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Boating Accident

Boating accidents can produce catastrophic, and even fatal, injuries. Both boaters, swimmers, and even nearby onlookers are in danger when a boat goes off course, and the consequences of even a minor boating accident can be extreme. Many boaters don't realize that many of the same rules that govern driving also govern boating. It is, for example, illegal to boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or to operate a watercraft in a way that shows reckless disregard for human lif

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need a skilled personal injury attorney on your side. Boating law is complex, and a lawyer who understands its intricacies is best situated to get you the recovery you need and deserve.

Who is Liable for Boating Accidents?

Generally speaking, the party who caused the boating accident is the one who is responsible for the injuries. In most cases, this means the person who received a citation. If no one received a citation, then you will need to prove in court that the other side is liable for your injuries due to either negligence—such as boating too quickly or using a watercraft that the boater was ill-equipped to drive—or recklessness, such as driving while under the influence of alcohol.

What if you caused the accident? In most cases, you won’t be able to sue. Rarely, though, a third party might be fully or partially liable. For example, if an obstacle in the water wasn’t clearly marked, you could sue the person who put it there. Or if your watercraft malfunctioned even though properly maintained, you might be able to sue the manufacturer.

When you sue for a boating injury, the other party’s insurance policy will be responsible for covering your damages, unless he or she does not carry insurance. If this is the case, you will have to sue the person responsible for the boating accident, and he or she may or may not have sufficient funds to cover the claim. This is when your attorney might look to third parties you might sue.

What if My Claim Exceeds the Policy Limits?

Catastrophic boating accidents can produce claims in the hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even in the millions. If you have a very high value claim, it is possible that your claim will exceed the limits of the other party’s insurance policy. If this happens to you, a skilled personal injury lawyer becomes particularly important. There may be additional parties you can sue, or you may have to go after the responsible party as an individual.

How Much Can I Recover?

A personal injury claim is not typically a recipe for riches. Instead, it’s a way to compensate you for injuries. In the legal system, injuries are referred to as damages, and you must prove that you have sustained actual damages. It’s not enough to simply be in a boating accident.

You may be able to recover:

Most boating accidents settle before they make it to trial. This means you’ll arrive at a compromise with the other side to settle the total value of your claim. You’re more likely to get a favorable settlement if you have a strong case, extensive damages, and the other party does not want to take on the risk of going to trial. For example, if you sue a boat manufacturer for faulty equipment, the manufacturer may not want to risk the public exposure and embarrassment of taking the case to trial. Much depends on your lawyer’s ability to make a compelling argument in your favor before the case goes to trial.

Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer for my Boating Accident Claim?

Boating law is complicated, even for lawyers. Someone who has not gone to law school simply does not have the legal skill and experience necessary to litigate a complex claim. Missing even a single filing deadline could cost you your case, so don’t take on this risk! Moreover, the other party is more likely to take your claim seriously and offer you a fair settlement if you have a skilled personal injury attorney in your corner. You’ll be better received in court, and you won’t have to deal with the stress of talking to the other side or endlessly bickering with the person who injured you.

Boating accident cases are contingency cases, which means you do not pay unless you win or your case settles. There’s no upfront cost to you. Thus hiring a personal injury attorney may be the savviest financial decision you ever make, particularly if your injuries were extensive and expensive. Don’t delay. Call us today!

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