Miami Attorney for Accidents Caused by a Faulty Boat Repair
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Boats are almost as common as cars and other vehicles in Florida. Boaters must make sure that the vessel is in good working condition and that it is repaired and maintained properly before taking it out on the water. Many boating accidents are caused by defective repairs to the vessel, causing it to crash into other boats or to sink on its own. These kinds of accidents could be held against the boat operator and the company that negligently repaired the vessel.
At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., our Miami, FL attorneys for boat accidents caused by a defective repair have assisted many Floridians and tourists assert legal claims for compensation after a careless boat repair service. We are ready to put our experience to use for you. Call our law offices today for a free legal consultation on your injury claim. Our phone number is (305) 204-5369.
Suing for Injuries from Negligent Repair of Your Boat in Miami
When you bring your boat in for repairs, you are trusting that the business will take the time and care to ensure that any issues are repaired thoroughly. Although some boat owners possess some knowledge of boat maintenance, boat repair companies are usually trusted to make the repairs properly and ensure that the boat will be seaworthy.
It is often not until the boat owner is out on the water that they find out that the repairs were performed improperly. Some of the injuries that can result from defective boat repair include accidents from defective navigation systems, fires from motor defects, crashes into docks and piers from steering issues, and accidents with other vessels caused by malfunctions. These can cause broken bones, head injuries, paralysis, burns, and even death.
If you have suffered injuries as a result of a defective boat repair, a lawyer can help you bring a claim against the company that failed to perform the repairs adequately. Boat repair companies have a duty to ensure that the repairs are performed completely and accurately, and they know that their customer could be injured if they fail to make proper repairs. The boat repair company might even have a duty to look beyond the problems the owner complained about and ensure that other systems and equipment are in proper working order.
Suing a Boat Owner for Defective Repairs in Miami
In many cases, boat owners are responsible for ensuring that their boat is seaworthy. Even if there were defects or problems with the vessel caused by negligent or defective repairs, the boat owner might still be responsible for injuries to passengers that those defects cause. This can help passengers who were injured on ferries, tour boats, cruise ships, and other vessels sue the boat owner for negligent maintenance issues.
If the boat owner was not aware of the defective repairs and was just as much a victim as you were, you might be able to sue the repair shop that performed the negligent repairs. Alternatively, you might be able to join both the boat owner and the repair shop in the lawsuit and let the court work out which one is responsible for damages.
These kinds of lawsuits could involve fires aboard the vessel, broken handrails, wobbly gangplanks, and other conditions on the ship that are outright unsafe. If defective repairs caused the boat to sink, capsize, run aground, or crash into something, you could also be entitled to sue for the injuries that accident causes.
Suing Another Boat for Accidents Caused by Dangerous Repairs in Miami
If you were sailing or piloting your own boat or were a passenger on a ship in good working order, you could still be injured because of other boaters with negligent repairs to their vessels. If you were hit by another boater who had dangerous, defective repairs performed on their vessel, you could be entitled to sue both the boater and the boat repair shop.
Again, the courts might be able to decide which party was negligent, allowing you to join both the boat operator and the repair shop in the lawsuit. The other boat operator could even file a cross-claim and agree that the repair shop was truly at fault.
In many cases where a boat crashes into you because of negligent repairs, there should have been warning signs that the ship was not working properly. If the pilot continued to take the boat out or refused to turn back to port, they could be responsible for what happens after that. However, the repair shop that made the negligent repairs in the first place might still be liable for what they did wrong.
Damages in Miami Boat Accident Cases Caused by Negligent Boat Repairs
To get compensation, the victim will need to offer evidence of the expenses that they incurred because of the accident, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Damages for medical bills commonly involve compensation for the emergency medical treatment you needed as well as the ongoing costs you will incur. If your injuries were very serious, you might need follow-up appointments, additional surgeries, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and more. Serious injuries could also require mental health counseling to treat post-traumatic stress symptoms. These care costs could all be included in a lawsuit for defective boat repair injuries.
If your injuries keep you from going back to work, you could be entitled to sue for the cost of lost wages. The wages you cannot receive while you are recovering from an injury could lead to substantial compensation. What often leads to even higher damages is the loss of ongoing wages. “Reduced earning capacity” refers to the reduction in ongoing wages that you might suffer if you had to take a lower-paying job with less-demanding physical tasks or if you cannot work at all because of your injury. These damages can be projected by a financial expert and claimed in a lawsuit.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages are separate from the economic damages in your case. These damages compensate you for the mental, emotional, and physical sensations you face. Explaining your pain and suffering to another person is often difficult, but your own testimony is one of the best pieces of evidence to explain these kinds of damages.
You can also claim damages for the lost enjoyment you face, new boat repairs, and other damages stemming from your accident.
In many cases, negligent boat repair companies and dangerous boat operators will try to settle a claim out of court. Alternatively, their insurance might try to settle the claim. These parties often make low settlement offers that might not cover your damages in full. If you accept a low settlement, you might not be able to go back to court to seek additional damages. Because of this, it is vital to have a lawyer review your case before you accept any money.
Comparative Fault in Miami Boat Accident Cases Caused by Defective Boat Maintenance
Florida law allows victims to sue multiple parties for injuries. As mentioned, you might be able to sue both the boat operator who took the dangerous vessel out onto the water as well as the repair company that performed negligent or dangerous maintenance. When you do this, the jury might apportion fault to each party, saying that the boat repair shop was responsible for a certain percentage of the harm and the boat operator was responsible for the rest of the harm.
In some cases, the boat operator will be you. The at-fault boat repair shop might claim that you contributed to your own injuries by failing to check your boat’s safety. First of all, their repairs may have still been dangerous, so any dangerous boat conditions you might have faced would still be their fault at the core. Second, they are trained experts in boat repair, and you likely are not, so there might be no expectation that you could even check their work to ensure the boat was safe.
If they do claim that you were partly responsible, this might not shut down your case. Florida law’s “pure comparative fault” system allows victims to claim damages for injuries even if they were partly at fault. The victim’s damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault they shared, but there is no threshold that blocks them from recovering. That means that if you were 15% responsible for the injuries you faced, you can still claim damages for the other 85% from the at-fault party. Even if you were 99% responsible, you can still claim damages for the other 1% of damages.
Talk to a Miami defective boat repair accident lawyer about who is at fault in your case. We can help present evidence to hold the right parties accountable so that we can claim damages through their insurance or their personal funds.
Call Our Miami Boat Accident Lawyers for Accidents Caused by Defective and Dangerous Repairs and Maintenance
If you have suffered injuries as a result of defective boat repair, you may be entitled to compensation. At Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind P.A., we place a client’s trust and confidence at the center of everything that we do. We can ensure that you receive the personalized and prompt legal counsel that you deserve. We have provided legal guidance to victims of boating accidents throughout the Miami area. To schedule a free consultation with our Miami attorney for boat accidents caused by defective repairs, call (305) 204-5369.