Your Boating Accident & Collision Attorney in Florida

A boating accident or collision between a boat, yacht, or any other type of vessel, with another vessel or a stationary object, i.e. jetty, breakwater, pier, etc., and resulting watersports injury can occur on any navigable waters or even interior bodies of water not connected to the ocean. These types of incidents can result in serious injuries that leave victims with large medical bills, financial struggles, physical pain, and emotional suffering. The laws governing accidents involving boats, personal watercraft, yachts, and even other recreational vessels such as Jet Skis and WaveRunners can be extraordinarily challenging to navigate from a litigation standpoint because such claims will be governed by admiralty and maritime laws which are often archaic and esoteric on your own. Contact an experienced boat accident attorney at Brais Law Firm to help you since we have vast experience representing individuals and families that have suffered losses and damages in water-related accidents and collisions.

Liability Explained by a Boat Collision Lawyer

Liability for yacht and boat collisions can be divided into 3 categories: (1) violation of safety or navigation rules; (2) failure to abide by recognized customs and uses in the area; and (3) failure to follow general concepts of prudent seamanship and reasonable care.

Collisions involving yachts, boats, and personal watercrafts PWC are generally caused by one or both operators’ failure to abide by the federally prescribed navigational and/or safety rules. When a vessel operator violates a safety or navigational rule this triggers “The Pennsylvania Rule” Where normally a person injured due to a marine casualty bears the burden of proving his or her liability case (i.e., that the other side caused the collision and injuries), the Pennsylvania Rule shifts the burden to the operator to prove that his or her violation of a safety or navigational rule could not have been a contributing cause.  In short, the law punishes those who disobey these regulations by presuming them at fault. The only way the violator can rebut this presumption is by proving that the violation “could not have contributed in the slightest degree to the accident” — something rarely accomplished. Violations that trigger this presumption include:

  • Not having the appropriate licenses,
  • Failing to display appropriate lights,
  • Disobeying navigational rules (“Rules of the Road”),
  • Not sounding the appropriate horn signals in limited visibility situations,
  • Not keeping a lookout,
  • Failing to monitor radar, and
  • Not maintaining a safe or posted speed.

There can also be a shifting of the burden of proof from an injured party to an offending party when an operator strikes a stationary object.  Hereto, the law imposes a burden upon an operator who strikes a stationary object, essentially assuming the operator is at fault. The presumption is referred to as the Oregon Rule.

The second-way liability can be imposed is when an operator fails to follow recognized navigational customs in the area where the collision occurred. Customs, no matter how well entrenched in the area, are not rules and cannot serve to trigger a rebuttable presumption. However, if it is shown that an operator failed to follow the area’s custom for the particular navigational situation, s/he will be deemed liable.

The final situation liability may be imposed in the absence of a statutory or custom violation is when an operator fails to follow general concepts of prudent seamanship and reasonable care. This standard is applied on a case-by-case basis, considering the circumstances and whether a prudent operator would have acted similarly. Should it be determined that the operator did or did not do something a reasonably prudent operator would have done, then s/he will be found liable for the collision.

A person injured due to a boat or yacht collision is entitled to a wide range of damages, including payment of medical bills, lost wages, loss of the enjoyment of life, as well as pain and suffering. Damages for wrongful deaths arising from a collision depend upon the person’s “status” aboard the vessel (e.g., crewmember, passenger or guest) and where the death occurred (inland waterways, navigable waterways but within 3 nautical miles, navigable waters beyond 3 nautical miles).

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Pursue Your Boat Collision Claim With A Boat Collision Lawyer Before the Clock Runs Out

Federal law requires that personal injury and death claims resulting from a collision on navigable waters must be filed within three (3) years from the date of the accident.  If your claim is governed by General Maritime Law, timeframes within which to bring suit under state laws should not apply.

