Average Boating Injury Settlement Value

Average Boating Injury Settlement Value

Boating is a sport that many enjoy in Florida. It’s a great way to unwind, spend time with friends, and breath-in some fresh air. Unfortunately, boating accidents are all too common in the Sunshine State. The U.S. Coast Guard’s most recent 2018 accident statistics show that Florida leads the country as the state with the most boating accidents and injuries, adding up to a total of 607 boat accidents that resulted in 57 deaths and 297 injuries. 

Many things can go wrong while boating that can lead to an accident. Injury claims from a boating accident can become particularly challenging due to the difficulties that often arise in proving negligence. Let’s review some boating accident injuries that can occur and the value of a resulting injury settlement.

Establishing Negligence is Key in a Boating Injury Claim

Personal injury lawsuits for boating accidents are no different from car accident lawsuits. You must prove that the operator’s negligence caused the accident, which resulted in your injuries. Negligence is described as failing to act with “reasonable care.” It’s up to your injury attorney to prove that your injuries are the direct result of a negligent boat operator before settling. Damages that your injury attorney will seek in your settlement include:

  • Compensation for medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Loss in earning capacity
  • and pain and suffering.

Common Causes for Boating Accidents

Understanding common causes of boating accidents can help when determining the value of an injury settlement. The most common reasons for boating accidents include:

  • The boat operator is not paying attention 

By law, boat operators must be alert and aware of their surroundings while on the water. If injuries occur because the operator is failing to pay attention, a personal injury claim might result. 

  • The boat operator is not experienced 

Before helming a boat, operators must understand the basics of boat safety and navigation rules. They must also be prepared to handle an emergency, should one ever occur while on the water. 

  • The boat operator is impaired  

Boating under the influence (BUI) is one of the most common causes of boating accidents. Like driving a car, a boat operator must have a blood alcohol level of 0.08% or less. 

  • Boating at high speeds 

Just as drivers of a car have safety responsibilities, so do boat operators. High speeds can lead to loss of control and resulting injuries for boat passengers.

  • Inclement weather 

Conditions on the water change quickly with unfavorable weather. The boat operator should be aware of impending thunderstorms or potentially dangerous water and weather conditions before leaving land.  

  • Large wakes and waves 

The wake is the disturbed region of water that’s behind the boat. When the wake or waves become too big, accidents that result in injuries can occur.

The U.S. Coast Guard’s accident statistics show that alcohol is the most common factor leading to fatal boating accidents. Oftentimes, it’s the boat operator that causes a boating accident, but you’ll notice that other factors also play a part in causing accidents.

Common Types of Boating Accidents That Lead to Injuries

When most people think of boating accidents, a picture of treacherous ocean waters or stormy skies comes to mind. Most accidents, however, happen in the light of day on inland waters with optimal weather. The most severe boating injuries occur from the following accidents: 

  • Accidents with other vessels 

Crashes that involve another boat or vessel account for a high percentage of injuries and fatalities that occur from a boating accident.

  • Accidents with fixed objects 

Colliding with any object on the water, like rocks, buoys, and other fixed objects often leads to serious injuries.

  • Flooding and swamping of the boat 

A boat is swamped when water comes in from the sides. This happens often to smaller boats from the wake of a larger one that passes by.

  • Boat Grounding 

Grounding is when a boat becomes stuck on a reef, rock, or immovable pile that often results in the boat sinking.

  • Passengers falling overboard 

Unexpected movements or changes in speed can throw passengers overboard if they’re not paying attention. If the passenger isn’t wearing a life vest or doesn’t know how to swim, injuries or fatalities can occur.

How Insurance Affects the Value of a Boating Injury Settlement

A challenge that often arises in personal injury settlements for a boating accident is whether there is enough insurance coverage for the cost of damages. Even if your attorney successfully proves to a judge that the boat operator was liable for the accident which resulted in injuries – you may not be able to collect any compensation if the operator doesn’t have boaters’ insurance. This special type of insurance is separate from homeowners’ insurance and auto insurance coverages.

If you’ve been in a boating accident, ask for the boat operator’s insurance information if you’re well enough to do so. If the accident occurred with another vessel on the water, ask for both operators’ boating insurance information. Your injury attorney can advise you on how to file a claim against the owners and drivers of both boats that are involved.

Call Orlando’s Trusted Boating Accident Lawyers

The value of your boating accident settlement will be determined by the cost to pay for medical care, lost wages, and out-of-pocket expenses that resulted from your boating accident injuries. Pain and suffering can equate to thousands of additional dollars on top of what you get back for your medical costs and lost wages. Severe injuries that result in a wrongful death claim will amplify the value of your boating accident settlement. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to provide more insight into your individual case for compensation. 

The Umansky Law Firm provides aggressive representation to all clients injured in a boating accident. With more than 100 years of combined experience, our personal injury attorneys can discover substantial evidence and information that would be difficult for most to acquire on their own. Examples of evidence that will be investigated include asset reports on the boat’s owner, any alcohol or drug tests administered to the boat operative, and all available insurance coverage. To get the help you need, call our personal injury attorneys at (407) 228-3838 or complete an online contact form. The first consultation is free.


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