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Boating accidents, though seemingly harmless weekend pastimes, can easily turn fatal. In 2019 alone, there were about 4,168 recreational boating accidents in the U.S. which resulted in 613 deaths. When such devastating losses of life occur, grieving families often turn to wrongful death claims and lawsuits to find some accountability and recoup financial damages. Navigating the legal process involves key considerations.
Proving Negligence
The first requirement in any wrongful death boating claim is to establish negligence. This means proving that an individual or party failed to provide reasonable care or take proper precautions, directly resulting in the victim’s death. Common examples of negligence in boating accidents include intoxicated operators, dangerous overloading of passengers, lack of safety measures and poor maintenance. Concrete evidence is required.
Identifying Potential Defendants
The defendant in fatal boating claims can include the boat’s operator, owner, mechanic, manufacturer or rental company. Identify the action (or lack of action) that resulted in negligence causing the death. Then determine whom to hold legally accountable. For instance, was the operator speeding or under the influence? The owner may still share responsibility for enabling an incompetent or impaired operator to use the boat.
Calculating Compensable Damages
If negligence is established, the next phase involves calculating the economic and non-economic damages entitled to surviving family members in a wrongful death suit. Compensation varies by state but can include medical and funeral costs, lost future earnings and benefits, loss of companionship or guidance and emotional distress. An expert lawyer can zealously seek full damages.
Filing a Timely Claim
Strict statutes of limitations apply to wrongful death cases, requiring suits to be filed between 1 to 6 years typically. This compressed timeline leaves little time to grieve before needing to make complex legal decisions. Furthermore, specific rules govern how and when notification must occur identifying who planned to file suit and for what reasons. Navigating these nuanced rules is critical.
The Value of Experts
Given the several liability issues, maritime complexities and short limitations, securing knowledgeable legal experts is highly advisable when pursuing compensation in a wrongful death boating accident. An experienced maritime attorney from Denmon Pearlman can identify negligence, overcome disputing accounts, maximize damages and work strategically to negotiate favorable settlement offers without going to trial. With strong counsel, families can find both accountability and adequate compensation after losing someone so tragically.
The grieving process takes time after losing someone dear. Yet it matters to also understand the options available and milestones ahead when filing a wrongful death suit related to a fatal recreational boating accident. An expert attorney from Denmon Pearlman Law can help guide each step, while fighting tirelessly on a family’s behalf. It cannot replace who they lost but can still make a meaningful difference during an enormously challenging time. With our legal team, securing some accountability and financial compensation may at least help bring a small measure of peace.
Visit the offices of Denmon Pearlman Law here:
• Tampa – 2504 W Crest Ave, Tampa, FL 33614
• St. Petersburg – 520 2nd Ave South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701
• New Port Richey – 5703 Main Street, New Port Richey, FL 34652
• Brooksville – 1790 E Jefferson St., Brooksville, FL 34601
• Seminole – 5290 Seminole Blvd. Suite D, St. Petersburg, FL 33708
Call now for a free consultation on (800) 800-4300.

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