Boating Accident Lawyer
When the weather gets hot, area rivers and lakes are full of boaters, from serious anglers to friends lazily floating on a pontoon boat. When you’re enjoying the water, a beer, and good company, the last thing you’re thinking about is the possibility of a boat wreck. But a boat accident can happen anywhere, and if you get hurt in one, it’s much harder to get help than it is after a car accident. When the unthinkable happens and you’ve been hurt in a boat accident, the boating accident lawyers at The Joel Bieber Firm can help. We specialize in boating accident cases to secure the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
The Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Negligence and carelessness are typically the causes of catastrophic boat accidents, and if alcohol is added to the mix, the chances of a boating accident increase substantially. Drinking and boating aren’t the only cause of boat accidents, though. Other things contribute to a collision or capsizing, such as:
- Distracted boat driving, including texting and steering
- Fatigue — a long day in the sun can make boaters more tired than they realize
- Inexperience; letting people who have never steered a boat take the helm
- Inattention to water conditions, such as deep currents or dangerous wakes
- Crowded lakes or waterways (increasing the chances of collision with a skier)
- Defective machinery or improperly completed repairs and maintenance
The increase in operating a phone while boating has risen significantly over the last decade. Boaters taking photos and videos while steering or uploading posts to social media aren’t paying attention to the water or others nearby, and this distraction can cause a fatal wreck.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) refers to texting and boating as “improper lookout” and “operator inattention.” It urged the Coast Guard to enforce strict penalties for boaters engaging in this behavior.
What to Do If Your Boat Crashes?
If your boat crashes then the first priority is to confirm that everyone is wearing life jackets, providing essential buoyancy in case of emergency. Assess the extent of injuries and promptly attend to any medical needs. If the boat is still afloat, work to stabilize it and prevent further damage or sinking. Activate distress signals, such as flares or emergency radios, to alert nearby vessels and authorities to your situation. Communicate with emergency services, providing accurate location details and relevant information about the incident
Should I gather evidence after a boating accident?
Gathering evidence is advisable, especially if there are injuries or damage involved. Collect information, take photos, and gather witness statements. This can be helpful for insurance claims or legal matters.
Injuries from Boat Accidents
Drowning is the worst outcome of a boating accident, but it’s not the only kind of injury you can receive. Many things can go wrong when you’re on a boat, and injuries can be severe. Because it’s more difficult for emergency help to arrive when you’re on a boat, the chances of your injury being deadly are higher.
Common boating accident injuries include:
- Hypoxia, or brain damage caused by lack of oxygen
- Deep cuts and lacerations
- Burn injuries from a boat fire
- Spine injuries from violent impact with the water, another boat, or recreation equipment
- Electrocution from damaged or faulty electrical systems on the boat or other equipment
Knowing the nautical rules of the waterway you’re traveling on can help keep you and your passengers safe. Proper care and maintenance of your boat, skis, and other equipment reduces the chances of engine trouble that can cause a crash or a fire on the boat.
How Can a Boating Accident Attorney Help Me?
Our boating accident lawyer is a valuable resource for individuals involved in boating-related legal matters. Our attorney can provide legal expertise, protect your rights, and work to resolve disputes and obtain compensation in the event of accidents or other boating-related issues.
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You After a Boating Accident
If you were involved in a boating accident you didn’t cause, you may be able to recoup the cost of repairing or replacing your boat or damaged equipment and the cost of your medical treatment for your accident injuries.
If the boating operators that caused your accident was negligent or reckless in operating their boat or other watercraft, then they may be held liable for the accidental damages you suffered as a result.
When you hire your own boating accident lawyer, you have a legal advocate looking out for your interests and ensuring that the irresponsible party is held to justice. Experienced boating accident attorneys negotiates with the other party’s lawyer and insurance company and can argue on your behalf before a judge.
How Do You Respond To a Boating Accident?
Boating accidents can have serious consequences, so it’s important to respond promptly and responsibly. Prioritizing safety, providing assistance to those in need, and complying with legal requirements are critical in the event of a boating accident.
Compensation You May Be Entitled to After a Boating Accident
If a negligent party caused the boat accident, they are held liable for damages you suffer. This means they’re responsible for making you financially whole after the accident by paying for your economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are quantifiable losses, such as:
- The cost of fixing or replacing your boat or other watercraft
- The cost of your medical care and ongoing treatments
- Lost wages from time missed at work to recover from the accident
Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering from your injuries and the emotional trauma you suffer from the accident. They’re part of a settlement you can receive from the at-fault party and are usually calculated as a percentage of the economic damages.
If someone you loved died because of injuries from a boating accident, your family can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party and collect damages to compensate you for your loss of consortium, companionship, guidance, and potential earnings.
When to Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer
Right after a boating accident, your thoughts might not turn toward finding a boating accident lawyer, but the sooner you contact a personal injury attorney, the better your chances of a successful settlement.
Depending on the state your accident happened in, you may have only a year or two to file suit. While that may seem like a long time, if you miss the window to file — called the statute of limitations — then your case will likely be dismissed.
Additionally, the sooner your boating accident lawyer starts working on your case, the fresher the evidence will be, including testimony from witnesses and any photos or videos.
Have You or a Loved One Been Injured in a Boating Accident?
The tenacious and determined personal injury attorneys at The Joel Bieber Firm represent families who have been injured in a boat accident they did not cause. We have a deep knowledge of nautical laws and local regulations, and we work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
Contact our offices today for a free initial consultation with an experienced boating accident lawyer.