Recreational boating is a very popular pastime for many Americans, ranging from sports enthusiasts to recreational anglers. Every weekend, hundreds of thousands of boaters take to lakes, rivers and oceans in order to enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, avoidable accidents can result in tragedy, at which point it becomes important to find an effective personal injury lawyer for a boat accident.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Most boating accidents are preventable events and include the following common examples:
• Collisions with other vessels on the water.
• Collisions involving fixed objects such as piers.
• Losing passengers or crew overboard during operations.
These types of boating accidents may result in serious injury or death to the passengers or other bystanders. In many cases, these accidents occur due to the intoxication or drug use of the boat’s operators. Additionally, a lack of safety gear, such as radios or life jackets, can transform an inconvenient accident into a tragedy.
Finding the Liable Party
An important component of obtaining compensation is to determine what parties are at fault in an accident. In some cases, more than one party may be at fault for varying reasons and it will require a skilled lawyer for a boat accident to determine how best to proceed.
In most states, the boat owner is responsible for his or her boat even if they are not currently piloting it. A boat owner or operator must ensure that:
• The vessel is in proper mechanical condition.
• Has all required safety gear for the crew and passengers. This includes ensuring that all passengers know where the safety gear is.
• The boat is not carrying more passengers than is safe for the boat’s design and the current water conditions.
Finally, substandard construction or maintenance may cause other parties to bear liability for the accident. In other cases, defective life saving equipment might expose its manufacturer to liability.
Securing Effective Compensation
Victims of a boating accident can receive a number of forms of compensation. They may receive compensation for hospital and rehabilitation expenses, lost work due to their injuries and the price of any long-term hospitalization or rehabilitation. In addition, they may receive compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the accident.
In the case of a death, the family may receive compensation for all of the above costs, as well as the loss of the companionship and support of their spouse or parent. In some cases of egregious wrongdoing on the part of the defendants, the court may choose to impose punitive damages. Finally, when faced with a skilled attorney, the defendant may choose to settle the case out of court.
However, only an experienced lawyer for a boat accident can effectively determine the best strategy to use in order to ensure adequate compensation for the individual’s loss. The law firm of Eric. J Hertz, P.C. is skilled at handling boating accidents and any victims of an accident should contact them at 404-577-8111.