Millions Recovered

6.6 Million Watersports Injury

19.9 Million Resort Guest Injury

2.9 Million Crew Member Injury

9.8 Million Resort Guest Death

6.8 Million Crew Member Injury

2.2 Million Cruise Member Sexual Assault

1.3 Million Tug & Barge Crew Member Death

1.1 Million Jet Ski Injury

Have You Been Injured in a Boat Accident or Injured in a Watersport Accident?

Our firm handles all types of accidents and collisions involving boats, yachts, and recreational personal watercrafts, including claims involving:

Personal Watercraft Accidents

Accidents involving Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and other personal watercraft can be caused by many different factors. Some of the most common causes include improper or insufficient training as required by Florida statute by a livery or rental company, speeding, reckless operation, distractions, alcohol use, and failure to follow navigational rules often referred to as the “Rules of the Road”. Individuals who are injured because of the negligence of a watersports rental company or other operator may be entitled to recover compensation for their injuries.

Ferry, Tour Boat, and Charter Vessel Guest Accidents

Our firm has vast experience representing individuals who have been injured on ferries, tour boats, and charter vessels. We handle all types of claims, ranging from slip and fall accidents on wet decks and passengers falling overboard to physical and sexual assaults. Because the attorneys with our firm have decades of experience representing ferry, tour boat and charter guests, we know how to navigate the treacherous waters of a maritime injury claim.

Boating Collisions

Boating collisions are between two vessels. When a boat or any vessel, however, strikes a stationary object like a jetty, breakwater or pier it is more appropriately called an “allision” and not a collision. Boat collisions and allisions are more common than we would like to think. In fact, according to U.S. Coast Guard reports, nearly 4,500 recreational boating accidents occurred in 2016 alone. Whether the boating accident, collision or allision involved a motorboat, pontoon, canoe, kayak, or other recreational vessel, the single most important decision most often controlling the outcome of any later lawsuit is retention of a well-qualified, preferably board-certified maritime attorney.

Yacht Accidents

Yacht owners and operators are required to comply with a host of U.S. Coast Guard safety regulations, including navigational rules. When these rules and laws are violated and an accident occurs, operators and owners can be presumed at fault with the burden of proof shifting and an boat or yacht owner or operator having to prove their safety rule violation could not have caused the resulting injury or harm.  This is referred to as the “Pennsylvania Rule”. At Brais Law Firm, we understand U.S. Coast Guard navigational rules and safety laws. When a yacht accident occurs, we undertake a complete examination so that we can help our clients recover the compensation to which they are entitled.

Defective Watercraft Cases

Defective Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and other personal watercraft products can be extraordinarily dangerous. Not only can operators and passengers suffer serious injuries when a watercraft malfunctions or goes out of control, but people who are swimming in surrounding areas can also be hurt or even killed. These types of claims involve complicated facts, and there may be multiple parties who are legally responsible for the injuries. Our firm knows how to investigate defective watercraft cases thoroughly, and we pursue all available legal avenues on behalf of our clients.

Sightseeing and Dinner Cruise Accidents

Whether it’s a snorkeling adventure, sunset sail, or a private party on the water, sightseeing, and dinner cruises are popular activities for vacationers and residents alike. Unfortunately, passengers and crew members can suffer serious injuries when the operators of these voyages are negligent. At Brais Law Firm, we understand the complex body of laws (known as maritime law) governing accidents and injuries that occur on the water. If you have been injured on a sightseeing or dinner cruise, our team will examine your case from every angle so that we can build a powerful case on your behalf.

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Brais Law Firm Represents People Injured During Common Recreational Boating Accidents

The boating accident and collision lawyers at Brais Law Firm have decades of combined experience representing clients injured as a result of boating accidents, collisions, allisions and groundings. We have successfully helped clients recover the compensation they deserve for a broad range of boating and watercraft accidents, including: 

  • Collisions 
  • Falling overboard
  • Capsizing 
  • Fire and explosions 
  • Allisions and groundings
  • Sinking and flooding accidents 
  • Physical and sexual assaults
  • Unsafe Conditions

Boating can lead to a broad range of accidents or collisions.  Whether the vessel was on a navigable waterway, the vessel’s captain or operator possessed adequate training and experience, the vessel was reasonably well maintained and operated in a reasonably safe manner will play a major role in determining liability. When another party owes a responsibility to you and breaches that responsibility, causing the accident that led to your injury, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.

