People out for a pleasant day of boating may find their lives permanently changed if they are involved in a boat accident. Accidents on the waterways can lead to property damage, loss of income, serious injuries, and even death.
If someone else’s negligence led to your injury or the death of your loved one, you need a State College boat accident lawyer to represent you. A skilled personal injury attorney could work hard to hold the negligent party accountable for damages and help you get the compensation you deserve.
Establishing Boat Operator Negligence
Under Pennsylvania law, anyone injured due to another’s fault has the right to seek financial compensation for his or her injuries. The claimant must be able to show that:
- There was either a physical injury or financial loss
- At least 50% of the fault lies with the defendant
- The defendant’s negligence caused the harm the plaintiff suffered.
There are many forms of negligence that can be a factor in watercraft accidents. Boat operators who violate waterway laws, fail to equip their ship with the proper safety equipment, or are distracted or intoxicated while controlling the vessel could all be found negligent in the event of an accident. Additionally, if the manufacturers of the vessel failed to notice or remove a defect that caused an accident, they could also be held accountable.
To prove boat operator negligence, State College attorneys need to collect relevant evidence. By contacting an attorney soon after an accident, it could improve the chances of recovering important evidence before it disappears.
Pennsylvania uses the theory of modified comparative negligence to determine the amount of damages a plaintiff may receive. As long as the claimant’s is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, he or she may collect damages from other negligent parties. However, there will be a reduction in the award equal to his or her percentage of responsibility.
For example, in a case that a plaintiff is 20 percent responsible for an accident, if that plaintiff receives an award of $10,000, the court will reduce the award to $8,000. A skilled lawyer in State College could present the facts of the boat accident case in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, perhaps reducing the amount of responsibility that the court assigns to the plaintiff.
Available Damages in a State College Watercraft Accident
Boat collisions often result in significant financial losses. If there is damage to the person’s boat or its contents, he or she could seek compensation for property damage. There may be immediate medical bills for emergency treatment as well as ongoing expenses for pain medications or physical therapy. Additionally, if a person is catastrophically injured in a boat wreck, he or she may be unable to work, resulting in lost wages or future earning capacity. The negligent party or parties must compensate the claimant for these expenses.
If an accident causes permanent damage, like disfigurement, the negligent party may be required to compensate a claimant for the emotional impact this has. Pain and suffering are also compensable losses. An experienced watercraft accident attorney could negotiate for the highest award possible to meet all the plaintiff’s needs.
Get a State College Boat Accident Attorney on Your Side
If you were injured in a boat wreck due to another person’s negligent actions, do not hesitate to seek legal counsel. A compassionate State College boat accident lawyer could negotiate with insurance companies to try to get you the best settlement possible. If necessary, your attorney will take the negligent parties to court. Call to schedule your free case consultation today.