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Boating Accident

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Boat accident victims are oftentimes faced with a web of complicated federal, state, and international maritime laws. This can make building a claim to receive compensation for boating accident injuries a complicated process. At The G Law Group our skilled boat accident lawyers do not stop fighting until we recover compensation for boat accident victims. We understand the ins and outs of the boating laws that apply to your claim, and our boat accident lawyers have the expertise to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and of course, pain and suffering. If you have been injured in a boating accident, please fill out our no cost, no obligation consultation form today.

Common vessels on which accidents occur include:

  • personal watercrafts

  • yachts

  • sailboats

  • cruise ships

  • inflatable boats

  • pontoons

  • cabin cruisers

  • rented watercrafts

What are the Common Causes Of Boat Accidents?

Boating accidents can occur due to a wide range of causes and result in a number of consequences, including significant financial cost, property damage, and damage to individuals on- and off-board.

In 2021, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,439 boating accidents, which caused 2,641 boat accident injuries. Tragically, 658 fatalities occurred in 2021 as a result of boating accidents, which was actually a 15% decrease from 2020 fatality rate.  According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 44% of those deaths occurred on open motorboats, by far the highest percentage of fatalities.  The primary causes of death in boating accidents are alcohol use, hazardous waters, inexperienced or inattentive boat operators, and weather conditions.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, primary causes of boating accidents include:

  • inattentiveness

  • speeding/ sharp turns

  • navigation rules violation

  • alcohol use

  • machinery failure

  • force of a wave/wake

  • inexperienced boat operator

  • hazardous waters

  • weather conditions

  • restricted vision

What Are My Legal Rights After A Boating Accident?

After a boating accident, you are entitled to monetary compensation if someone else was responsible for the accident. You can pursue a claim against the driver of another vessel that caused your injury, or against the driver of the boat that you were on.  If you were injured while aboard a friend’s boat, you should not hesitate to make a damage claim since it will be made with the insurance company, and not your friend personally.

You can also pursue a claim against a boat manufacturer or a boat mechanic if defective parts or lack of maintenance led to your accident. Knowing how to pursue a claim after a boating accident can be difficult, so it is important to speak with an experienced boat accident lawyer today. The top-rated boat accident lawyers at The G Law Group will help you obtain evidence, gather proof of liability or negligence, and work to get you the compensation you deserve.

What is Negligence?

Forms of reckless and negligent behavior are some of the most common reasons why boat accident injuries occur. The legal theory of negligence is appropriate in cases where another party’s negligent or reckless behavior has caused another person or persons’ injuries. When people on-board a boat are injured in an accident, the primary owner or operator of the boat may be sued on account of his/her negligence.  Boat owners may be held liable for injuries that occur as a result of contact with propellers and other violations of applicable maritime laws.

Boat owners and operators may demonstrate negligence in a number of ways, including:

  • speeding

  • taking turns too quickly

  • driving into a big wave or wake at high speed

  • hiring inexperienced crew

  • not avoiding hazardous waters or weather conditions

  • boating under the influence

  • not having proper safety equipment

  • colliding with other boats or objects

  • overcrowding or overloading the boat

 

Other forms of negligence may include:

  • assault by another crewperson within the scope of work

  • failure to avoid heavy weather

  • failure to maintain safe appliances and equipment

  • failure to rescue

  • failure to supervise

  • among other forms of negligent or reckless behavior

What is Product Liability?

In some situations, boat accidents can occur not necessarily at the fault of the boat operator, but due to problems related to the vessel itself—such as faulty design, defective parts, and defective appliances on-board. These can result in issues such as fires, electrocution, shocks, crashes, etc.

Under these circumstances, injured victims may be able to bring claims against the manufacturers, retailers, distributors, and owners of the boat.  Our skilled boat accident lawyers have successfully prosecuted these types of claims against large multi-national corporation.  We have the skills needed to pursue to your boat accident claim against any responsible party, until you obtain just compensation.  Especially if any products that caused your boat accident were not  manufactured according to industry standards.

Are Injured Maritime Workers Entitled to Compensation?

Deck hands, officers, service staff, and any others working onboard a maritime vessel— or maritime workers as they are known under the law - have the right to sue their employer for injuries that occur at sea.  Under a federal law called the Jones Act, maritime workers can pursue boat injury claims against their employer.  If your maritime injuries were caused by failed compliance with mandatory safety requirements, contact our boat accident lawyers today.

What are the Common Types of Boat Accident Injuries?

The types of injuries sustained in boating accidents in the U.S. can vary widely depending on the nature or severity of the accident. Most boat accident victims suffer long-term effects from their injuries, even if symptoms are not always readily apparent.

Common injuries seen in boating accidents include:

  • scrapes and bruises

  • dislocation/broken bones

  • lacerations

  • amputation

  • concussion

  • electrocution

  • shocks

  • burns

  • whiplash

  • brain injuries

  • spinal cord injuries

  • internal organ injury

  • death

What Damages can be recovered in a Boat Accident Injury Claim?

Boating accident injuries can result in enormous cost, depending on the nature of the accident and the severity of the injury. Boat accident victims may face high medical costs, ambulance costs, experience lost wages from missing work, and of course, pain and suffering.

If the injury results in severe or permanent damage, this can have devastating effects on the individual and those around them as they navigate this unexpected future. Surviving family and loved ones are oftentimes forced to bear the brunt of this unexpected change, with the sudden loss of income and companionship felt twofold.  Filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit for boating accident injury can give individuals the opportunity to receive compensation for these losses.

Types of damages that may be awarded in boat accident injury claims include:

  • medical expenses

  • medications and back/neck braces

  • cost of future medical treatment

  • lost wages

  • loss of earning capacity

  • pain and suffering

  • other losses directly related to the injury

What Laws Apply to Boat Accidents?

Boat operators are subject to a complex web of federal, state, and maritime laws to ensure proper operation of their vessel and to protect the safety of any passengers aboard..

Under federal law, boat owners and operators are required to report any accident that occurs on-board when the accident involves:

  • death

  • disappearance of one or more passengers

  • resulting injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid

  • over $2,000 vessel or property damage

  • destruction of the boat

Under these circumstances, the boat owner or operator is required to file a boat accident report with the individual’s state reporting authority.

Federal law also requires boat owners and operators to be in compliance with several other safety measures. For example, boats must have life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigation lights, visual distress signals, ventilation, etc.

Boat accident and safety laws that are applicable to you may also vary depending on the type of boat on which the accident occurs, as well as other applicable state and local laws. Cruise ships and other commercial vessels, for instance, are subject to different laws and requirements than a personal boat.

How Can a Boat Accident Lawyer Help Me?

Our boat accident lawyers will use our expertise to determine all applicable federal, state, and local laws.  With our experience in boat accident cases, we have the tools needed to gather evidence, ascertain the responsibly parties, and quicky bring forth the best possible claim to ensure you receive just compensation.

It is important to contact a skilled boat accident lawyer as soon as possible, because if you fail to file a lawsuit for your boat accident injuries within your state’s applicable statute of limitations, then your claim for compensation will be forever time barred. Schedule an appointment to speak with one of our top rated boat accident lawyers today. Your initial consultation is free and there is no obligation to retain our services.

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