If you love boating, then you may accept invitations that comes your way to enjoy time on the water. Cruising down the beautiful coasts of Virginia can be a delightful way to spend a weekend, but it must be done safely. It is the responsibility of the owner-operator of the boat you are on to ensure all safety hazards have been removed and that the person piloting the craft is qualified to do so.
Going out on a privately-owned watercraft usually includes drinking, celebration, and other types of revelry. There is certainly nothing wrong with having a bit of fun while on the water, but you should always keep your wits about you and never lose control. Specifically, you should avoid drinking to excess or engaging in the kind of dangerous horseplay that will send you over the side.
The person who owns the boat also has a responsibility to ensure that none of the passengers is put in danger. If they have failed to do so and you have been injured as a result, then you have legal options.
The Aftermath of a Boating Accident
Boating accidents are especially dangerous because you may suffer injuries that cannot be properly resolved with the first-aid kit onboard. A police or Coast Guard patrol may need to be called, which can take some time. Or, the boat may have to return to port, which can also cause a significant delay in the emergency treatment you need.
Your condition may worsen because of the time it takes to be seen by a physician. This can lead to additional complications and more time in the hospital. You will be forced to forgo income while in the hospital and you will have to deal with the accumulation of medical bills, including rehabilitative treatment and prescription drug medicine.
If the boating accident is the result of the boat owner’s negligence or carelessness, they should be held accountable. Filing a lawsuit is the best way to meet this aim.
Your Right to Damages
Your first move should be to hire a lawyer such as the ones found at Emroch & Kilduff, LLP. A lawyer who specializes in boating accidents will know how to get an outcome that is favorable to you. Boating accidents are not always straightforward. Waterborne watercraft are in an inherently dangerous environment. The proprietor of the boat may be able to point to any number of factors that lead to the accident—factors that were out of their control—and caused your injuries.
Your lawyer will gather the evidence required to refute this claim. Your lawyer will set their own professional investigators on the case. They will re-examine the scene of the accident, re-interview all the passengers, and gather such documents as may be necessary to prove the truth of your version of events.
In the end, the respondent may decide to settle rather than take their chances with a jury. Your lawyer will then be able to negotiate an acceptable compensation package.