If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be wondering who is going to be financially responsible for all the losses the injuries have cost you. Many boat accident victims are left with expensive medical bills and loss of income, while also enduring pain, emotional anguish, and other losses. Both federal and state laws are set up so boating accident victims can pursue damages against the party or parties responsible for the accident.
Who can pursue a boating accident claim?
Vessel Passenger: If an individual is a passenger on a vessel that is involved in a boating accident, they can usually file a claim or bring a lawsuit against the owner or operator of the boat they were on or the owner or operator of the other vessel involved in the crash. Your Milwaukee personal injury lawyer will go over all the accident evidence to determine which of those operators was at fault in the crash. Boat operators – just like motor vehicle drivers – owe everyone around them a duty of care to operate their vessel in a safe manner.
Operator of a Vessel: That duty of care not only applies to passengers in vessels, but also to other vessel operators, too. If an operator is injured because another boat operator smashed into them, they can pursue damages against the at-fault operator for compensation for those injuries, as well as for compensation for damages to their vessel. This applies whether your vessel was in the open waters or docked. Your attorney can determine if the claim or lawsuit should be filed under maritime law or state law and which has jurisdiction over the accident.
Jet Skiers and Tubers: Many people enjoy the thrill of jet skiing and the fun of tubing, but tragically, these activities leave them vulnerable to injury or death in boating accidents. If you are on a jet ski and another vessel smashes into you, you can pursue damages against that operator.
For tubers, there may be multiple parties responsible for the crash, depending on the circumstances. If the accident happened because another boat crashed into you, then they would be the liable party. However, there are also many tuber accidents that are caused by the boat operator who is pulling the tube. This can happen because they were operating the boat too fast or they were under the influence of alcohol.
Another possible scenario is if a third party left some kind of object in the water that the tuber crashed into. If anyone is injured or there is damage to the boat, that person can be held liable for all losses.
What is required under the law to pursue a boat accident claim against someone?
There are certain elements that will indicate whether or not you have a case against the person who caused the accident?
- Did you suffer an injury?
- Did the injury cause you to suffer financial expenses?
- Did the injury cause you pain and suffering?
- Did the injury have a negative impact on your life?
- Was another party responsible for what happened?
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Hickey & Turim for their insight into personal injury and boating accidents.