I Contributed To My Boating Accident; Do I Still Have A Claim?

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A

If you contributed to causing a boating accident that harmed you, you could still have a claim for damages.  Boating accidents can cause catastrophic injury or wrongful death. It is important to understand when you have a right to pursue compensation for economic and non-financial loss, even if your own actions played a part in causing the incident to occur.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. can provide you with help understanding how the law applies to boating accidents so you can determine if you have a claim. Should you be entitled to compensation based on the circumstances of the accident, our legal team can assist you in making your case in the appropriate federal or state court so you can fight for the maximum compensation possible under the law.

How Does Your Contribution to a Boating Accident Impact Your Claim?

Your ability to recover compensation for a boating accident, even though you were partially at fault, is going to depend upon what law applies.

In Florida, as in many states throughout the United States, there are comparative fault laws. Under comparative fault rules, a victim is entitled to receive partial compensation from a person or company who was partially responsible for causing him to suffer harm.  For example, if you were 40 percent responsible for causing a boating accident and another boat operator was 60 percent responsible for the accident, you could pursue a claim to get 60 percent of your total damages compensated.

Not every state applies comparative fault laws. Florida is a so-called pure comparative fault state, which means even if you were more than 50 percent responsible for the accident, you could still pursue a case for compensation from the other party.  Other states are modified comparative fault states, which let you get compensation only if you were 49 percent or less at fault.

A small minority of states, however, uses contributory negligence rules. Under these rules, you cannot get compensation if you played a role in causing the boat crash to happen.

Getting Help After a Boat Accident

Determining which law applies can be complicated. Did the accident happen in State Territorial waters, within the waters of the United States or in International waters? What about on a land locked lake or on a navigable river with access to open water? Very often your local lawyer and the standard personal injury laws that he is accustomed to working with will not apply and victims will need to understand their right to recover under maritime or admiralty law.

Rules also differ for seamen and people working aboard commercial vessels who may become involved in accidents that they helped to contribute to. For example, seamen who are following orders cannot be considered contributorily negligent if they carried out orders resulting in injury, even if they knew the orders could be dangerous.

It is important to know what specific law applies to the circumstances of your boat accident and to make informed choices about what options you have for fighting for fair compensation.

Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina & Winkleman, P.A. can assist you in understanding how the law protects you and in making the law work for you. Call today to talk with a boat accident lawyer at our firm for assistance in making your damage claim.