While sailing on a cruise line, personal watercraft, or private vessel, can be a relaxing time, boating accidents put occupants at a significant risk of serious harm. When a boating accident occurs, it is important to know who is responsible and how to hold him or her accountable for causing your injury.
A Blair County boat accident lawyer could assist you in identifying potential defendants, devising a legal strategy, and proving negligence. Do not attempt to handle these cases on your own. A qualified personal injury attorney could provide experienced guidance throughout the litigation process.
Types of Watercraft Accidents
There are many different causes of watercraft accidents. While most involve the negligence of an individual, other reasons may be entirely unforeseeable. Blair County lawyers often see boat accidents caused by:
This occurs when a boat overturns in water, due to negligence, weather, or other similar incidents. These accidents put occupants at a significant risk of drowning.
Collision with Vessel
Failure to take necessary precautions to avoid colliding, also implicates a failure to communicate with neighboring vessels properly. This could be caused by a boater who is inexperienced, intoxicated, or operating the vessel recklessly.
Collision with a Jet Ski
An accident involving a personal watercraft usually used for recreation. These collisions are dangerous because jet skis can reach speeds over eighty miles per hour and offer little in protection in the event of a wreck.
Striking a Fixed Object
These accidents involve the striking of a submerged object. Submerged objects include shipping containers, oyster beds, stumps, logs, debris, and sunken vessels.
Similar to DUI laws, Pennsylvania also has laws that prohibit operating watercraft while intoxicated. This is sometimes referred to as Boating Under the Influence or BUI. Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol in a manner that impairs an individual’s ability to operate a watercraft could be a strong indication of negligence in a civil claim.
Fire or Explosion
These accidents usually involve the transportation of hazardous materials or an engine maintenance issue. These can cause catastrophic injuries include severe burns and death.
Higher underwater landmasses and sand bars pose potential hazards for even seasoned sailors. Inexperienced or distracted boaters can collide with underwater landmasses and cause devastating property damage and personal injury to occupants.
Other causes are less frequent, but always possible. These include falling overboard, being ejected from the vessel, rigger accidents, shipyard cases, marine cargo handling, colliding with a floating object, para-sailing accidents, wind and kite surfing accidents, tugboat and barge accidents, or colliding with a dam.
Who is Negligent in a Boat Collision?
Negligence is a broad legal concept that refers to a duty of care owed to a person. If a defendant fails to maintain that duty, directly resulting in compensable losses to a plaintiff, he or she could be held legally negligent and be required to provide monetary compensation.
However, the burden of proof falls on the injured party, and if a plaintiff fails to satisfy each requirement under negligence law, he or she runs the risk of having his or her claim dismissed. Defense attorneys and insurance adjusters will work hard to prove that a plaintiff has failed to satisfy the requirements under the law and is not entitled to compensation. A Blair County attorney is familiar with the legal requirements to prove a watercraft crash was caused by a negligent boater and can help plaintiffs prepare for litigating if necessary.
Contact a Blair County Boat Accident Attorney Today
Boating accidents can result in lifelong, catastrophic injuries. It is essential to seek legal assistance to obtain compensation for medical bills, future medical treatment, lost wages, pain and suffering, and costs incurred from the inconvenience.
Do not hesitate to contact an experienced attorney. Pennsylvania law requires a boating accident report to be completed within 48 hours of the incident if it involves death, disappearance, or medical treatment. To learn more about the legal requirements surrounding your claim, contact a Blair County boat accident lawyer at Marcus & Mack now.