Professional soccer player Anton Walkes recently died from injuries he sustained during a boat crash off the Florida coast. The 25-year-old passenger was found unconscious after his vessel and another boat collided in the water. Florida authorities are investigating, but at this time, it is unclear what caused the fatal accident.
While boat crashes are not as common as car accidents, Walkes’ accident is a sad reminder that they can be just as deadly. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a boating accident, you may be able to file a claim. Here’s what you should know about boating and negligence.
Boating accidents and negligence laws
A boat operator has a similar duty of care that vehicle drivers have: they are required to follow all laws and avoid causing harm to others. When someone fails to meet the appropriate standard of care, they may be held liable for any injuries they cause.
To prove negligence, a plaintiff must show that the defendant had a duty of care to the plaintiff, they breached that duty and as a result, the plaintiff suffered actual harm. For example, operators act negligently when they operate the boat while unlicensed, intoxicated or distracted. They might speed, or fail to equip the boat with appropriate safety equipment. If another person is seriously injured by their negligent actions, that person may be able to file a claim and recover compensation for their injuries and related expenses.
Floridians have four years to file a claim, starting from the date of the accident. The best way to determine whether you are eligible to recover compensation is to talk to an experienced personal injury attorney. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, and suspect negligence is to blame, contact a skilled Sarasota, FL accident attorney at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh.