How Much Can You Receive in a Speed Boat Accident Settlement?
When you are injured in a speed boat accident that was someone else's fault, the law allows you to recover money to for your medical bills, damaged property, and even pain and suffering. Settlement amounts, however, will vary depending on the nature and severity of your injuries. No two settlements are alike because no two boating accidents are alike.
After your speed boat accident, the party at fault (or his or her insurance company) may contact you to discuss settlement options. If your injuries are minor and you think the settlement offer is reasonable, it may make sense to accept the offer. In other instances, however, it pays to hire a speed boat accident lawyer to represent you. A lawyer can:
- Gather evidence related to the speed boat accident
- Help determine the potential long-term costs associated with the accident
- Present your settlement request to the party at fault, or his or her insurance company
- Attempt to negotiate a settlement agreement
- Argue your case in a court of law, if necessary
If you plan to hire a boating accident attorney, do not talk to the other party or their insurance company, except to provide them with your basic contact information. Any other details you provide may be used against you in settlement negotiations.
Factors in Negotiating a Speed Boat Accident Award
At the heart of all personal injury cases, including boating accident cases, is the concept of negligence. To collect money in a boating accident case, you must prove that:
- The person responsible for the accident had a responsibility not to injure you and failed to live up to that duty
- There is a connection between the other party's responsibility and your injury
- You suffered damages, or a financial loss, as a result of your injuries
If you can prove that someone else was negligent and caused your injuries, you should be able to collect money from the responsible party.
Your attorney will help calculate the cost of your accident-related injuries and will look at and estimate:
- Past, present, and future cost of medical treatment related to your injuries
- The repair or replacement of any property that was damaged or destroyed in the speed boat accident
- The cost of any lost wages or time off from work due to your injury
- The cost of hiring someone to do household chores you're unable to do because of your injury
- The cost of any permanent disability and disfigurement stemming from the accident
- The cost of any emotional distress stemming from the accident
- Whether and the extent to which the injury will hurt your future earning ability
- Any other costs you've incurred because of the accident
In addition, if the behavior of the person who caused the accident was egregious, your attorney may also factor in punitive damages, which are designed to deter the person from similar behavior in the future.
Settlement Negotiations & Trial
Once your lawyer has estimated the total cost of your injury-and with your approval-he or she will try to negotiate a settlement with the party at fault, his or her lawyer, or the insurance company. If you are able to arrive at a settlement number that is agreeable, your case will end. If you are unable to agree on a settlement amount, then your lawyer will file a lawsuit on your behalf against the party at fault. A judge or jury will then weigh the evidence and take responsibility for determining how much you should receive in compensation for your injuries.