Boat Operator Arrested in Naples
A boat crash in Naples Bay in late November has resulted in the arrest of a 39-year-old man. According to Fox 4 Now, Florida Fish and Wildlife arrested Craig Hudson and charged him with boating under the influence (BUI).
According to the agency, Mr. Hudson and a guest were riding in a rental boat when they struck the wake of another boat and Hudson was thrown into the water. The boat subsequently struck a boat lift, with Mr. Hudson’s passenger still in the boat.
Unfortunately for Mr. Hudson, he failed several sobriety tests at the scene. He also had bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, though he claimed not to have drunk anything. His blood alcohol content (BAC) readings were .160 and .163—staggering numbers and well above the 0.08 legal limit.
Mr. Hudson was arrested and booked into jail. His guest , Ms. Jacobucci, was injured when the boat collided with the lift and had to be airlifted to the hospital.
Suing for Compensation
Boat operators, just like motorist, cannot be negligent when behind the wheel. If they are, then they are at fault for any accident and any injuries that other people suffer in a collision. Negligence can take many forms, but operating a boat after drinking so much alcohol (see the BAC) is clearly not the behavior we should expect from a reasonably prudent person.
For this reason, Mr. Hudson has opened himself up to potential legal liability for the damage he has caused. In particular, he could face a lawsuit from the dock lift owner as well as from his guest, Ms. Jacobucci, who appears to have suffered serious physical injuries. If successful, Jacobucci could sue for the following damages:
- Medical care
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
How Does the Defendant Pay?
One question that arises in boat injury cases is whether the at-fault party has sufficient resources to pay for a settlement. If he doesn’t, then it does not matter how meritorious a case is. If a defendant has no money, then he is “judgment proof.”
Some boat owners might carry boat insurance, which like car insurance can pay compensation in the event of a crash. In fact, if an owner took out a loan to buy the boat, their lender might have required boating insurance.
In this case, the operator actually rented the vessel. The question in this case is whether the rental company knew Hudson was intoxicated when they agreed to rent him the boat. Given his state—bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, and a sky-high BAC—he might have been obviously drunk. However, it is also possible that he began drinking once on the boat.
Earnhart Law Handles Complicated Boating Accidents in Delray Beach
If you have suffered injuries in a boating crash, reach out to us today. There are many facts you need to analyze, including whether there is someone with sufficient assets you can sue. At Earnhart Law our Delray Beach boating accident lawyers are well-versed in boating disputes, and we check all the boxes to seek maximum compensation for our boating accident clients.
You can call 561-265-2220 to schedule a free consultation.