Boating accidents and maritime accidents are at an all-time high.[1] Recreational boating includes using a boat for fishing, water skiing, and/or travel. Recreational boating is a popular American pastime that over 87 million U.S. adults participate in. Although boats are a fun form of entertainment for many families, they also pose great danger. In 2019, there were roughly four thousand boating accidents, totaling almost $3 million in damages.[2] If you or a loved one were in a boating accident, contact Counsel Hound for a no-cost consultation and case evaluation.

Boating Accident Types

In 2019, the primary causes of boating accidents included:[3]

  • Collision with recreational vessel
  • Collision with a fixed object
  • Grounding
  • Flooding/Swamping
  • Falling overboard

Contributing Factors of Boating Accidents

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Improper lookout
  3. Operator inexperience
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Alcohol use
  6. Machinery failure
  7. Navigation rules violation
  8. Weather
  9. Hazardous water
  10. Force of wave/wake

Our Counsel Hound lawyer will work to hold the boat operator accountable. This may include proving the operator was negligent, under the influence, or operating in a reckless and/or careless manner.

Common Injuries from Boating Accidents

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Spinal injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Burns
  • Concussion
  • Hypothermia
  • Internal organ injury
  • Laceration

Safe Driving Tips

  • Always wear a properly fitting life jacket. It can save your life if you or someone you love goes overboard. Falling overboard is one of the top five reasons for boating accidents.
  • Always pay attention while operating a boat and continuously look out for other boaters.
  • Collisions with fixed objects and collisions with other recreational vessels are the top two reasons for boating accidents.
  • Always follow the waterway rules and laws.

Stages of a Boating Accident Lawsuit

  1. Initial Investigation: If possible, take photos of the scene and write down the names and phone numbers of witnesses. No matter how minor the accident, always call 911. The police report may provide vital information for your case.
  2. Medical Treatment for Injuries: Receiving medical treatment is an important step in creating a case. Be honest with your doctor about the severity of your injuries so the doctor can provide you with the necessary treatment. Always continue the treatment the doctor has prescribed, or insurance may see the discontinuation of treatment as an indication you are healed. Document each doctor’s visit so we can include your medical costs in the settlement or award.
  3. File Claim with Insurance Company: Notify your insurance company of the accident. Your insurance company should take the necessary steps to reimburse you for damages. If the at-fault operator’s insurance company attempts to contact you for a statement or settlement, do not respond until after your consultation with Counsel Hound. We are working with your best interest in mind, and you may be eligible for more than what the insurance company of the at-fault operator will initially offer.
  4. Counsel Hound Consultation: Fill out our contact form, and we will set up an initial meeting to discuss your options. We work with lawyers across the nation, and you will be referred to the best-suited lawyer for your case at no cost.
  5. Settlement Demand: After your medical treatment has been finalized, we will begin the settlement process to maximize your compensation for damages. This process may involve negotiations with the insurance company.
  6. Settlement or Lawsuit: Once a final offer has been reached with the insurance company, you will decide if you would like to settle or file a lawsuit. Your Counsel Hound lawyer will advise you on the benefits of settling or continuing a lawsuit in order for you to receive the compensation you deserve.
  7. Trial: If you decide to decline an offer for settlement, we will guide you through the discovery, mediation, and trial. During discovery, both parties will exchange information to build their case. After the discovery period, you may go through a mediation where a neutral third party helps to facilitate a discussion between both parties. This may provide a second chance to accept a settlement before the trial. If mediation does not resolve the lawsuit, we will move to trial and work to convince the judge and jury that the at-fault boat operator acted in a negligent manner resulting in you suffering a loss.

Counsel Hound will connect you to the qualified representation you need to navigate this process successfully.

Compensation

Boating accidents can leave you with physical, emotional, and financial hardships. Our Counsel Hound lawyers will work to maximize your settlement or award. Types of compensation you may be eligible for include economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages:

  • If your injuries required surgery, physical therapy, prescription drugs, medical equipment, repeat doctors visit, we would work to have you reimbursed.
  • If the accident forced you to miss work or suffer a wage decrease at a new position, we would prove your losses with timesheets.
  • If your boat was totaled during the accident, we would include the cost of repairs in the losses sustained.
  • If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, we would work to recover funeral or burial costs.

Non-Economic Damages:

Some damages cannot be proved with lost wages, property damages, etc. You may face emotional suffering as a result of the accident. Our lawyers will work to include all available compensation in your case.