Boating is a popular activity throughout Florida, including Clearwater. Sadly, thousands of people are killed or injured in boating accidents each year. If you or a family member sustained injuries because of a boating accident, we want to help.
Our Clearwater boating accident attorneys at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers can help you recover compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering. We have recovered millions of dollars in the over 20 years since our firm was established.
Attorneys Bill Winters and Marc Yonker and the trial lawyers at our firm have over 119 years of collective legal experience, they have successfully taken on cases like workplace injuries in Clearwater, maritime accidents, slip and fall cases, wrongful death, and Clearwater dog bites, to name a few.
When you need aggressive trial lawyers in Clearwater, FL, Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers is the firm you hire. We are known as “The Aggressive Attorneys” because of our dedication to winning cases for our clients.
How Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, Can Help After a Boating Accident in Clearwater, Florida
Boating accident victims are often traumatized by their experiences. Additionally, many sustain permanent disabilities impacting all aspects of their lives.
Unfortunately, the insurance company, boat owner, and other responsible parties are not interested in paying you a fair amount for your personal injury claim. A Clearwater personal injury attorney at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, believes you deserve compensation for all damages.
Attorneys Bill Winters and Marc Yonker have assembled an experienced legal team of lawyers, paralegals, and investigators. Our law firm has the resources necessary to hire expert witnesses and handle complex legal claims. Therefore, you can trust you are in good hands when you hire Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers
- Thoroughly investigate the cause of the boating accident to gather evidence proving fault and liability
- Identify all parties who contributed to the cause of the boating accident
- File insurance claims and handle all matters related to the claims
- Work with you and your physicians to document the severity of your injuries
- Calculate how much your claim is worth and fight to get you that amount
- Work with the top expert witnesses and specialists in their field, if necessary
- File a lawsuit and have a skilled trial lawyer argue your case before a judge and jury
You should not bear the expenses caused by a boating accident that was not your fault. You deserve a fair settlement to compensate you for your losses and damages.
Our law firm accepts cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not believe your financial status should prevent you from hiring a personal injury attorney. Instead of paying a retainer to hire our law firm, you pay our attorneys’ fees when we recover money for you.
Contact Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case review with an experienced Clearwater personal injury lawyer.
Florida Leads the Nation Again in Boating Accidents
With over 8,400 miles of coastlines, miles of intracoastal waterways, and numerous lakes, it is not surprising that Florida has the most boating accidents in the country. According to the United States Coast Guard, Florida had 723 recreational boating accidents in 2021, including 61 fatalities. California had the second-highest number, with 454 accidents.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Clearwater, FL
Hillsborough County had the 10th-highest number of boating accidents in Florida in 2021. The primary cause of accidents, according to the report, were:
- Operator inexperience
- No proper look-out/inattention
- Alcohol use
- Machinery failure
- Improper loading
- Failure to vent fumes
- Excessive speed
In addition to the primary reasons, passenger negligence, defective equipment, violation of navigational rules, and overly congested waters can contribute to the cause of a boating accident. It only takes seconds of distraction or one moment of poor judgment to cause a tragic boat accident.
Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers handles all types of boating accidents. Regardless of the watercraft or the circumstances of your accident, our Clearwater boating accident attorneys are here to help.
The primary types of boating accidents are:
- Collision with a fixed object
- Collision with a vessel
- Colliding with a floating object or person
- Struck by a skeg or prop
- Falls overboard
In addition to these types of accidents, slips and falls on boats cause injuries. Also, injuries could be caused by fires and explosions.
Determining the cause of a boating accident is essential for identifying the parties responsible for your damages. Attorneys Bill Winters and Marc Yonker and the rest of the legal team at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers perform an exhaustive investigation to ensure we pursue all liable parties.
Injuries and Damages Caused by Clearwater Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can cause many different injuries, including:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Spinal cord injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Lacerations and puncture wounds
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Severe burns
The types of damages you could receive for a boating accident claim include:
- Past and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Medical bills and expenses
- Rehabilitation services, including physical and occupational therapy
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Cost of medications and medical devices
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Physical pain and suffering
- A decrease in quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Disability and impairment
- Mental anguish
The amount of money you receive for a boating accident claim depends on the facts of your case. Our Clearwater personal injury lawyers use the evidence to build a strong case to support maximum compensation for damages.
Can I Recover Money for a Clearwater Boating Accident if I Am Partially To Blame?
Many people are surprised to learn they can receive money for an injury claim even if they are partially at fault for causing their injuries. Florida’s modified comparative fault laws do not bar you from recovering compensation if you contributed to the cause of your injury — so long as you are not mostly at fault.
If you are more than 50% at fault for your boating accident, you cannot recover any compensation. If you are under 51%, your compensation may be reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, if a jury finds that you were 20% to blame for the boat accident, you can only receive 80% of the value of your award for damages.
Proving Liability for a Boating Accident in Florida?
One or more parties could be liable for your damages. However, you have the burden of proving a legal claim to hold a party financially responsible for damages.
Most personal injury claims are based on negligence. Negligence in a personal injury case is failing to take reasonable care to avoid injuring another person. It requires you to prove the following:
- The party you allege to have caused your injuries owed you a legal duty of care
- The party did something to breach the duty of care
- The breach of duty was the direct and proximate cause of your injury
- You sustained damages because of the breach of duty
Most boating accidents in Clearwater are based on negligence. However, if a defective part caused the accident, a manufacturer could be held strictly liable under product liability laws.
It can be difficult to prove your claim without the help of an experienced Clearwater boating accident attorney. You must have sufficient evidence to prove your case. The insurance company and at-fault party will likely deny the claim to avoid liability.
At Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team knows how insurance companies and defense lawyers handle boating accident claims. We are prepared for their tactics and defenses. Our lawyers are not afraid to take cases to trial if that is necessary to protect our clients.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Boating Accident Lawsuit in Clearwater, FL?
Florida imposes statutes of limitations on personal injury claims. The statutes set deadlines for filing lawsuits. If you miss the deadline, you cannot pursue a legal claim.
The filing deadline for most personal injury lawsuits is two years from the injury date. However, exceptions to the rule could shorten or lengthen the deadline. For example, if you got into an accident prior to 3/24/23, you will be subject to the state’s older four-year statute of limitations. (This change is the result of a new tort reform bill).
Also, because you are dealing with a boating accident, federal and maritime laws could apply in your case. Those laws could decrease the deadline to file a lawsuit or claim.
The best way to avoid problems and protect your right to take legal action is to discuss your case with one of our Clearwater boating accident attorneys. Our lawyers at Winters & Yonker Personal Injury Lawyers, have decades of experience handling complex legal claims. We monitor all deadlines to ensure that your claim is filed timely.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Clearwater Boating Accident Lawyers
Navigating the claims process after a boating accident can be stressful. You do not have to do it alone. You can have the full resources of a top-rated Clearwater personal injury law firm on your side.
Contact us by phone or online to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced Clearwater boating accident attorneys.