We Also Negotiate and Litigate on Behalf of Boating and Watercraft Employees

Individuals who are injured while enjoying recreational boating or watercraft are not the only ones hurt in these circumstances. Employees of the companies that provide these services may also be subjected to injuries. For example, boat and yacht crew are entitled as a matter of law to a reasonably fit vessel and crew, meaning co-workers. A marine employer can be held liable for the negligence of a crewmember injuring another crewmember.

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Proving Negligence in A Boat Accident

Negligence is comprised of the following four parts:

Duty

A vessel owner, operator, captain and renter of a watercraft, whether a boat, Jet Ski or WaveRunner owe a duty of reasonable care to adhere to all safety regulations, including navigational rules and all safety statutes to maintain their vessel and ensure it is operated in a reasonably safe manner. Crew aboard a vessel or yacht are owed an additional duty of a vessel owner / employer providing a seaworthy vessel and crew.

Breach

The breach of duty must have been the legal, sometimes referred to as the “proximate cause” of the accident or incident that caused your injury, such as when poor maintenance creates unsafe conditions or necessary safety equipment is not provided for potentially harmful activities. 

Causation

The breach of duty must have been the cause of the accident or incident that caused your injury, such as when poor maintenance creates unsafe conditions or necessary safety equipment is not provided for potentially harmful activities 

Damages

The injury that resulted from the accident caused by the breach of duty must lead to damages that you can prove by a greater weight of the evidence and will generally include medical costs, lost wages and lost earning potential, past and future pain and suffering, and in some cases, even punitive damages if there was willful, arbitrary or callous indifference leading to the claimed injuries.

For example, if you have rented a boat or watercraft, including a Jet Ski or WaveRunner from a private rental company, referred to as a Livery, you are owed a duty of care from the owner / renter of the vessel to maintain the vessel and comply with all duties of a Livery, including proper safety instructions with respect to safe operation of the vessel. If the owner of the vessel breaches this duty, and the breach causes injury or harm, he or she should be held liable for the related damages. Your boating accident lawyer will gather whatever evidence is available in support of your case to produce the highest possible compensation for your damages. 

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Common Causes of Boating Accidents

The severity of our injuries circumstances that led to your boating accident or collision will determine the amount of damages to which you are entitled. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include: 

  • Insufficient or poorly maintained shipboard equipment
  • Negligent or Reckless operation of a boat or other vessel
  • Failure to follow weather warnings and indicators 
  • Poor maintenance of boats and watercraft 
  • Operating in congested areas result in accidents 
  • Intoxicated operation of a boat or watercraft 
  • Overcrowding the boat 
  • Inattentive or distracted boating 
Keith S. Brais

Harvard University notes that distracted boating is ranked as the 5th-ranked concern in the boating community in relation to the prevention of boating accidents. Others who are operating boats and watercraft have a duty to follow the rules and laws that apply and also to be responsible. When another driver violates their duty to drive safely and attentively, causing an accident that injures you, you may be entitled to payment for the costs and damages linked to the accident. You do not automatically receive compensation from the party responsible for the accident, but instead, you’ll have to file and win a lawsuit. Separate from your personal injury damages, insurance may compensate for property damages, but hereto a lawsuit may need to be filed. Because maritime personal injury claims are governed by maritime law, suit must be filed within the three (3) statute of limitations under general maritime law. Failure to file a claim in a timely fashion will subject any untimely claim to dismissal for being untimely.

