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How to Prove Fault After a Boating Accident


If you have been injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to financial compensation. To obtain the just damages you are entitled to, though, you must first prove that another person was at fault for your crash. For accident victims, this is extremely difficult, particularly when they are trying to recover from serious injuries. Below, our Florida boat crash lawyer explains how to prove fault after an accident.

Investigating a Boat Accident 

Generally speaking, providing liability after a boat accident starts with a visit to the scene of the crash. In boating accident cases, the scene may be a dock, bridge, sandbar, or even a large expanse of open ocean. Due to this, the evidence that may still remain at the scene will depend on the sea state, tides, weather conditions, and other environmental factors. When a lawyer investigates a boating accident, they will take certain steps which may include, but are not limited to:

  • Hire an inspector to examine all vessels involved in the crash
  • Locate passengers, other boat operators, and witnesses on land to obtain their statements about what they saw
  • Review photos and video footage from passengers or witnesses
  • Review accident reports submitted to the U.S. Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC)
  • Review tide charts, AIS data, weather reports, etc.

A lawyer will determine which steps must be taken and take care of the necessary tasks to determine how your crash happened.

Evidence to Collect After a Boat Accident 

As part of the investigation, a lawyer will also collect certain evidence to help prove your case. This evidence may include:

  • Receipts from boat captains and passengers from liquor stores or supermarkets, that may be able to prove that alcohol was involved in the crash
  • The cell phone records of boat operators, to show that they were distracted at the time of the accident
  • Any records pertaining to the maintenance of a boat, to determine if negligent maintenance caused the accident
  • Data from the electronics and onboard computer systems to determine the speed and direction of travel at the time of the crash
  • Charter, employment, or rental records to prove that a boat owner is responsible for the negligence of a boat operator

It may appear there is little evidence available after a boat accident, particularly if your crash happened on open water. Our experienced maritime lawyers know what evidence to collect and how to retrieve important pieces that can prove your case.

Our Boat Crash Lawyer in Florida Can Prove Your Case 

Proving someone else’s negligence after a boat accident is not easy. At 888-BOAT-LAW (The Law Offices of Frank D. Butler), our Florida boat crash lawyer knows how to prove liability so you obtain the full and fair settlement you are rightfully entitled to. Call us now or chat with us online to request a free consultation and to get more information.


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