How To Win and Get Money in a Boating or Jet-Ski Accident Lawsuit
There are multiple factors that play an important role in the outcome of a case, and effect the compensation the person injured in a boat accident (or their family) will receive.
Has someone you are family or friends with, been killed in a boating accident? Have you or a loved one been injured by someone else in a boating accident? Has the injured person incurred medical or hospital bills? Has the person lost income as a result of the injuries from the boating accident?
Below are a few of the issues and areas that will affect each boating accident case:
- The Medical / Health-care related bills of the injured person
- Physical therapy bills of the injured person
- Income that has been (and will be) lost as a result of being injured from the boating accident
- How much pain and suffering has the person injured in the boating accident suffered
If the injuries suffered as a result of the boating accident are going to be “long-term” the victim of the accident may also be able to claim
Did one or more victims die in the boating accident?
Because boating accidents occur on the open waters, there comes the added risk that one or more victims of the accident may have drowned or were otherwise killed in the accident. If someone dies in a boating accident, the person’s estate and/or surviving family may bring a “wrongful-death” lawsuit. A wrongful death lawsuit may seek to compensate the surviving spouse and/or family members for:
- Lost financial support
- Lost consortium
- Funeral costs
- Possibly others.
Determining FAULT in a boating accident.
Determining who was at fault and by what amount, will be the #1 determining factor in the case.
- Was the driver of the boat that caused the accident not paying attention?
- Was the driver of the boat that caused the accident driving too fast, or in an area/lane that s/he should not have been in?
- Was the boat that caused the injuries violating any maritime rules or law?
- Was the boat of the person(s) that were injured/killed in violation of any rules / laws?
- Was there any equipment or parts of the boat that were defective (in their design or manufacture) that caused or contributed to the accident?
- Was there anyone or any entity that should have been overseeing the area, that was not?
Acquiring the answers to these questions is vitally important and will materially affect the case. There are multiple ways to get this information, such as Experts to review equipment to determine if it was defective in its design or manufacture; dock security cameras; go-pro type cameras from other boats or boaters; GPS device information; witness statements, etc., and of course statements from you and/or anyone on/in your boat.
Who can be sued after a boating accident?
The answer to this is on a case-by-case basis. However, the short answer is, anyone and everyone that directly caused and/or contributed to the accident and the injuries and damages caused by the driver of the other boat. Additionally, those people or entities that should have reasonably foreseen that an accident could have occurred from their actions (or inaction). Although not an exhaustive list, a few possible people/entities that can be sued are:
- The operator/driver of the boat that caused the injuries
- Boat passenger(s)
- The owner of that other boat
- The manufacturer of the boat
- Jet-ski operator/driver (if the accident involved a jet-ski type craft)
- Jet-ski owner
- The passenger of the jet-ski
- The owner of that other boat
- The manufacturer of the jet-ski
- Anyone else involved in the accident
What types of water-craft can be the subject of a boating / jet-ski type lawsuit?
Just about any type water-craft can be the subject of a lawsuit. Even if the type of craft that caused your injuries is not listed, there likely will be liability on the other party. A few examples are:
- Jet-skis and personal type watercrafts
- Yachts (big or small)
- Out/In-board motor-boats
- Inflatable raft-boats
What is the first thing I should do if me or someone I know has been injured in a boating accident?
- To protect your case, it is best if you speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Not only is the consult Free, but if you do decide to have an attorney represent you, the attorney only receives a fee when and if the attorney recovers for you. This is referred to as, whether the attorney collects a fee, is ‘contingent’ on the attorney winning you (the injured person) compensation.
- If you try and represent yourself you will need to create a list the names of any/all people that you think could be a witness (People move or memories fade. Getting a list of names and statements sooner than later can be crucial)
- Subpoena any and all video evidence that may contain images of the event
- Make sure you do not make any statements regarding the event
- There is a long list of do’s and don’t’s. Not only is the list too long to include here and each case is different, but legal advice cannot be conveyed via this website.