The Insurance Company Works for Profit, Not for You

When you have been injured while enjoying recreational boating and watercraft or while working in the maritime industry, you’ll generally be seeking compensation from the third party tortfeasor, i.e., the operator of the other vessel, renter of the Jet Ski or your employer if a crewmember, In nearly every instance, the party you sue will be insured by a marine underwriter, also known as an insurance company.  Marine Underwriters aka insurance companies increase their profit margins by collecting premiums and pay as few claims as possible.  This means you can rest assured the defendant you sue will have defense counsel appointed by their / its insurance company, who will fight hard with two objectives in mind; pay nothing or as little as possible no matters the severity of your injuries. For all of these reasons you need well qualified counsel in the event of a marine casualty.

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3 Steps to Determine Liability for Recreational Boating Accidents

If you need to file a claim for any type of boating accident, collision or marine casualty, you must first determine what type of claim to file.

Boating accidents and collisions can occur under a wide range of circumstances and involve a wide range of issues, and this means that a wide range of parties can potentially be responsible.

When you hire a boating accident and collision attorney to represent you, he will go through a multi-step process to determine how he or she can prove liability and obtain just compensation on your behalf. The steps in this process are:

  • Determining the cause of the accident
  • Determining who (or what company) is responsible
  • Determining the extent of the injuries and available sources to recover against, whether the captain/ operator of the other vessel, owner of the vessel perhaps under a claim of negligent entrustment, or renter of a Jet Ski for failing to provide safety instructions as required by Statute

Step #1: Determining the Cause of the Accident

Determining liability for a recreational boating accident starts with determining the accident’s cause. This involves conducting an investigation as soon as possible before witnesses and evidence “go missing.” In many instances, the attorney representing you should hire an experienced marine safety expert. Once hired, your attorney will likely send the marine accident investigator to examine the scene and each of the boats or personal watercraft involved. 

Your legal counsel should also gather as much documentation regarding your marine casualty as soon as possible from the U.S. Coast Guard, Florida Wildlife Commission (aka FWC) and any local authorities who conducted an investigation. Based on the evidence gathered, your attorney will then work to identify the factors that led to the accident or collision. Common causes of recreational boating accidents include:

  • Failing to follow navigational rules
  • Boating under the influence (BUI)
  • Failing to maintain and/or use navigational equipment
  • Distracted boating (including talking on the phone, taking pictures, and talking to passengers)
  • Failing to maintain a proper lookout
  • Entrusting the operation of a vessel to an Inexperienced captain/ operator
  • Failing to maintain a vessel in a seaworthy condition
  • Overloading a vessel with too many passengers
  • Failing to man a vessel in accordance with a certificate of inspection per the U.S.C.G. 

While these are among the most common causes of recreational boating and watercraft accidents, they are by no means the only potential factors. To protect your legal rights, you need to work with an experienced boating accident and collision lawyer who can evaluate all potential causes based on his or her knowledge of boat and watercraft design, safe boat operation, weather and water conditions, and maritime liability laws.

Step #2: Determining Who (or What Company) is Responsible

Based on the factor (or factors) that caused your accident, your boat accident attorney should be able to determine who (or what company) is responsible. As expanded upon in the list below, the responsible person could be someone onboard the vessel on which you were riding, someone onboard another vessel, i.e., the offending vessel, or some other third party, i.e., perhaps the person/ entity who rented out the vessel or performed maintenance in a non-workmanlike manner. Initial considerations include: in which court suit should be filed and how many parties should be named as defendants. These are critical questions—if the proper claim is not filed or even if it is, but in the wrong jurisdiction, your claim may be dismissed for a variety of reasons. Depending on the cause of a recreational boating or watercraft accident, the parties that may be liable include:

  • The captain or operator of the boat that hit your boat
  • The owner of the boat that hit you or your boat, regardless if the owner was aboard the offending vessel at the time of the marine casualty
  • The captain, a crewmember, or another passenger of the boat in which you were riding
  • A boat manufacturer, marina, or maintenance company who failed to effect proper repairs

Similar to the list of possible causes above, these are just examples of possible responsible parties.

