Do I qualify for recovering damages after a recreational boating accident if I was partly at fault?

Even if you are partially at fault for the accident, you may still be able to collect damages, depending on the court’s judgment on how much responsibility you had in causing the accident.

Florida state law differs from maritime law, which has its negligence standards, including the notion of “comparative fault,” which allows a damaged party to receive payment even if they are partially at fault.

Moreover, Florida is a modified comparative negligence state, meaning that if the injured party is considered more than 50% at fault, they could not recover any damage.

Typically, in a boat accident case, victims or their loved ones can sue the operator of the boat for negligence if the operator's carelessness caused them injuries, damaged their property, or even led to death. Legal venues available are an insurance claim or a lawsuit. When building a case against a responsible party, those who have been injured must show that there was a case of:

  • duty of care 
  • negligence
  • damages
  •  breach of duty 

The court decides the degree of fault for each party after examining the actions of everyone involved in the boat accident. Those who had a part fault in a boating accident may receive a reduced compensation proportional to the percentage of their fault. In boating accidents, the responsibility falls on: 

  • the operator for failing to provide safe conditions to passengers
  • the passenger, if engaging in reckless behavior
  • the manufacturer if the injury resulted from a production defect
  • the rental company if maintenance issues caused the accident

A maritime negligence attorney’s assistance is of the essence 

Consulting with a legal specialist as soon as possible after a boating accident can ensure your lawsuit’s success; an attorney will expertly investigate the accident's circumstances and gather evidence to support your claim. You can prepare your consulting with a legal expert by following these necessary steps:

  • gather witness contact information
  • take pictures
  • keep your financial statements
  • refrain from posting on social media
Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided on this site is not formal legal advice, also the site does not allow you to form an attorney-client relationship.