Boat Accident Lawyer Orlando
When many people think about Florida and boating, they think about the extensive coastlines and beaches that make our state such a wonderful vacation destination. However, Florida is also home to countless inland waterways, rivers, lakes, and groves that can provide for endless adventures by boat. If you are a boat owner and are familiar with the areas around Orlando, such as Lake Apopka, or further north in Ocala National Forest, then you already know what so many people don’t: Florida is a paradise for inland boating fun.
However, boating comes with many risks, regardless of how experienced and responsible you may be as a boat operator. Other boaters pose a significant risk to your safety, especially when they are inexperienced, reckless, or under the influence of alcohol or other drugs. In the event that you are involved in a boating accident that someone else caused, for any reason, then you have a right to be compensated for ALL of the damages that you incur.
Hire a Boat Accident Lawyer in Orlando Today
The team at Fasig | Brooks is here to help you navigate this complicated time in your life so that you can focus on the most important things like your physical recovery and your personal needs. We offer a free initial consultation to victims of boating accidents so that we can speak in detail about your injuries, the impacts that the accident has had on your life, and how we can help you starting today.
Read more below to get a general idea of how these types of personal injury cases go and contact us now to schedule your own free initial consultation immediately. The sooner we are able to work together, the more time we will have to build a comprehensive case that will help us negotiate aggressively to get you the money that you deserve.
What To Expect From a Personal Injury Case After a Boating Accident in Florida
Any type of accident can be terrifying, but a boating accident can be especially scary because of the fact that you are surrounded by water, meaning that in addition to your injuries there is the issue of drowning (or in colder waters, hypothermia). This experience is understandably traumatic, which can have many subtle impacts on your daily life moving forward. You deserve support in the uncertain days ahead, and hiring a personal injury attorney is one of the best ways to eliminate additional and avoidable stressors.
Filing an Insurance Claim
From the moment that you file a claim with the responsible party’s insurance company, the insurance company will spring into action in order to identify all possible ways to limit their financial obligations. This means that they will attempt to use any statement that you make, any injuries that you report, and any misstep you make in the process as justification to withhold compensation that you are rightfully entitled to. When an attorney is handling the process on your behalf, you can rest easy knowing that an experienced legal professional is fighting for you.
One of the things that your attorney will not be able to do for you is to undergo an independent medical exam, often mandated by the insurance company to verify your injuries. However, your attorney will be able to advise you on things that you should and should not say or do since the reality of this exam is that the doctor is contracted by the insurance company to poke holes in your claim.
Negotiating a Settlement
Once the insurance company concludes their investigation, they will make an initial settlement offer that will be shockingly low compared to the estimations that you and your attorney have made. Many people accept this offer without realizing that this isn’t their best chance of getting a payment or are unwilling or unable to negotiate on their own. Your legal representative from Fasig | Brooks will use this opportunity to initiate a series of aggressive negotiations that account for all of the damages that you have suffered.
Ideally, you will be able to reach a settlement agreement instead of being forced to file a lawsuit and prepare for a time-consuming and costly court case and trial. Typically a settlement that a victim accepts is lower than what they likely would have been awarded at the end of a trial, but this tradeoff makes sense when considering the complexities of the Florida court system.
Filing a Lawsuit
In the event that your attorney and the insurance company are unable to reach a reasonable agreement and you are approaching the statute of limitations, the only option may be to file a lawsuit and take your case to court. If this is the case for your situation, you and your lawyer will have had ongoing conversations leading up to this point so that you will both be on the same page and have agreed that this is the best path forward.
Remember that filing a lawsuit does not mean that you will have to go to trial; in fact, an estimated 50% of lawsuits are resolved before trial. The process involves an extensive discovery phase, where all relevant parties may submit to depositions and sworn affidavits, each side is able to request key documents, and more. As this process goes forward, it may become clear that one side may not have very good chances of a positive outcome, at which point they become much more willing to negotiate a settlement.
Frequently Asked Questions About Boating Accidents in Florida
How much is my boating accident claim worth?
In order to determine how much any personal injury claim is worth, you will need to go through a wide range of factors that are highly specific to your own circumstances. This begins with calculating the total cost of your medical costs, as well as any of the impacts to your earning abilities, both short-term and long-term. These are just a few of the many economic damages that will go into your claim amount.
In addition, you will need to consider the “intangible” impacts of your accident like your pain and suffering, and other emotional and physiological effects of your injuries. These are more complicated to calculate but equally important for your case.
Will I need to go to trial for my boat accident claim?
In some estimates, fewer than 5% of all personal injuries end in a trial, which is a pretty reliable indication of what your own experience may be but is certainly not a guarantee. The sooner that we are able to begin our work together, the more time we will have to work towards a settlement instead of needing to rely on the courts to decide on your behalf. In very specific instances, though, it may make sense to file a lawsuit immediately.
Should I agree to settle with the insurance company?
As we have mentioned repeatedly, it is commonly our goal to reach a settlement agreement instead of going to court. However, this is not the same thing as accepting the initial offer from the insurance company. We will negotiate with the insurance company so that we can make certain that you get the money you actually deserve, and not just what the insurance company would like to pay.