Summertime is upon us, which means it is the perfect time to be out on the lake. While boating is great for entertaining family and friends, it is important to be aware of your surroundings. Boating comes as a passion for some, a hobby for others and just a good time for many, but there are certain risks and legal rights that every boat-goer should know about.
Boating accidents are less common than car accidents, and they can manifest themselves in different ways but are no less serious. Like in any accident, negligence needs to be able to be proved in a boating accident in order to be able to recover compensation for any damages. This means that your story must illustrate proof that a third-party acted carelessly, resulting in you being injured. If you are unsure if your boating accident entitles you to seek compensation, here are 3 examples of eligible situations:
- A Collision with Another Boat – This instance is the most obvious and the easiest to prove. Passengers of each boat that are injured in a collision of two boats would all have the ability to make a case against the operators of each boat. If either of the operators are injured, then they have a case against the other operator. If the collision happens between two motor boats, then it is extremely likely that it was the fault of at least one of the boat operators. Being injured as a passenger in a boat collision makes for a strong legal case and has a high chance of recovering compensation for any damages.
- Hitting Another Boat’s Wake – Driving into another boat’s wake is harder to prove and relies upon more variables, but there is still a good chance that funds can be recovered if someone was injured as a result. There are strict boating laws about the amount of wake that can be produced in certain areas of the water, but there are also laws about boat operators keeping an eye out for unsafe wake. This means that it is possible for either operator to be liable for any damages. The final liability depends on a number of variables regarding the type of boat, size of wake, boat speed, visibility, and whether or not passengers were warned of the potential danger in the case that the boat operator was aware that they were approaching a big wake. All of these details can be sorted out with an attorney, but it is important to contact them as soon as possible so that all details are recorded accurately.
- Operator Negligence – The negligence of a boat operator can manifest itself in different ways and is not always clear cut. Situations like collisions with other boats or driving into another boat’s wake are often easier to prove liability for, but there are other circumstances where the boat operator may be liable as well. Liability for cases where the operator runs into a submerged object would depend on factors such as visibility and speed. In the event that the operator is underprepared, such as not having a GPS or proper depth charts, then the liability would be easier to prove. Operator negligence also comes into question if the proper safety precautions were not taken onboard, such as not having enough life vests, flares, or fire extinguishers. In this instance, there is an opportunity for a strong case to be made about operator negligence if someone were to sustain any injuries on board.
Boating insurance is a requirement for anyone who owns a boat. This means that if you are injured, their insurance will cover any expenses pertaining to the injury. If the liable individual does not have boater insurance, then it is important to talk to a lawyer about what else can be done.
Our firm has experience with boating accidents and boating liability cases, and we want to help victims and families of people who were injured or died as a result of a boating-related incident. If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of a third-party’s negligence, contact the attorneys at Boudreau & Nisivaco, LLC today for a free consultation. (312) 620-1261