Were you or a family member injured on the water off the shores of Clearwater, FL? Boating accidents can cause significant injuries. An experienced Clearwater boating accident lawyer at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers can help you fight to hold the at-fault party responsible for your medical expenses, lost income, and pain and suffering.
We’re one of the most respected personal injury law firms in the Tampa Bay area. Collectively, our lawyers have over 300 years of experience fighting to recover the fair compensation accident victims deserve.
How Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help After a Boating Accident in Clearwater
It’s always a good idea to have an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer fighting for you if you’ve been injured in an accident. The insurance claims process can be complex. Insurance adjusters will work hard to diminish the value of your personal injury settlement.
Our experienced Clearwater personal injury attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers have already recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for our injured clients. Three of our attorneys have been Board Certified by the Florida Bar Association (a distinction held by less than 2% of all Florida lawyers). We’ve also been recognized by Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
When you trust our firm to help with your claim, we will:
- Explain all of your legal options
- Handle the investigation to find out who was responsible for your accident
- Evaluate your injuries and assess your case value
- Negotiate with the insurance company to secure the maximum compensation you deserve
Our boating accident lawyers have been serving Clearwater for decades. We’ll stand by your side every step of the way. That includes fighting to protect you at trial if necessary. We’re ready to get started today, so call our team for a free consultation right away.
How Common Are Boat Accidents in Clearwater?
Florida is surrounded by over 8,400 miles of shoreline. That, combined with countless rivers, lakes, and intracoastal waterways, makes Florida an ideal state for boaters. Unfortunately, that also makes Florida a common site for boating accidents.
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), a total of 751 reportable boating accidents occurred in 2021. That’s actually a decrease from the 836 boating accidents that were reported in 2020.
Still, 162 people were injured in accidents involving personal watercraft across the state of Florida in 2021. At least 17 accident victims were killed that year.
Accidents can happen in any type of vessel, including:
- Open motorboats
- Cabin motorboats
- Pontoon boats
- Fishing vessels
- Rental boats
- Jet skis
- Kayaks, canoes, and other non-motorized watercraft
- Cruise ships
Unfortunately, Pinellas County ranked fifth on the list of the top ten most dangerous counties for boaters in 2021.
What is My Clearwater Boating Accident Case Worth?
It’s important to understand how much your claim is worth before accepting an insurance settlement offer.
Your case value is based on factors that are unique to your accident and injury, including:
- The severity of the injuries you’ve sustained
- The cost of your medical care and treatment
- Whether you’ll recover fully or suffer a long-term or permanent impairment
- How the boat accident and injury affect your current and future earnings
- How the injury impacts your quality of life
- The strength of your negligence case
- Whether you share any blame for the accident
The details matter in complex personal injury cases. You deserve a lawyer who will take the time to evaluate your unique circumstances. To learn more about how our experienced lawyers can help, call for a free case evaluation.
What Types of Damages Are Available to Boating Accident Victims in Clearwater?
Boat accident victims can pursue compensation for their economic and non-economic losses.
Economic damages offset the financial costs that you incur because of an accident and injury, including:
- ER visits
- Hospital stays
- Future medical expenses and current medical bills
- Lost wages during recovery
- Reduced earning potential
- Physical therapy
- Property damage
Non-economic damages represent losses that aren’t so easily valued, including:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Chronic pain
- Diminished quality of life
- Anxiety, depression, and PTSD
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Loss of consortium
Fortunately, our lawyers have years of experience helping clients like you prove their damages after an accident. Let us help you put a dollar value on these hard-to-value losses.
If you’re interested in learning more, call our law firm in Clearwater to schedule a free consultation today.
Can I Recover Damages If I’m Being Blamed for a Boating Accident in Florida?
The same shared fault laws that apply in motor vehicle accident claims also apply to boat accident victims.
Under Florida’s pure comparative fault laws, you won’t lose your right to seek compensation if you were partly responsible. However, if any fault is allocated to you, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your percentage of fault. You won’t lose your right to compensation entirely if someone else is partly liable.
We’ll Fight to Recover Compensation for All of Your Boating Accident Injuries
Boat accident injuries can range from mild to severe and life-altering. These injuries have the potential to disrupt your life regardless of their nature and severity.
Some of the most common types of injuries sustained in boating accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Contusions and lacerations
- Teeth and jaw injuries
- Back injuries
- Neck injuries
- Ankle and wrist injuries
- Knee injuries
- Sprains, strains, and other soft tissue damage
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Injuries related to hypothermia
- Hypoxia, or oxygen deprivation, which can cause brain damage
- Organ damage
- Catastrophic injuries
- Wrongful death of a loved one
Our Clearwater boating accident attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers are here to help regardless of the types of injuries you’ve suffered. To learn more about your legal options after an accident, call our legal team to schedule a free case review today.
What Causes Most Boating Accidents in Clearwater, Florida?
Like car accidents, the vast majority of boat accidents occur because of negligent boat operators.
In the state of Florida, some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:
- Distracted operators, including failure to keep a proper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Hull failures
- Excessive speeds
- Careless or reckless driving
- Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Standing or sitting on the gunwale, bow, or transom
- Lack of proper lights
- Hazardous waters
- Sharp turns
- Failure to maintain the vessel
- Defective boat safety equipment
- Mechanical failures
- Violations of navigational rules
- Hazardous waters and poor weather conditions
Our lawyers are here to help regardless of the circumstances of the accident.
Some examples of the types of boating accident cases we handle include:
- Slip and fall accidents aboard the vessel
- Collisions with other vessels
- Collisions with stationary objects
- Falls overboard
- Accidents where the victim is struck by the prop
- Flooding or swamping
- Fires and explosions
- Running aground
Our lawyers in Clearwater have decades of experience fighting to protect injured clients like you. To learn more about our experience, call to schedule a free legal consultation today.
How Do I Prove Negligence After a Boating Accident in Florida?
Accidents that occur offshore can be particularly complex. Various state, federal and maritime laws may be involved in proving your case.
Most boat accident cases, however, are based on negligence. The same legal theories will apply regardless of the laws that apply.
To prove negligence, you must establish:
- The responsible party’s legal duty of care
- A breach of duty
- The breach of duty caused your boating accident
- The damages you’ve sustained
Many different types of evidence can be used to support your claim. Depending on the circumstances, our lawyers may locate and evaluate:
- Coast guard accident reports
- Eyewitness testimony
- Your medical records
- Hard evidence from the boat
- Opinions from expert witnesses
Your case may be complicated if evidence was destroyed in the accident. Our lawyers have years of experience handling complex personal injury claims like yours. We even have established relationships with experts in various specialties who can offer their opinions about what happened.
How Long Do I Have to File a Lawsuit After a Boat Accident in Florida?
The Florida statute of limitations limits the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. After your accident, you have four years to take legal action. Under Florida law, you forfeit your right to sue for damages once four years pass.
However, different time limits might apply depending on the facts. If you have rights under The Jones Act, you have only three years to act. Insurance policies also contain their own time limits.
Contact a Clearwater Boating Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, call a Clearwater boating accident lawyer for help today. At Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes Personal Injury Lawyers, your consultation is always free of charge, so reach out to schedule yours today.