Boating in the beautiful waters of Key West can be a dream come true for many. The sun, the sea breeze, and the picturesque views make it an ideal destination for boating enthusiasts. However, like any other place, Key West is not immune to accidents, including boat accidents. When such unfortunate incidents occur, it’s crucial to have a Key West boat accident lawyer by your side to navigate the complex legal waters.
If you or someone you love suffered an injury in a boat accident in Key West, we are here to help. At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, we know that boat accidents are rarely cut and dry. There may even be multiple parties to blame for your accident and injuries. That’s why we work tirelessly to investigate your boating accident and help you pursue justice.
Just How Common Are Boat Accidents in Key West & Florida?
Sadly, boat accidents are very common in Key West and throughout Florida. In 2022, there were over 1 million registered boat and water vessels in the state. That same year, 457 people suffered an injury on the water. This was a slight drop from 2021, when 469 people were injured.
Boat occupants were the majority of those injured in 2022 (58%). Less than one percent of the injured boat accident victims were swimmers that year. Boat operators accounted for the remaining 42% of injured accident victims.
An astonishing 36 percent of those injured were unable to swim, and 53% were not wearing a personal flotation device at the time of the accident.
Types of Boat and Maritime Accidents in Key West
At Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys, PA, we represent accident victims in Key West and throughout the state of Florida. We have experience helping victims of various boat and maritime accidents, including:
- Waverunners and jet skis
- Cruise ships
- Pontoon boats
- Yachts and Catamarans
- Fishing boats and vessels
- Cabin cruisers
How Do Key West Boat Accidents Happen?
Boat accidents in Key West vary widely from collisions between boats to accidents involving swimmers and scuba divers. These accidents result from various factors, including reckless navigation, equipment failure, or adverse weather conditions.
Boat operator negligence is one of the main causes of boating accidents in Key West. When boat operators and drivers act recklessly, they can cause serious and fatal boat accidents.
Boating operators may engage in many different types of reckless behaviors on the water, including:
- Talking on a cell phone while driving
- Interacting with the GPS and driving distracted
- Drinking and using drugs while operating their vessels
- Operator inexperience
If you believe that a boat operator’s negligence led to your accident and injuries, you need a reputable Key West boat accident attorney on your side.
Types of Boat Accident Injuries in Key West
Boat accidents can result in serious and sometimes life-threatening injuries. The combination of high-speed watercraft and the unpredictability of open waters can lead to life-altering consequences for those involved. These accidents can cause a range of injuries, from minor to catastrophic, impacting victims physically, emotionally, and financially.
Common types of boat accident injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI):
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Fractures and Broken Bones
- Drowning and Near-Drowning.
- Internal Injuries
- Lacerations and Contusions
- Psychological Trauma
According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, boat passengers suffered a wide range of injuries in 2022. Most of those injured suffered from lacerations, contusions, broken bones, and head injuries.
Why Do You Need a Boat Accident Lawyer in Key West?
Boat accident cases in Key West can be complex. It’s essential to have a boat accident lawyer who understands the complexities of maritime law and is experienced in handling such cases.
Boat accidents fall under the purview of maritime law, a specialized legal framework that differs significantly from other areas of personal injury law. Understanding maritime law requires in-depth knowledge and experience, which a proficient boat accident lawyer possesses.
Having a lawyer who comprehends the nuances of maritime law can make all the difference in your case. They can interpret the intricate legal jargon, statutes, and regulations governing Key West boat accidents.
Boat accident cases can involve various parties, including other boaters, passengers, rental companies, and insurance providers. Each of these entities may have their own legal teams working to protect their interests. Without legal representation, you may find yourself at a significant disadvantage.
A boat accident lawyer is your advocate, safeguarding your rights and interests throughout the legal process. They understand the tactics insurance companies and opposing counsel may employ to minimize or deny your claim. With a lawyer on your side, you’re better equipped to counter these strategies and pursue the compensation you deserve. They can even help you sue for the boat accident injuries you suffered.
Your lawyer will advocate for your best interests and work to secure the compensation you deserve, including:
- Medical Expenses
- Property Damage.
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages, Earnings, and Benefits
- Loss of Future Earnings
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Key West Boat Accident Case?
If another party involved in the accident acted carelessly, recklessly, or failed to adhere to safety regulations, they may be deemed negligent. This negligence could encompass various actions, such as operating a vessel under the influence, speeding in no-wake zones, or disregarding navigation rules.
To establish a valid case, it’s essential to demonstrate that the negligence of another party was the direct cause of your injuries. This involves establishing a clear link between their actions or omissions and the harm you suffered. Detailed documentation of the accident, eyewitness testimonies, and expert analysis can help establish causation.
Boaters have a duty of care towards others on the water, which includes operating their vessels responsibly and safely. If it can be proven that the negligent party breached this duty and, as a result, caused your injuries, it strengthens the foundation of your case. Consult with a boat accident lawyer to evaluate your situation.
How Much Does It Cost to Hire a Boat Accident Lawyer in Key West?
Most boat accident lawyers, including the attorneys at Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Lawyers, PA, operate on a contingency fee basis. This fee structure is designed to ensure that access to legal representation is available to everyone, regardless of their financial situation. Under a contingency fee agreement, you don’t have to pay any upfront costs or retainer fees to secure the services of a qualified boat accident lawyer.
The cornerstone of the contingency fee arrangement is the “no win, no fee” principle. In essence, this means that your lawyer only gets paid if you win your case and receive compensation for your injuries and damages. If your case is unsuccessful, you typically owe your attorney nothing. This arrangement aligns the interests of the lawyer with your own, as they are motivated to secure a favorable outcome for you, given that their fee is contingent on your success.
When your case settles or you receive an award, your boat accident lawyer will receive a predetermined percentage of the settlement amount as their fee. This percentage is typically agreed upon ahead of time.
What If the Boat Accident Was Partly My Fault?
Even if you believe you were partially at fault, it’s advisable to consult with a lawyer. Florida follows a modified comparative negligence system, and you may still be eligible for compensation.
In cases where you are found to share some responsibility for the boat accident, your compensation will be reduced in proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you are determined to be 20% at fault for the accident, you may still be eligible to receive 80% of the total compensation you would have received had you not been partially at fault.
Even if you share some responsibility for the accident, our skilled boat accident lawyers will work diligently to maximize your recovery. We will explore all available legal avenues to secure the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Key West Boat Accident Lawyer Today
If you or someone dear to you has suffered injuries in a watercraft or boat accident in Key West, contact a personal injury attorney immediately. Navigating the complexities of federal and maritime law can be daunting for an injured accident victim. By retaining the services of a skilled and seasoned Key West boating accident lawyer, you not only save valuable time and resources but also position yourself optimally to recover rightful damages.
For expert legal representation that will vigorously champion your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve, contact Prosper Shaked Accident Injury Attorneys PA at (305) 694-2676 today. Take the first step towards securing your future by scheduling a complimentary consultation with a dedicated personal injury attorney.