Step #3: Determining The Recoverability of a Claim, Whether Through Insurance or Not

After your attorney determines legal responsibility for your injuries, he can then focus on determining the likelihood of settling or recovering in the event a trial becomes necessary due to recalcitrance on the defendant’s part. In the vast majority of cases, boat accident claims are resolved through insurance settlement negotiations. If the party that is responsible for your recreational boating or watercraft accident has liability insurance, recovering just compensation will most likely involve dealing with that party’s insurance company, failing which your attorney should be prepared to try your case.

There are several ways to determine what insurance coverage is available following a recreational boating or watercraft accident.  

Most states, including Florida, have a statute that typically requires a defendant in a marine casualty to turn over all insurance details concerning available coverage.  If a marine underwriter refuses to disclose available insurance, formal discovery requests can follow in a later lawsuit.

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Insurance Claims for Recreational Boating Accidents

Let’s focus for a moment on the most common scenario: You were injured in a recreational boating accident, and you have a claim against either a vessel operator or a vessel owner. Most recreational boat and watercraft owners and operators will have liability insurance. While boat insurance is not required in Florida, responsible boaters will carry insurance to protect themselves (and others) in the event of an accident. So, let’s say your injuries are the result of an operator who has insurance to conditionally cover your claim if the insured is deemed at fault. What happens now? Once your boat accident attorney investigates and determines liability, he or she will present a claim pre-suit or file a lawsuit to protect your interests.

As soon as a marine casualty occurs, the insured (i.e., captain, operator, etc.) will contact his or her insurer, who will promptly appoint “panel counsel” to defend the insured.  This usually results in the attorneys appointed by the insurer conducting an investigation before you even retail counsel.  But, while your attorney’s investigation will focus on uncovering the facts, the insurance company’s investigation will focus on finding any possible way to pay nothing or as little as possible no matter the severity of your injuries, including even death.  After conducting its investigation, the insurance company, based upon the recommendations of appointed defense counsel, will make a determination whether to fight the claim / lawsuit or not.    Insurance companies do not make it a practice to voluntarily resolve cases out of the goodness of their hearts.  There is a strong likelihood you will need an experienced maritime attorney to fight on your behalf.

Assuming a marine underwriter (aka insurance company) has decided not to  fight your claim, the next step is to agree upon the amount of a claim often called damages.  Hereto, insurance companies will very often “low ball” your claim, which by itself may require you to hire maritime counsel.  Alternatively, the marine underwriter has decided to fight your claim, in which case you will still be required to hire an experienced maritime attorney if you decide to pursue a claim.  It is essential that you work closely with your attorney during this stage of the process. The more you can do to help prove your losses, the more you will be able to recover. If the insurance company makes a settlement offer, your boat accident law firm will help you decide whether to accept it. If you accept, you will receive a settlement check, and your claim will be over. If you reject the offer and the insurance company refuses to offer more, your claim will need to proceed to court.

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Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer as Soon as Possible After Your Accident

The experienced maritime attorneys at Brais Law Firm have decades of combined experience working with personal injury and wrongful death claims resulting from boating accidents, collisions and recreational boating casualties.

Whether your injury happened while onboard a boat, yacht, Jet Ski or WaveRunner, you could be entitled to compensation for your damages. Determining the amount to which you are entitled and whether or not a boat owner, operator of livery (the person or entity renting out a personal watercraft) or their insurance company will pay you depends upon the facts of your case and who you hire as your attorney.

A boat accident attorney at Brais Law will gather evidence from all witnesses, parties and investigative agencies involved. This includes reports of the incident, as well as maintenance records for the watercraft or boat and any other related practices that could have mitigated the risk of your injury. It is important to contact a lawyer as soon as you can after receiving medical care because time is not your friend and witnesses and evidence go missing. The sooner your boat accident lawyer from Brais Law Firm is hired and begins to work on your behalf, the more likely your claim will end favorably. 

