Shaffer Law boat accident attorneys have vast experience representing personal injury victims. This specialization allows our boat accident lawyers to bring legal expertise to their clients’ boat accident personal injury lawsuits not possessed by land-based personal injury lawyers.
In West Virginia, there are many residents and visitors who enjoy recreational boating. Unfortunately, boat accidents occur frequently, resulting in serious injuries and even fatalities. If you were injured in a boat accident that was caused by another’s negligence or recklessness, our West Virginia Boat Accident Lawyers at Shaffer Law are dedicated to helping you recover the compensation you deserve.
A boat accident (boating negligence) is a collision where at least one of the persons involved is riding or driving a boat, jet ski, wave runner or other watercraft.
Boat Accident Statistics:
According to the 2015 report conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard, approximately 4,158 boat accidents occurred in the country. Due to those accidents, 626 deaths, 2,613 injuries, and around $42 million of property damage had occurred.
Some causes of boat accidents:
•· DWI or DUI (driving while intoxicated) – alcohol is a factor in many boat-related accidents
•· Driver error or inattention
•· Excessive speed
•· Driver inexperience
•· Equipment failure
•· Unfavorable water or weather conditions
•· Debris in water
•· Failure to keep a lookout for other objects, boats, or swimmers
So it is too late, and someone has already been injured. Who is responsible?
Generally, just as in a car accident, persons are at fault for a boat accident if they act negligently. Persons acts negligently if they fail to conduct themselves as a reasonable person under similar circumstances. A reasonable boater would typically adhere to all safety rules and precautions and be mindful of passengers and other boaters. As described above, that means following directions, observing signs, maintaining your boat, paying attention to the weather, and never piloting a boat while intoxicated.
While most of the liability we have discussed has been civil (i.e., the consequence is the paying of money), persons who cause boat accidents may also face criminal liability. Victims of a boat accident may sue another boater for property damage, medical expenses, and other losses they have incurred as a result of the incident. Additionally, the state may bring criminal charges against a boater if the driver caused an accident while intoxicated or operated their vessel recklessly or with gross negligence.
Just as with a car accident, if someone in another boat caused the accident, they may be liable. Similarly, if someone on your own boat caused the accident, whether the person steering the boat or someone interfering with that person, they may be liable. The rules of liability are generally the same as they are on land, with the variation that some accidents can be caused without directly touching another boat, such as creating a dangerous wake that causes another vessel to capsize, etc.
Consult with our Boat Accident Lawyers!
Boat or other watercraft accidents can lead to catastrophic injuries, including death and drowning. If you or someone you love is the victim of a boat accident, you need an experienced boat accident attorney in West Virginia fighting on your behalf. The attorneys at Shaffer Law in Charleston, West Virginia can represent you as your boat accident attorney and make sure that your rights are protected, and you get the compensation you are entitled to.