Florida is annually subject to thousands of incidents of boating and maritime claims in which people are injured or killed on the water as a direct result of the negligence of boat owners or watercraft operators. Under Florida law, it is the obligation of every boat owner to maintain and operate their watercraft, i.e. boat, sailboat, powerboat, yacht, jet ski, wave runner, hovercraft, etc., in a reasonable manner that will not endanger the lives of those on board, on nearby boats, or in the water.
The Russo Firm represents not only the victims of recreational boating accidents, but also litigates on behalf of victims who have sustained injuries aboard cruise ships.
Elements of a Personal Injury Lawsuit
The elements of proof necessary to bring a successful personal injury claim are as follows:
(1) the other party was negligent, reckless, or acted in an intentional manner;
(2) your injury was caused by that other party’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act; and
(3) you have suffered damages.
How does The Russo Firm prove those elements to succeed in winning your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Our legal team will gather all the necessary evidence to prove your claim. This includes taking photographs and video of the accident scene and your injuries, obtaining incident or accident reports, securing all medical records and bills, and speaking to witnesses to confirm the negligence of the other party. At the proper time, the records, bills and evidence is presented to the insurance company and we attempt negotiate a fair settlement for you. If we can’t settle your case to your satisfaction, then we file a lawsuit on your behalf, conduct further discovery, and present your case to a jury.
How you get started on your Personal Injury Lawsuit
The Russo Firm provides a free confidential case consultation to all clients. If we are hired, we work on a contingency fee basis governed by The Florida Bar. All lawyers working on a contingency fee are subject to the same fees set by the Florida Bar. The contingency fees range from 20% to 40% depending upon the settlement amount of your case.
Statutes of Limitations and other restrictions on your Personal Injury Lawsuit
All states impose a time limit on when you must file your personal injury claim. This is known as a “Statute of Limitations”. For example, in Florida, the injured person has four (4) years to file a lawsuit for injuries in automobile accidents and slip and fall premise liability accidents. However, if the incident or accident causes death, the injured person only has two (2) years to file a lawsuit.
There are further restrictions when a Florida governmental entity is involved. Many times, specific notices need to be filed at least six months before a lawsuit is filed, and the time period is three (3) years to file a lawsuit.
Additionally, the state of Florida and all state agencies, counties and cities can only be held liable for damages up to $200,000 for an individual person and $300,000 total for all injured parties in an accident or incident.
Punitive damages are limited to three times the compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever is greater. If the conduct of the defendant was “motivated solely by unreasonable financial gain,” then the punitive damages will be capped at four times the compensatory damages or $2 million, whichever is greater. The only exception to this cap is when the defendant intended for the harm to occur to the injured person.
An employer can only be held liable for punitive damages for the conduct of an employee if the employer “actively and knowingly participated” in the conduct; “knowingly condoned, ratified, or consented” to the conduct; or “engaged in conduct that constituted gross negligence.
The most important thing is that you seek immediately legal advice after you have been involved in an auto accident. The Russo Firm provides a free confidential case consultation.
Contact Our Experienced Boating and Maritime Accident Lawyers For A Free Case Evaluation
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating or maritime accident, call The Russo Firm 844-847-8300 or contact us online to talk with an experienced lawyer about your injuries. If you can’t travel to our office, we will come to you, or we can work by phone, fax, email or other methods of communication. Remember, you pay no fee unless we obtain compensation for you.