Schedule a Free Consultation With One of Our Boat Accident Attorneys at Brais Law Firm Today

When you are hurt in a recreational boating or water sports accident, it can be difficult to figure out who you can turn to for help. The attorneys at Brais Law Firm have decades of combined experience helping people who have been injured in all types of boating accidents. Call us today to schedule an appointment with our boating injury lawyers.

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FAQs

Seeking Financial Compensation for a Recreational Boating Accident

What Should You Do if Someone Hits Your Boat?

How Can You Prove That Another Boat Hit Yours?

Is It Worth Getting a Boat Accident Attorney?

How Much is a Boating Accident Lawyer from Brais Injury Law?

What are the Costs Involved in Pursuing a Boat Accident Claim?

What is the First Thing To Do When You’re in a Boat Accident?

What Should You Do When You’re in a Boat Accident in Florida?

What is the Most Common Type of Boat Accident?

What are Most Boat Accident Attorney Fees?

What Should You Do if Someone Hits Your Boat?

If someone hits your boat, there are some important steps you should try to take right away. This is true whether the incident happens at a marina, boat landing, dock, or on the open water. After undertaking all immediately needed lifesaving efforts, you should call the U.S. Coast Guard or the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Division of Law Enforcement from the scene. You should exchange identification and insurance information with the other boater. You should take lots of photos and videos, if possible of the scene and, in particular, the relative positions of the vessels after the boating accident. If you were injured in the accident, you should seek medical treatment promptly, and you should talk to an attorney as soon as possible. U.S. Coast Guard regulations require that all serious marine casualties be reported to the U.S.C.G. Separately, taking these additional steps will very likely help maximize your chances of obtaining just compensation.

How Can You Prove That Another Boat Hit Yours?

Proving that another boat hit yours requires evidence, most often in the form of witness, marine electronics (which can be downloaded for all GPS data), and photos and videos, both immediately before and afterwards. While you can’t use skid marks like you could after a car accident, there are still plenty of ways to prove which boater is responsible for a collision. For example, the location of impact points on each vessel, the extent of the damage to each vessel, eyewitness reports, and video footage can all be used to prove liability for a recreational boating or watercraft accident.

Is It Worth Getting a Boat Accident Attorney?

If you’ve been injured in a recreational boating or watercraft accident, it is absolutely worth talking to a lawyer about your legal rights. Firstly, it costs you nothing. Secondly, you or a loved one may have substantial financial burdens with regard to future medical care. Thirdly, the injuries may be so severe that there should rightfully be clams for loss of enjoyment of life. An experienced attorney will be able to determine who (or what company) is responsible, accurately estimate your losses, and fight to recover just compensation on your behalf.

How Much is a Boating Accident Lawyer from Brais Injury Law?

A common question that potential clients ask us is whether or not they can afford our services for the entirety of their case. The answer is if we take your case: yes, of course. Your initial consultation is free, during which time we’ll collect some basic information about your injuries, your employer (in cases involving employee injuries), and the incident or accident that led to your claim. If we determine that we are able to take your case, we will go over engagement options, which may include taking your case on contingency. That means we only get paid if we obtain a recovery on your behalf in which case a percentage of the recovery represents our compensation. We’re happy to answer any questions that you might have about the terms of our representation during your initial consultation. To get the most out of your time, it can be helpful to have a list of questions ready as well as any evidence related to the case handy for review.

What are the Costs Involved in Pursuing a Boat Accident Claim?

Pursuing a boat accident claim can entail various costs. For example, your lawyer may need to hire an investigator and/or marine liability expert. At Brais Law Firm, we advance these costs while our clients’ claims are pending, and we only recover them if we help our clients recover just compensation. As a result, you are guaranteed to pay nothing out-of-pocket when you hire our firm to represent you.

What is the First Thing To Do When You’re in a Boat Accident?

When you are involved in a boating accident, the first thing to do is to stop the vessel. Do not move to a new location. You should contact the U.S. Coast Guard or the local authorities (i.e., the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission or FWC), and you should wait for them to arrive at the scene. While you are waiting for the U.S. Coast Guard or local authorities to arrive, you should undertake all needed lifesaving efforts and administer first aid as warranted, take photos and videos (if you can do so safely), and try to obtain the other boater’s insurance information.

