Boat Accidents

Attorneys Serving Clients Injured in Boating Accidents

Boating should be a fun recreational activity. Unfortunately, boat accidents carry a high risk of serious injury and death.

If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, please call Lincoln Trial Lawyers  today for a free consultation

Causes of Boat Accidents

Most boat accidents are the result of operator error. Like any motor vehicle, motorboats, jet skis, and other vessels must be handled with care and attention to reduce the risk of an accident.

Some of the most common causes of accidents involving boats include:

  • Alcohol and drug use (boating under the influence, or BUI)
  • Inexperience operating the vessel
  • Excess speed
  • Distraction and inattention
  • Reckless handling of the boat
  • Failure to watch for swimmers, water skiers, non-motorized boats, and other vessels

Other potential causes of boat accidents include defective vessels and equipment as well as inadequate maintenance. All of these factors pose a danger both to the people on the boat as well as others in the water.

Types of Boat Accidents

Boating accidents can involve virtually any type of vessel:

  • Motorized boats, including fishing boats, speedboats, go-fast boats, etc.
  • Yachts and cabin cruisers
  • Jet skis
  • Canoes and kayaks
  • Paddle boats
  • Tour boats and party boats

Without the right care and equipment, serious accidents like the following can occur:

  • Sinking
  • Capsizing
  • Flooding of the vessel
  • Collision with another vessel
  • Collision with a stationary object, such as a dock, buoy, etc.
  • Collision with a swimmer, intertuber, or water skier
  • Running aground on the shore, a sandbar, or other hazard

These types of accidents can be exacerbated by factors such as failing to wear a life jacket.

Injuries in Boat Accidents

The severity of injury in a boat accident will depend on the circumstances. For example, a slip and fall accident on the deck of the boat is very different from a collision between two vessels.

Serious injuries that can occur in a boat accident include:

  • Brain injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns
  • Amputation injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Broken bones
  • Soft tissue injuries

Sadly, fatal injuries are not uncommon in boating accidents. One of the most serious risks is drowning. Even strong, experienced swimmers can drown in accidents where they are knocked unconscious or the boat sinks, capsizes, or floods.

Liability for a Boat Accident

Multiple parties may be liable for a boating accident. If you or a loved one was injured or a member of your family passed away in an accident on the water, it is in your interest to contact a boat accident lawyer to discuss your legal rights and options.

Your lawyers will investigate the accident to determine who is liable. The liable parties may include:

The Operator of the Boat

Although the law is requiring more and more boaters to complete safety training before they hit the water, inexperience is still a major contributor to boating accidents. Combine this with other careless choices, such as BUI, carrying too many passengers, and not paying attention, and the risk of an accident is significant.

The operator of the boat may be liable for injuries sustained by passengers, as well as those in other vessels or in the water.

The Manufacturer of the Boat

Many different injuries can occur if the boat, a component part, or other equipment fails. The manufacturer of the boat and its parts may be liable for defects such as:

  • Loose and poorly mounted railings and ladders
  • Engines and fuel systems that catch fire
  • Faulty electrical wiring that results in electrocution
  • Steering issues that cause a collision
  • Unseaworthiness

As with any product liability claim, multiple companies may be liable for defects that cause injury. Thorough investigation is crucial to determine which party or parties are responsible.

The Boat Rental Company

Businesses that rent boats are responsible for maintaining the vessels to ensure they are safe for use. Employees are also required to instruct customers on safe operation of the boat before launch.

If the boat accident was caused by negligent maintenance or employee error, the rental business may be liable.

How Lincoln Trial Lawyers Can Help with Your Boating Accident Claim

We have extensive experience in a wide variety of vehicle accident claims, including cases involving boats.

We will thoroughly investigate the accident to determine who is at fault, account for all of the damages you have suffered as a result of your injuries, and pursue maximum compensation from all liable parties on your behalf. If you tragically lost a loved one in a boating accident, our lawyers can file a wrongful death claim on behalf of your family.