Early Sunday morning, a sixteen-year-old girl was thrown from a speeding boat and died in what the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is calling a Halloween party gone wrong.
The accident occurred at 12:30 a.m. on Sunday morning in the Intercoastal Waterway in Indian Shores in the 28 mile marker area according to the Sheriff’s Office.
On the boat where seven individuals, all of which were minors, including the girl who was thrown from the boat. They left Treasure Island at approximately 12:15 a.m.
Here is what the Sheriff’s Office said of the accident:
“(The driver) brought the vessel on plane and was traveling at a high rate of speed, exceeding the no-wake requirement for that area. The vessel struck a metal mile marker, causing all seven passengers to be ejected from the boat in the water.”
Rachael Herring was thrown from the boat and was located in the water using a phone app to find her location in the water near the site of the accident. She was pronounced dead on site. There was alcohol on the boat but investigators said the sixteen-year-old operator of the boat was not showing signs of being under the influence. They have, however, been arrested and charged with vessel homicide.
If you ever find yourself seriously hurt after a boat accident like this one, here is what you can do after your accident to get justice for your damages:
1. Talk to a lawyer before taking the settlement offer from the insurance company.
- You may be unsure if you need a lawyer if you have received a call from the insurance company of the negligent person who caused your injury, and they made an offer. You may think that offer is good enough and that there really doesn’t have to be anything else. What you may not understand is that there are certain consequences of accepting an offer from an insurance company, not to mention that the insurance company is never going to pay anything close to full and fair value on a claim.
As Tampa Bay injury lawyers, we have a reputation of prosecuting our claims fully and completely, including going to court and having the jury determine the value of a claim, not the insurance company. That’s important to understand, because the insurance company who talks to an un-represented client thinks they can get away with something before lawyers from our firm can come in and assess the true value of the loss. It takes time to understand the extent of the injuries, and how those injuries are going to affect somebody. Keep in mind, when you settle a claim, you don’t get to come back in five years and say, “I didn’t know that my doctor was going to tell me that I needed surgery.” We’re going to make sure that we’re accounting for all of the damages that will affect somebody, not just in the present but for the rest of their life. It’s a very bad idea to even consider accepting a claim that is just offered from the insurance company the first time.
2. Get immediate medical care.
- Delaying medical care or denying it can be fatal and harmful to your pursuit of justice. Ultimately, we have to prove to either an adjuster or to a jury that you’ve been injured. The best way to do that is through the medical documentation. The person who turns away the ambulance or decides that they don’t have time to go to the hospital can be making a big mistake. Sometimes we don’t always understand how badly we’ve been injured when the adrenaline is still flowing right after the accident. Sometimes it takes time for our body to finally feel and experience the pain and suffering that has been inflicted upon us by the other driver’s inattentiveness.
3. Hire the right lawyer.
- You specifically want to have a Tampa Bay personal injury lawyer who has a deep understanding of boating accidents. A big mistake is to not hire the right attorney. There are many attorneys out there who do personal injury law, but not many appreciate all the nuances that it involves, in particular, boating accidents.
Contact our dedicated Tampa Bay boating accident lawyers at Perenich Law Injury Attorneys today for a free confidential consultation and case evaluation. Let our experience work for you.