What Should You Do When You’re in a Boat Accident in Florida?

Once the U.S. Coast Guard or FWC conducts its preliminary investigation, you will be free to leave unless a crime is suspected. If your boat is still seaworthy, you can captain it back to the dock, boat landing or marina. Take additional photos of your boat here as well, placing particular emphasis on documenting the damage from multiple angles. If you were injured in the accident, you should next go to your doctor’s office or the hospital. It is important you obtain a diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. Then, once you are stable, you should write down everything you remember about your boat accident, and you should contact a boat accident lawyer to arrange a free initial consultation.

What is the Most Common Type of Boat Accident?

According to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, collisions between recreational vessels are the most common type of boat accident, this is followed by collisions with fixed objects, groundings, flooding or swamping, and falls overboard. The U.S. Coast Guard's data indicate that the most common causes of recreational boat accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use

It is not a coincidence that collisions between recreational vessels are the most common boat accidents and operator inattention is the most common boat accident cause. Inattentive, or distracted, boating is far too common, and it only takes a split-second distraction to create a dangerous situation on the water. As a result, distracted boaters regularly cause collisions when they are not focused on the task at hand.

What are Most Boat Accident Attorney Fees?

Most lawyers (including ours) handle personal injury and wrongful death claims from boating accidents and collisions on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay any up-front costs or hourly fees. Instead, your boat accident attorney will very often advance the costs of pursuing your claim, and your lawyer will only recoup the advanced costs and collect a fee if a recovery is obtained on your behalf. The Florida Bar regulates the contingency fee an attorney can charge. When you schedule your free initial consultation at Brais Law Firm, we will explain our fee structure in detail. If you choose our firm to represent you, we will let you know exactly how much you will take home from any settlement offers you may receive, and we will help you make an informed decision about whether to accept or keep fighting for more.

Who Will be Handling my Case?

Your case will be handled by an experienced personal injury attorney who knows what it takes to get the results you deserve. The practitioners at our firm have nearly 50 years of collective experience in the fields of maritime and personal injury law. Our credentials and qualifications are extensive, including an “AV” Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell and membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. More importantly, we have a first-hand understanding of how insurance carriers operate because we represented clients insured with major insurance companies for nearly 20 years before we made a choice to change sides so that we could help the people who need us most – individuals just like you. Learn more.

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Cruise Ship Crew Member Injury

"I was in pain for a good 6 months, it was just a nightmare. It wasn't until I got Mr. Brais that I really started getting the help I needed from the doctors. You need somebody you can trust, somebody to give you some guidance. They stuck in there with me the whole way."

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I highly recommend Brais Law Firm

"I highly recommend Brais Law Firm. Their professionalism and expertise were top notch. My slip and fall injury case involved a well known cruise ship and was nerve racking to me. They calmed all my fears and walked me through step by step. In the end they helped me obtain a favorable recovery. Look no further, call them with your Maritime case!!!"

— P.C.

Tug & Barge Crew Member Death

"I just thought he [Mr. Brais] was the man to do it. I felt comfortable with him being by my side. The pain my family has suffered has been immeasurable, but he was there with me. It’s not just him, it’s his team also. Keith really stood up for my son. I know I made the best choice."

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I recommend Keith Brais

"I was in an accident where I was struck by a boat and boat propeller. The Brais Law Firm represented me in a very professional manner. I am very satisfied with the service and support I received from the firm and happy with the results they achieved. I recommend Keith Brais and his firm to anyone needing representation related to a maritime personal injury."

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Resort Guest Injury

"As we worked with Keith, I realized what would have happened had we just selected an attorney in town…I realized that the outcome would have been probably entirely different, and not as successful as it was. I felt very comfortable going through with the whole process. I would say Keith is a superhero."

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