Were you or a loved one hurt in a boating accident in Ocala, FL? If someone else caused the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more. An experienced Ocala boating accident lawyer at Allen Law Firm, P.A. can fight to win the maximum compensation possible in your case.
Since 2007, our attorneys have dedicated our practice to fighting for injured clients like you. We’ve helped countless clients win the compensation they need to move on with their lives after an accident.
Ready to take the first step? Call our law offices in Ocala, Florida to schedule a free consultation today.
How Allen Law Firm, P.A. Can Help After a Boating Accident in Ocala, FL
Many accident victims think that recovering compensation for injuries is as simple as filing an insurance claim. In reality, that’s rarely the case. Even when insurance is available, the insurance company isn’t just going to pay what’s fair. You have to ask for what you deserve.
An experienced Ocala personal injury lawyer can help you put a dollar value on hard-to-value injuries and damages. We also know how to fight back when the insurance company tries to scare you into accepting a lowball offer.
When you hire us, our attorneys will:
- Investigate to pinpoint the cause of the accident
- Identify all responsible parties
- Defend you if the insurance company tries to blame you for the accident
- Hire experts in medicine and other specialties to provide insight into what your case is worth
At Allen Law Firm, P.A., our attorneys have more than 70 years of combined experience. We also have former insurance agents on staff who have 150+ years of experience inside the insurance industry. Are you ready to start protecting your rights? Call our experienced Ocala personal injury attorneys for help today.
How Common Are Boating Accidents in Ocala, Florida?
It’s not necessarily surprising that Florida leads the nation in boating accidents each year. With more than 8,400 miles of shoreline, it’s no wonder that 138,640 personal watercraft were registered in Florida during 2019.
Of course, boating accidents come in all shapes and sizes. Some are more serious than others.
In 2019, the most common types of boating accident were:
- Collisions with other vessels
- Slip and fall accidents
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Falling overboard
- Striking an underwater object
- Striking another floating object or person
- Fires and explosions
Some accidents are more serious than others. In 2019, 54 people lost their lives in Florida boating accidents. That’s almost 20 more fatalities than Texas, the second-highest state on the list.
What is My Ocala Boating Accident Case Worth?
Before entering into negotiations with the insurance company, it’s important to know what your boating accident case is worth. After all, if you don’t know how much you deserve, how can you know whether your settlement award will cover your expenses?
Generally speaking, you’re entitled to compensation for the cost of your injuries and property damage. However, valuing a personal injury case is complex. The overall value of your case will be influenced by a few different factors.
- The severity of your injuries
- Whether you’re able to work
- Whether you’ll be able to return to work in the same capacity once you recover
- Whether you shared any responsibility for the accident
- Your level of physical pain and emotional suffering
Of course, there’s no market price for your pain and suffering. Insurance companies often use a multiplier to arrive at their initial offer. They’ll add up the cost of your property damage, medical bills, and lost wages. Then they’ll multiply that amount by a number, sometimes between 1.5 and 3, to arrive at your pain and suffering.
That system rarely accounts for the unique damage the accident might have caused. Our lawyers view this as a baseline–accepting that offer could mean taking much less than you deserve.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Alachua County Boating Accident Victims?
Like any car accident case, victims of boating accidents can recover three basic types of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.
Florida courts rarely award punitive damages unless the responsible party’s actions were intentional.
For example, punitive damages might be awarded to punish a drunk driver for causing a serious accident.
Most boating accident victims recover economic damages to cover their out-of-pocket expenses.
For example, you might be entitled to compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- The cost of future medical expenses
- A future loss of earning potential
- Property damage
Non-economic damages can be equally valuable. They’re awarded to make up for the non-monetary costs of an injury.
A non-economic damages award might include compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
Assigning a dollar value to some of these items can be challenging. That’s why our attorneys take a proactive approach. We’ll consult with experts in medicine, psychology, finance, and other specialties to find out what your case is really worth.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Boating Accident in Florida?
Under Florida comparative fault laws, you aren’t barred from recovery even if you were partly to blame. Your compensation award can be reduced to account for your share of fault, however.
Take a simple example. Assume you were awarded $100,000 for your boating accident injuries. If your percentage of fault is 30%, your damages award will be reduced to $70,000 to account for your own actions.
That’s a sizable chunk of your damages award. Of course, allocating fault after an accident is rarely simple, especially when the accident happens on the water. Sometimes the insurance company blames the victim when they did nothing wrong. You need an experienced attorney in your corner to minimize your role in the accident.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Boating Accident Injuries
Boating accidents can cause serious injuries. Whether you slip and fall on the vessel or are caught up in a much more serious crash, you could be facing a long road to recovery.
Call Allen Law Firm, P.A. for help today if you have sustained:
- Strains and sprains
- Contusions and lacerations
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Head and neck injuries
- Back injuries
- Internal injuries
- Broken bones
- Severe burns
- Loss of limbs
- Catastrophic injuries
Our attorneys can also help you pursue compensation for the wrongful death of a loved one if the boating accident proved to be fatal.
What Causes Most Boating Accidents in Ocala, Florida?
The water can be a dangerous place. While most boat operators do everything they can to keep others safe, mistakes do happen.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC), some of the most common causes of boating accidents in Ocala include:
- Operator inattention/failure to keep a proper lookout
- Inexperienced drivers
- Excessive speeds
- Drunk driving
- Defective equipment or machinery
- Obstructed vision
- Unsafe turns
- Hazardous waters
- Violation of navigational rules
- Improper anchoring
Specific training is often required to safely operate motorboats, sailboats, and even jet skis. In 2019, FWC reported that 58% of the operators involved in boating accidents had no boating education. Over 70% had fewer than 100 hours of experience operating a boat.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Boating Accident in Florida?
Boating accidents are commonly caused by operator error–meaning some type of negligence.
To prove negligence, you have to prove four basic elements:
- The responsible party owed you a duty of care
- A breach of that duty
- The breach directly caused your injuries
- Some type of damages, or harm
Generally, this means the key to most personal injury cases is finding out what caused your injuries.
Need help finding out what caused your boating accident in Ocala? Call an experienced Ocala boating accidents attorney at Allen Law Firm, P.A. to learn more about how an attorney-client relationship can help.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Boating Accident in North Central Florida?
Under Florida law, the statute of limitations in personal injury cases is four years. That means you have four years from the date of the boating accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. If you wait longer, you’ll lose your right to compensation completely.
Do you have questions about the time limits for filing an injury claim? Give us a call at Allen Law firm, P.A. to schedule a free case evaluation. We’re here to make sure you get the legal advice you need.
Contact an Ocala Boating Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Ocala, help is just a call away. Allen Law Firm, P.A. can help you fight to recover the full compensation you need. Just call our law offices today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Ocala boating accident lawyer.