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When You Are Hurt In A Drinking And Boating Accident

 

Drinking and boating, also known as Boating Under the Influence (BUI) or Boating While Intoxicated (BWI), can cause serious injuries or fatalities. Almost half of all boating accidents ending in death in 2007 were caused by BUI driver impairment, according to the United States Coast Guard.

Several factors make the effects of alcohol more serious on a boat:
  • Altered depth perception and judgment impede navigation.
  • “Boat fatigue” from sun, wind and vibration add to alcohol’s depressant effect.
  • High speeds are possible in areas where others are traveling at low speeds .
If you were a driver hit by an operator suspected of BUI, or a passenger who suffered personal injury in a BUI crash, you can sue to recover your medical expenses. The responsible party, if proven guilty, may also incur large civil penalties in fines imposed by the federal and/or state governments. If your loved one was killed in a BUI accident, you may hold the driver liable for wrongful death.

Many laws come into play when a boat driver causes injury while intoxicated. Regardless of whether he is convicted of BUI, charges of negligence may be appropriate. Quite often, BUI behavior leads to reckless operation, which is a crime in a few states and grounds for a negligence claim in personal injury court. A boating accident attorney who is experienced in admiralty law and accident lawsuits can help you present your case in its best light in civil court.

Evidence of BUI Boating Accidents
In most states, a boating accident must be reported to state authorities as soon as possible. When law enforcement officials arrive, they may issue a sobriety test if the boat operator shows signs of intoxication. A breath or chemical test that registers higher than the legal blood alcohol concentration is grounds for arrest in every state. Some areas have tougher criminal penalties than others.

A boating accident can leave you with serious personal injuries. If you have been injured in a boat accident or hurt in a Jet Ski accident, complete our short questionnaire to see a list of experienced boating accident attorneys in your area. Most states have a statute of limitations that may prohibit you from filing a lawsuit if too much time has passed.

The Coast Guard or state authorities may arrest or detain the boat driver and will either guide the craft to mooring or designate a sober passenger to do so.

What Should You Do After A Boat Collision?
If you were injured in a collision or suffered an overboard fall as a result of BUI driving, you might not learn of the cause until much later.

Attend to any medical needs first, but speak to law enforcement and exchange contact information, if possible, with the owners of the offending craft. Your legal counsel will contact witnesses and get the police report in order to use BUI as evidence of negligence in a civil lawsuit. You may be able to recover damages to pay for your unexpected medical expenses and any ongoing therapy.

Effects of Boating under the Influence Accidents
Boating accidents caused by BUI can be fatal, often as a result of high impact at excessive speed. If your loved one was killed in a crash or drowned in an overboard fall, a boating accident attorney can help you make a civil court claim as well.

Damages for wrongful death can recover:
  • Catastrophic care medical bills
  • Cremation or burial expenses
  • Lifetime lost wages
  • Compensation for loss of parental or spousal support
If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as a result of a boating accident, consult a boating accident attorney right away! 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 accident lawsuits have you won?
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