If you were injured or a loved one died in a boating accident, it can be difficult to know where to turn. You may be faced with significant medical bills and other damages. You might not know whether you can seek compensation from insurance or how to get the compensation you deserve. This is where an accident attorney can help with your case. An experienced lawyer can help you fight your case and get the compensation you need after a boating accident. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the things you should know about boating accident cases.
If you were injured in an accident, contact our team at Maida Law Firm for a free case evaluation.
Talk to an Accident Attorney About Your Boating Accident
If you were involved in a boating accident, talk to an accident attorney about your options. Boating accident victims often lack a lot of information about how these cases work. You may need help from your lawyer to identify who’s at fault and seek compensation for your damages and injuries.
It’s important to note that there are options for compensation for victims of boating accidents. These cases are similar to other personal injury cases, and often resemble car accident cases, with a few exceptions. That means you can get compensation from the at fault party.
Also, keep in mind that you can seek several types of damages in these cases, including economic and non-economic damages. For instance, some include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
Additionally, if a loved one was killed in a boating accident, you can also seek many types of damages in a wrongful death suit, such as:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium/emotional support
- Loss of instruction and guidance for surviving children
- Medical expenses
- Loss of financial support
- Funeral and burial expenses
In both types of cases, you can also seek punitive damages. However, keep in mind that these damages are only usually awarded in extreme cases of negligence or intentional acts. Your accident attorney can help you determine which damages may apply and the amounts for each so you know the value of your case.
Boating Accidents are on the Rise
One thing that is important to note is that boating accidents appear to be on the rise. Statistics from the U.S. Coast Guard show that 797 people died and 3,191 were injured in 2020 as a result of boating accidents, which was a significant increase from the year before. According to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Division, boating fatalities in Texas increased 40% between 2020 and 2021.
Records from these agencies also show the most common causes and contributing factors to boating accidents. The top cause is operator inattention, followed by operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and mechanical failure. One of the most common contributing factors included alcohol use. Additionally, in about 70% of Texas boating accident deaths, the operator didn’t receive boating safety instruction. Therefore, boating accidents are a serious threat.
Liability Can Be Complex – Talk to a Boating Accident Attorney
What’s more, liability in boating accidents can be tricky. As a victim, you’ll need to determine who is liable for your case to seek compensation for them. This is the at fault party for the accident. In boating accidents, this may be another boat operator, a boat equipment manufacturer, or even the operator of the boat you were a passenger in. Every case is different and you should discuss the specifics of your case with your accident attorney, but here are some common types of boating accidents and who may be liable for your case:
Boat collisions are where two or more boats crash into each other. This can happen for a variety of reasons and any number of people may be at fault. It generally all comes down to what exactly caused the accident. For instance, if another boat operator wasn’t looking and crashed into your boat, they may be liable for the case. If a mechanical failure caused the boats to collide, then it may be the party responsible for boat maintenance or even the manufacturer of the boat in the case of defective products. It can also be that the boat operator of your boat as a passenger caused the accident. So, it’s important to discuss your case and liability with your personal injury lawyer.
Boat Hitting Wake
In some cases, a boating accident may be due to hitting the wake of another boat, which can cause other boats to rock or even capsize. These types of accidents are also complex and may have several potential liable parties for your boating accident case.
For instance, in some cases it may be the boat operator’s fault for not looking for wakes or for hitting them at a high speed, causing an accident. However, there are also often several no wake areas in most bodies of water. So, if you hit a wake that causes an accident in one of these areas, the person who caused the wake may share fault and may be liable for your accident. Once again, it helps to talk to your accident attorney about the specifics of your case and who may be responsible for your damages.
Boat Hitting Object
Sometimes, boating accidents are due to the boat hitting other objects in the water, like rocks. With objects like these, it’s usually the responsibility of the boat operator to look out for them and maneuver to avoid them. However, in some cases it may be impossible to see these objects, no matter how carefully you operate a boat. In these cases, it may be considered a no fault case, meaning no one is at fault or liable for the accident.
How Your Accident Attorney Helps You Get Compensation for Your Boating Accident
There are many reasons to hire an accident attorney for your boating accident case. Your lawyer can help you investigate the case to determine who is liable, but also gather evidence for your claim, which you will need for any type of case. Also, they can help you decide how you can seek compensation. For instance, sometimes boat owners carry boating insurance, which might pay for your damages. In some cases, their homeowner’s insurance will cover the costs for the accident. In rarer cases, you may need to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party to get the compensation you deserve after you were injured in a boat accident. No matter the avenue, your accident attorney is here to help you build a strong case and fight for your rights after you were a victim of a boating accident.
Get a Top Personal Injury Lawyer from Maida Law Firm
If you were injured by someone else’s negligence, contact our team at Maida Law Firm for help. We offer top legal advice and representation for a wide range of personal injury cases. Whether you need a boating accident lawyer or a Houston car accident attorney, find top representation from our team. Contact us now to get a free consultation!