Personal Injury Claims and Liability After a Boat Accident

August 11, 2021

Summer is in full swing, and one of the most popular ways to beat the heat is to get out on the water. California boasts plenty of lakes and rivers, as well as the Pacific Ocean, making it a boater’s paradise. Unfortunately, boats can be dangerous—even deadly. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, call a boating accident attorney right away. You may be entitled to compensation for your medical bills, property damage, lost wages and more.

A case for negligence

Boating accidents are often the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness. Legally speaking, negligence is someone’s failure to act with reasonable care or caution. If your case proceeds on a theory of negligence, you’ll have to prove that someone had a duty to act reasonably, they failed in that duty and, as a result, you were harmed.

Negligence theories can be appropriate for anything from drunken boat collisions to defective boat equipment. For example, if you collide with another boat, you might want to sue the other boat operator. You would need to prove that the defendant was acting negligently or recklessly, such as failing to watch where they’re going, drinking while operating the boat or engaging in other unsafe behavior. Then you would show that your injuries or property damage were a result of that negligent behavior. Keep in mind that when it comes to boat collisions, both parties may share fault.

Passengers can also sue boat operators. If you were injured on someone else’s boat thanks to similarly negligent behavior, you may be entitled to recover compensation for those injuries. Your boat operator has a duty to use the vessel safely, especially if it’s a commercial enterprise. They may also be liable if they fail to keep the proper safety equipment on board and you are harmed as a result.

What happens if no one else was involved?

Not all boat accidents involve other boats. Sometimes boats strike rocks or other submerged objects, fall victim to unpredictable waves or experience other disasters. If you’re the operator, there’s often no legal recourse. If you’re the passenger, you’d have to prove the operator was acting negligently.

If the boat itself caused the accident, there may be a case for product liability. This is a type of negligence claim in which a party can sue a manufacturer for defective parts or products, failure to adequately warn of dangers or because it’s an inherently dangerous product. Your boat should always be safe for its intended use: traveling over water. If the engine unexpectedly catches fire, causing you harm, you may have a case.

Ultimately, it’s important that you hire a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to tell you whether you have a strong case, your likelihood of success and what kind of damages you can expect.

To consult with a boating accident attorney, get in touch with the Law Offices of Max G. Arnold, Inc. today. We look forward to discussing your case.

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