Accident Lawyer
Florida Boat Accident Attorney Serving Clients in the Daytona Beach Area
Boating is an extremely popular activity in Florida for residents and visitors alike. Yet like other recreational activities, boating can be extremely dangerous and can result in serious injuries. Although we do not like to think about the risks associated with boating when we are out on the water or on vacation, it is important to know that accidents can happen quickly and without warning. If you or someone you love sustained serious injuries in a Florida boating accident, you may be able to file a claim for financial compensation. A dedicated Daytona Beach boat accident lawyer at The Pendas Law Firm can discuss your case with you today.
Common Causes of Daytona Beach Boat Accidents
There are many reasons that a boat accident can happen in the Daytona Beach area. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the following are the most common causes of boating accidents and injuries in Florida and across the country:
- Falling overboard without a properly fitted life jacket;
- Speeding, especially at night;
- Alcohol consumption or intoxication from drugs;
- Lack of proper safety gear onboard in the event of an emergency;
- Boating operator ignoring the weather, especially when inclement weather could cause a boat to crash or capsize;
- Failing to maintain a proper lookout;
- Boat catching fire;
- Boat breaking down on the open water;
- Running the boat aground; and
- Running out of gas.
Comparative Fault in a Daytona Beach Boating Accident
What happens if a plaintiff is partially at fault for a boating accident? In other words, can a plaintiff who files a boat accident claim still recover compensation if it turns out she is partially to blame for the accident? In general, Florida’s comparative fault law (Fla. Stat. § 768.81) still allows a plaintiff to recover even if that plaintiff is partially at fault. However, the plaintiff’s total damages award will be reduced by her portion of the fault.
For example, imagine a boating accident happens because a boat operator is intoxicated and crashes into another vessel. In that second vessel, the boat operator sustains serious injuries requiring multiple surgeries and months of medical care. Accordingly, that boat operator—the plaintiff—files a boat accident claim against the intoxicated boater—the defendant. However, the defendant argues that the plaintiff is also at fault because the plaintiff was speeding in a “no wake” zone. The court determines that the plaintiff is 10 percent at fault.
Under Florida law, the plaintiff’s damages award would be reduced by 10 percent. Florida follows what is known as a “pure comparative fault” rule, which means that a plaintiff can recover whether that plaintiff is 1 percent or 99 percent at fault. In each case, the plaintiff’s damages award gets reduced by her percentage of fault.
Contact a Florida Boating Accident Lawyer
Boat accidents can be devastating. If you or a family member got hurt in a boating accident in the Daytona Beach area, you should learn more about filing a claim for financial compensation. One of the experienced Daytona Beach boat accident attorneys at our firm can speak with you about your options. Contact The Pendas Law Firm today for more information and to get started on your claim.