Boating Accidents As A Result Of Negligence
Reckless driving, drunk boating, and safety negligence are factors in a large number of boating accidents every year.
While boating and water sports always carry the risk of collisions with solid obstacles, these cause fewer accidental injuries than do boat drivers and their passengers. A United States Coast Guard report deems passenger and operator error to blame in 34% of all accidents that cause injury or death. If you are involved in a negligent boating accident, contacting a boat accident attorney will give you the assistance you need to fight your case.
Operator or passenger errors can be committed due to:
Don’t Drink and Drive a Boat
- Lack of boating education
Operating a boat or Jet Ski with a blood-alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit makes operators liable for criminal and civil penalties in the United States.
State tort laws protect individuals from personal injury caused by a negligent lack of due care for their safety. Boat operators have a responsibility toward other people in and around their vessels. The courts will uphold this liability if drivers are found to have caused an accident through negligence, resulting in injury or death. In some circumstances, passengers who engage in recklessness and impede the safe operation of a boat may likewise be charged.
Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Lawsuits Punish Negligent Drivers
Maritime, or admiralty laws vary by state and local jurisdiction. Some laws, such as negligence and BUI, are subject to federal penalties. If you or a loved one is hurt or killed in a boating accident, however, sending the responsible party to prison still leaves you with medical bills and personal suffering. A negligence lawsuit can address this need. State laws allow you to pursue monetary compensation from the boat owner or the person who caused the accident.
A boating accident can leave you with serious personal injuries such as a head or brain injury. If you have been injured in a boat accident or hurt in a Jet Ski accident, whocanisue.com can connect you with an experienced negligent boat accident attorney who can help you understand your rights and determine liability.
Filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit against a boat operator in civil court makes his actions a matter of public record. Judgments against negligent drivers, especially for drunk boating, may affect their ability to own or operate vessels in the future or gain employment in the maritime industry. Court-ordered payments for damages can reach over a million dollars, perhaps changing the life of the boat driver the way operator error changed the lives of others.
Negligence lawsuits can seek damages for doctor and hospital bills, medications, physical and mental therapy, burial costs, legal fees, and lost wages due to disability or death. These comprehensive awards can help injured individuals and their families heal and move on with their lives.
“Fun” Activities Can Cause Fatal Boating Accidents
What constitutes negligence? In regards to boating, the federal government simply defines it as operator behavior that endangers the “life, limb or property of other people.” The boating laws that are enforced by state and municipalities may be more specific. In California, for instance, the list of reckless and negligent operations outlines certain “play” behavior behind the wheel or before the rudder of a boat.
Boat operating behaviors banned in California include:
Excessive speed reduces a boat’s turning and stopping ability. Operators can misjudge the time needed to avoid a collision while speeding, especially if an obstacle is suddenly visible, such as a surfacing diver or skier.
- Speeding in congested areas
- Towing a skier after sunset
- Driving between a boat and a towed skier
- Letting passengers ride on the bow or gunwales
- Driving toward people or boats and swerving to spray them
Visibility is also an issue after dark, so boat operators are responsible for knowing when skiers and crafts must be out of the water. In California, for example, it is illegal to operate a jet ski at night, even if it has running lights.
When meeting with an attorney you’ll want to ask critical questions such as: how long have you been practicing law; do you have experience with maritime cases; how many boating accident cases have you won?
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