Boating is a form of recreation enjoyed by thousands of people around the world. The United States is favored with many inland lakes, rivers, and coastlines that its boating citizens can enjoy. If you are one such sporting adventurer, then you know the pleasures of a day or weekend out on the water. You have worked hard to master the handling of your craft; to understand the rules and regulations of navigating and piloting a boat in a restricted body of water.
Some boaters do not take safety seriously. And if you have been injured in a boating collision caused by a reckless, negligent, inattentive, or drunk boater, you do have legal options. The boating injury attorneys at Johnson Johnson Whittle & Lancer in Aiken, SC have years of experience successfully representing victims of boating incidents.
Causes of Incidents
According to the United States Coast Guard, boating and water vehicle-related incidents have risen for the second straight year in America. The reasons are many, but here are some of the most common:
1. Drunk boating
Boating is done mostly in the summer and spring months. Spending time on the water with family and friends is an excellent way to relax and unwind. The drinking of alcohol tends to be part of this practice. While it is okay for passengers to drink responsibly on the boat, the person tasked with piloting the craft should abstain. People tend to underestimate the speed with which they can become intoxicated on the water. This is especially the case on hot summer days. If the boating collision that injured you is due to drunk boating, you have a claim against the operator of the craft.
2. Inexperienced and untrained boater
A boater should undergo training before they can operate a craft. Depending on the size of the craft, they may need a special license. In any case, boaters are expected to know and follow the rules of the water. Failure to do so can lead to a boating injury. If you are the victim of a boating operator’s carelessness and inexperience, you should take legal action.
3. Excessive speed and not keeping a proper lookout
All boaters are expected to be watchful and vigilant in restricted waterways. Operators should moderate their speed in congested boating spots.
Why You Need a Lawyer
An injury on the water is a sudden, jolting, and frightening experience. It can leave people confused and panicked. Indeed, many such injuries result from people not knowing what to do. A boating injury caused by someone else’s recklessness or incompetence must be responded to with vigor. You should hold the person who caused your injuries accountable. The best way to do that is by hiring a lawyer who specializes in boating injuries.
You should call an attorney as soon as you call your insurance company. You want to be sure of your rights, and you want someone who can guide you step-by-step through the process of getting just compensation.
Boating injury attorneys have deep insight into this area of law. They will know how to build a case against the person responsible for the injury. During your initial consultation, your attorney will ask you to recall the details of the situation. They will also ask about your current state of health and the progress of your recovery. These statements will inform the subsequent legal strategy developed by your lawyer.
What Your Lawyer Will Do
You don’t need to file a lawsuit immediately. The insurance company of the boater who hit you may offer to settle if it becomes clear to them that the injury owed to the recklessness of their client. Your lawyer should review every offer made to you. Boating injury attorneys have enough experience to determine whether the proposed sum is adequate. If it compensates you for your medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering, your lawyer may advise you to accept it. If it does not, then you will need to press for more money. If the insurance company does not yield, then you will need to file suit.
When Someone Dies
If a friend or loved one is killed as a result of a drunk or reckless boater, you can file a boating incident wrongful death suit. Nothing can replace the life of someone you cared for and loved. The money from such a lawsuit is the closest you can get to justice. Filing a boating incident wrongful death suit is one way to hold a negligent boater accountable for what they have done.
If you have received an injury on the water, you need legal representation. You should call a Johnson Johnson Whittle & Lancer boating injury attorney today for a free consultation.