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When Children Are Hurt In Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can cause very serious physical injury or drowning deaths in children. Young people whose bodies are still developing can suffer lifelong effects from fractured bones, respiratory ailments or brain damage incurred in maritime accidents.

If your child has been hurt in a boating accident, get medical treatment right away, even if the injury seems mild. If the damage ends up being more severe than originally thought, you will have documented the incident in a manner that may allow you to win a personal injury lawsuit in court.

Your right to compensation through civil court action is extremely significant in a case in which a child has been injured. Physical traumas with a short recovery prognosis can cost your family a lot in ambulance, doctor and hospital bills.

Prescription medication, physical therapy and any needed medical devices must be paid for as well. These expenses can add up even further if your child faces long-term recovery or a lifelong condition that needs ongoing medical or psychological attention.

Tort law allows you to be compensated by the responsible party for personal injury. The parents of children who cause boating accidents may be liable, as well as adult boat operators.

Awards for pain and suffering may include an amount for any educational or developmental setbacks attributed to the accident. Your child’s case will be decided based on the personal injury and maritime laws in your state. Other regulations may apply as well.

Boating Accidents Caused by Negligent Adult Operators
Boat operators have a legal responsibility of due care for passengers, and this duty increases when children are onboard. A large percentage of children do not yet know how to swim.

A boating accident can leave children with serious personal injuries such as a head injury or brain injury. Accidents in general can devastate and completely change your family’s lives. If your child has been injured in a boat accident or hurt in a Jet Ski accident, can connect you with an experienced boat accident attorney in your area.

You should act fast since most states have a statute of limitations that may prohibit you from filing a lawsuit if too much time has passed.

Children tend to panic when suddenly submerged, and thus suffer a higher incidence of drowning than adults. Their less-developed senses of balance and attraction to play can also lead to more slips and falls or overboard accidents. Boat owners and drivers must take precautions to keep kids safe from these higher risks.

Providing well-fitting personal flotation devices (PFDs), or life jackets, is required by law on certain types of boats in many states. In the case of child passengers, PFDs are life savers. If a child is hurt in a boat accident in which an inadequate number of PFDs was provided, or if the flotation device was in poorly maintained condition (such as broken closures), a personal injury claim may be heard in court.

A boat owner who injures a child passenger through reckless driving can also be sued for damages. Some examples of reckless and negligent boating operation include weaving among obstacles, excessive speeding, and driving while intoxicated.

Boating Accidents Caused by Child Operators
When a child goes boating with friends who let him or her drive, strict state laws apply. If an accident occurs, the boat owner may be liable for any injuries your child sustains. It is the boat owner’s obligation to know operator age restrictions and to abide by them in choosing to designate a child driver. Some states also have educational requirements, so adult or child boat owners cannot allow uncertified individuals of certain ages to operate their crafts under any circumstances.

If your child was allowed to drive a friend’s boat and got hurt or was injured in a Jet Ski accident, you’ll need to know if laws or due-care responsibilities were violated prior to filing a court claim.

For instance, in Wisconsin:
  • Children must be 10 years old to drive a motorboat.
  • Children 10 to 15 must have a designated adult present while driving a motorboat.
  • Children must be 12 years old to operate a personal watercraft.
An adult operator found to have let a minor drive without adequate knowledge and safety precautions might also be found negligent by a civil court judge.

When selecting a boat accident attorney you’ll want to ask critical questions such as: how long have you been practicing law; do you have experience with maritime cases; what is the biggest settlement or verdict you have won?

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