Florida boasts some of the best boating waters in the country. On any given sunny day, you’ll see the beaches filled with sunbathers and pleasure crafts in the water. While this can be a fun way to pass your spare time, accidents can happen. If you sustained an injury on a boat, jet ski, or other watercraft, it’s in your best interest to contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Here’s how an attorney can help, whether you’re a passenger or a boat’s operator:
Boating Laws Are Complex
Boating accidents can quickly become a matter of federal, state, and maritime law. While liability issues in motor vehicle accidents can be relatively straightforward, boating accidents follow a different set of procedures. For example, injured cruise ship passengers may have a “choice of law” provision in their ticket’s contract that requires them to follow another state’s or even another country’s laws. These apply to filing deadlines, statute of limitations, damage caps, and more.
In short, it’s essential to hire an attorney who is knowledgeable about boat accident law. Not all personal injury attorneys practice boat accident law because it can become so complex. Hire an experienced boating accident attorney to avoid missing a sensitive deadline or losing your case on a technicality,
An Attorney Can Help You Decide How Much Your Claim Is Worth
The aftermath of a boating accident might leave you at odds with an insurance company. When a claims adjuster approaches you with an offer, how will you know it’s fair? An attorney can help you determine the worth of your claim based on a couple of different types of damages:
- Economic damages compensate you for the tangible costs of your accident. These include medical bills, lost wages, any loss in earning capacity, and the cost of ongoing treatment or rehabilitation.
- General damages provide the victim with financial recourse related to immaterial losses. Common examples include pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Your attorney will work to provide a fair and equitable compensation amount for these losses.
Your Lawyer Can Conduct an Independent Investigation
Insurance companies often launch the first investigations into an accident. Since it’s the claims adjuster’s job to ensure the company pays out as little as necessary, they may not be working in your best interest. An attorney, though, will work to protect your interests and may conduct his or her own investigation into the accident. This helps ensure your needs remain at the forefront of the process.
Attorneys Generally Have a Risk-Free Process
Personal injury attorneys offer a free initial consultation. During this meeting, the attorney will outline the specific details of your case and provide a concise view of your legal options. If they believe your case has legal merit, they also offer their services on a contingency-fee basis. This means you’ll only owe an attorney’s fee if they win your case. Speaking with a lawyer is free; retaining their services will only result in payment if you win a settlement. Hiring an attorney for your boating accident is truly a win-win situation.