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Boating Accident in a Friend or Relative’s Watercraft

Millions of boaters take to the waters each year in the United States. They fish, cruise, water ski and tube or wakeboard for fun.

Under the law, those at the helm of these watercrafts are responsible for the safety of the people on board their vessel, as well as the safety of people in other boats or even swimmers and divers. In other words, the captain of a boat is responsible not only for his boat’s seaworthiness, but for operating it with everyone’s safety in mind.

Expensive Errors

When pleasure boat captains make mistakes that end up injuring someone else, they are held responsible under the law. Often, if those injured are close friends or relatives of the captain, the victims may hesitate to file suit for their injuries against him or her due to their close relationship. However, as medical costs, lost wages and loss of future earning capacity hit home, they may regret their decision not to pursue a claim…As they suffer for the loss of their capacity to enjoy life due to pain and suffering, disfigurement and/or the loss of their ability to engage in the daily activities they used to enjoy, their attitude towards the whole situation may start to change….

Should I Sue My Friend or Relative?

It is not difficult to understand anyone’s hesitation to pursue financial compensation from a dear friend or a close relative. After all, accidents are the result of unintended actions and the captain certainly had no intention to harm them.

However, as their life changes because of the accident, they may start to regret the decision not to sue and they may see the very thing they thought to avoid start happening: a deterioration of the relationship with their friend or relative….

You Are Seeking Financial Compensation From Their Insurance Company, Not Them

This mistake, I believe, is caused by ignorance of how the claim’s process works. Technically speaking, when you file an insurance claim, the named defendant will be your close friend or relative. However, it is their insurance company who stands in their place. That is what your friend or relative contracted for: to have their insurance carrier pay, at least to the limits of their policy, for the financial consequences of the covered accident.

This is why the daughter of a man who drowned in a recent boating accident sued her own brother: it was the only way she could gain access to the compensation she deserved. Not from her brother’s money, but from the insurance company that contracted to cover him in case of a boating accident. Therefore, a close friend or family relationship does not have to be affected by a claim. They should understand this, and so should you.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating or other watercraft accident, you should immediately contact a law firm experienced in handling these cases. The Miami Dade County Boating and Watercraft Accidents Law Offices of Greenberg, Stone & Urbano has throughout the years represented many clients involved fatal accidents, traumatic brain injuries and serious personal injuries. Visit our website to learn more about us and contact us today for a free consultation.

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