When we head out on the water for a boat day, the worst harm most of us imagine is a bad sunburn. However, the thousands of boating accidents that take place each year prove the dangers are much more severe.
If you or a loved one were injured or killed in a boating accident, you should be aware of your legal rights. Even if you believe the accident was your fault, it's possible to fight for compensation to cover damages.
Our experienced Maryland boat accident attorneys are prepared to analyze your case and explain your legal options. Consultations are completely free of cost and obligation. You've got nothing to lose and much to gain, including financial support for treatment and most importantly, your peace of mind. Call us now or fill out the form on this page to learn more.
Recent world events have pushed residents of Maryland and individuals throughout the country to engage in more outdoor activities. Boating is one of the hobbies that has seen the greatest growth, with many individuals buying boats for the first time.
Many of these new boaters are indeed responsible operators. Yet, much like driving on a highway, the problem isn't how you're driving, it's who is at the wheel of the vehicles around you. The increased number of boats in waterways has inevitably led to more accidents and many more boaters asking themselves: "Who is responsible for my damages and injuries after a boat accident?"
Boating accidents can be caused by a number of factors. There are countless factors that come into play when a boat is out on the water, which means that any of these factors may lead to an accident. That being said, most boat accident causes fall into the following causes:
It's impossible to broadly assign liability for all boating accidents. The different circumstances in each instance will determine which party or parties are responsible for the damages that arise from a boat accident, whether these be property damage, physical injuries, or worse. Below, we expand on liability in some normal boat accident scenarios.
Earlier, we drew the parallel between highways and waterways. Similarly, when two boats collide or when any type of boat accident takes place, the insurance company of the boat operator who was at fault is likely to be liable for the damages.
As with auto accidents, determining the exact cause (and the responsible party) of any boat accident can be a muddy affair. Hiring a boating accident is often recommended so that victims of damages and/or injuries may effectively file a claim for compensation.
Many rental companies will allow boaters to take boats out on the water as long as they write the check and can pass a less-than-rigorous training. As a result, many inexperienced operators are able to get behind the wheel among other boats.
If these rented boats cause an accident, the insurance policy of the rental company may be liable for paying damages. Likewise, if the individual who rented the boat or their passengers suffer an injury, they may also file a claim against the rental company's insurance policy.
If a manufacturing defect in the boat, engine or other critical component is found to have caused a boating accident that resulted in personal injuries or death, the manufacturer of the component may be held responsible.
These types of boating accident lawsuits are incredibly complex in their scope and just as difficult to win. But with the help of an experienced lawyer, victims with genuine claims have the possibility of receiving compensation for their physical injuries and other monetary damages.
Before exploring a boat accident or boat injury lawsuit, it's important to determine if a lawsuit is the proper course of action.
Above, we explained how different insurance policies may be claimed as a means of compensation. While filing a claim against an insurance policy is a legal process, it is not the same as filing a lawsuit. If the insurance policy refused to pay out, for instance, then your attorney could consider filing a lawsuit so that the case could go in front of a civil court.
Even when it comes to filing a claim on a boat insurance policy, it can be vital to hire a boating accident lawyer. This is because insurance providers are likely to offer a diminished settlement amount if they see that the claimant has not hired an attorney. On the other hand, a boat injury lawyer knows how to argue for maximum compensation and, simply with their presence within the process, make it clear that the claimant will not be pushed around or dismissed.
Whether a boating accident lawsuit is easy to win or not depends on the circumstances of each specific case. Though, most importantly, the question is not whether the case is easy or not to win; it's whether the maximum compensation was obtained for victims and their loved ones.
Defendants are usually quick to settle for amounts lower than what they believe to be the true cost of the damages. The job of a boating accident lawyer is to make sure that the settlement offer is wholesome and fair. If it isn't, a lawyer must be willing to go to court and fight until they get it.
If you or a loved one were involved in a boating accident and you're considering taking legal action, or if you simply want to learn more about your legal rights, contact us now at our 24/7 helpline or fill out the form on this page. Our law firm offers free consultations; moreover, we only work on contingency, which means that if we can't secure compensation on your behalf, you won't owe us anything. No Win, No Fee.