If you have suffered an injury as a result of a boating accident, liability can work in a manner that is different from if you are injured while driving in a car. After all, the rules of the road are different.
For example, with a collision involving a car, rules can indicate that only one motorist was at fault for the accident. If you were speeding and ran a red light, you would be found responsible for the resulting accident. With a boat collision, however, both boats are often considered partially at fault.
Determining Who Is At Fault
If one of the operators of the boat is injured, he or she will only have a claim against the other boat operator if he or she is considered to be less than 50 percent responsible. However, the type of boat will also have an impact on who will be found responsible. Because of safe boating practices, a motorboat would be considered more responsible for a boating accident than a sailboat.
A unique problem not faced by motorists is the wake or wave. The wake can knock passengers over or even knock them overboard. If you suffer an injury as a result of a wake, you may be able to sue for damages.
Whether or not you will be able to sue over a wake depends on the size of the wake, how fast the boat is moving, how much visibility there is, whether you were on a sailboat or not, whether you were warned of a coming wake and how much boat traffic was nearby. Because it can be difficult to determine whether it’s appropriate to sue, make sure to contact an attorney for assistance.
A wave is different from a wake in that there is no motorist to hold responsible for a wave. In this case, the operator of the boat may be held responsible if you were not properly warned.
If the boat collides with land or a rock, the operator of the boat may be held liable. This is only the case if there is reason to believe that the operator was negligent. For instance, if the operator was driving too fast and if there was great visibility, the judge may assume that the operator was responsible for the accident.
What to Do After an Accident
Boating can be dangerous. Therefore, make sure that you take all of the necessary precautions. You should know how to swim and remember to wear a life jacket. However, even when you take all of the necessary precautions, accidents can happen.
After you have suffered an injury, make sure to receive medical treatment promptly. Try to record the events as they occurred, and do your best to contact those who you went boating with to serve as witnesses.
Boating accidents can lead to all sorts of injuries. You may suffer brain damage as a result of a lack of oxygen while drowning. You may hit your head on a hard surface while falling into the water. You may be run over by a boat and cut by propeller blades. If two boats collide, you may be pinned between both boats.
While it may be easy to determine what caused the injury, you may find it more difficult to prove that negligence was involved. The difficulty of proving this negligence is why you may need an attorney.
After a boating accident, you will want to work with an attorney at Andreopoulos & Hill PLLC for help with your personal injury case. Contact an attorney as soon as possible so that you have the best chance of finding the evidence you need to support your case.