Boating accidents don’t frequently get the attention a serious car accident might get in the local newspaper or 5-o’clock news on the TV, however, they do occur, can be just as serious if not more, and they happen with far more frequency.
Why Boating is Different
Unlike driving and related accidents, the world of boating happens wherever a water channel or conduit may go, and there is far less regulatory compliance for training and licensing on a boat than one has to provide for a car license. So, no surprise, the level of mistakes and risk-taking tends to be a lot more. That unfortunately, doesn’t reduce the level of injuries and damage that can occur in boating accidents, and they can often cost far more.
Boating can also produce a mix of users and boaters. It’s quite possible for someone who is used to coastal boating and sailing to end up on a river way or channel if such accesses are available. They are two entirely different types of boating, but overlap happens from time to time. And, like any situation where someone is doing something new or infrequently, unfamiliarity with terrain can trigger mistakes and accidents as well. Further, some parties even rent boats for the holidays, operating vehicles they are not used to in addition to doing so in waterways they are not familiar with. Again, this can also increase risks and problems for operator error.
A Higher Risk of Loss
In fact, boating accidents can result in far greater problems.
First, the incident is on water which always comes with a risk of injury and drowning of victims involved. Unlike a car accident, one can’t just walk away from a sinking boat. Second, boats are extremely expensive, and when they collide they are extremely fragile. This combination often results in thousands and thousands of dollars in damage, even from a minor collision. Finally, because boating doesn’t have near the training requirements as car driving, the frequency of people doing dumb things on the water is far greater, affecting everyone nearby. Add in drinking, and the risk grows exponentially.
Boating accident injury recovery should always be considered if one is a victim and suffering a related loss. Recovery can be extremely tricky for a number of reasons. The primary initial problem is determining the appropriate jurisdiction. If the accident is on a lake then this may not be so much an issue (except for border lakes like Lake Tahoe for example), but if the accident is coastal the issue could be either a state issue or a federal issue, depending on actual location. That can have a huge influence on which court venue the recovery is filed in if litigation is necessary.
Concurrent Rules and Laws
Additionally, if there is a negligence or criminal element involved, such as with impaired operation of a boat vessel, federal rules and recovery options under them can be very different than state rules. And where a crime is involved, recovery may be delayed if a prosecuting agency wants to step in and take over the case first. The result could be a bankrupting of a defendant, leaving nothing for the defendant if there is no insurance coverage available to recover against instead.
Get the Right Advice
Deciding whether you should or shouldn’t pursue a boat accident recovery doesn’t have to be a personal decision made alone. There is nothing wrong with just getting a consultation, discuss the incident facts, and see what options are available. Such discussions are common and are a smart way to understand and learn all choices available for one’s specific case and situation. A good personal injury attorney will vet the basic information available, look at all the details and possibilities, and will then explain to a client what the most likely outcomes are that can occur with a given case. It may not be the big recovery one might think could occur, but a good attorney will be honest about reasonable expectations in a consultation. And that’s the kind of a good advice a client needs after a boating accident.
Where to Find Expert Help
Our offices are available provide a free consultation on any boating accident cases 24/7. We can help straighten out the accident confusion and what to consider in terms of civil recovery as well as what it might mean if there was some kind of criminal behavior element involved as well. We can quickly point out what your rights are and what kind of recovery is possible for your specific situation. You don’t have to guess or research your options on your own. We can pull all the details together so you can focus on how to get back on track with your life. A boating accident can be a big disruption and messy situation, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. Our offices can help pull things back together again for your interests and needs without the headaches and frustration of going it alone. Contact us today to see how we can help you!