A boating accident doesn't only ruin a warm day, but it could also ruin your finances and severely set back your entire life. Depending on the facts of your case, you may be entitled to financial compensation to ease the financial strain caused by your accident and get your life back on track via a personal injury claim. In this article, we'll discuss liability and how to protect your potential injury claim.
If you've been hurt and suffered losses due to a boating accident, don't delay – call our boating accident lawyers in Arizona today to schedule a free initial consultation. To set up your consultation, call or text (602) 345-1818 or fill out this online form, and we will reach out to you.
Determining Liability in a Boating Accident
As a general rule, the negligent party will be determined liable for the injuries and damages sustained in a boating accident. Negligence may be established when an individual doesn't act in a reasonable manner as would a normal person in the same position and circumstance. When this derailment of reason leads to another party's injuries and losses, negligence may be in play. Negligence on the water may occur in a few different ways including:
- Failure to follow safety rules and boating laws
- Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Failure to maintain the boat
- Failure to keep safety equipment and gear onboard the vessel
- Speeding or reckless driving
- Operating a boat while distracted
Potential Legal Compensation After a Boating Accident
Similar to a car accident claim, when you are injured on a boat as a result of someone else's negligence, you may be entitled to legal remedy to help you recover. Your boating accident settlement may include medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, and more. Ensure that you speak with an experienced boating accident lawyer in Phoenix, AZ to understand which damages may be applicable to your boating accident claim.
Protecting Your Boat Accident Claim
There are several ways victims can protect their boat accident claims to ensure they receive fair and appropriate compensation for their injuries and losses. We've detailed these tips for optimizing your boat injury settlement below.
Don't Leave the Scene
If you are in a boating accident – no matter if you're at fault or not – do not leave the scene. Abandoning the scene could result in criminal charges. Wait for the authorities to arrive and draft an official report. This report may play a crucial role in a boating accident claim down the road. Staying at the accident scene will not only protect your claim, but it may also protect your health. Even if you don't think you have been injured, getting checked out is a good idea.
Ensure Everyone Is Unharmed
The first step after a boat collision is to check on all passengers involved to ensure no one is in need of immediate medical attention. If someone has been severely injured, call 911 immediately.
This includes making sure you are unharmed. Even if you feel fine following the accident, you should get checked out by a medical professional. Some injuries don't show up for hours or days after an accident. Getting checked out immediately after an accident will ensure that there are no underlying injuries that could be life-threatening. Additionally, going to the doctor after an accident will protect any claims you have down the road. If you are injured, you will have medical documentation of your injuries that will support your claim.
Collect Evidence & Documentation
Throughout the process, you should be collecting evidence, documentation, and information that support your boat accident claim. You'll begin collecting this information starting at the actual scene of the accident. Some evidence that may help your accident claim include:
- The other party's name, address, and phone number
- Names and contact information for any passengers and eyewitnesses who saw the boat accident
- Registration or identification number of the vessels involved in the accident
- Insurance company information and policy numbers of those involved
- Photographs of the accident and any damages
- Medical documentation, including bills, doctor's notes, MRIs, X Rays, etc
Your boating accident lawyer will help you collect evidence that will validate your account of events so that you have the best chance of getting the financial compensation you need and deserve.
Report the Accident
It may be necessary to report the accident in accordance with the law. If an accident results in damages exceeding $500, Arizona law requires you to report it within 5 days to the police and file a report with the Arizona Game and Fish Department. If a fatality occurs, it must be reported within 48 hours.
Consult a Boating Accident Lawyer
We offer free initial consultations at Impact Legal. If you have been in a boat accident, we advise contacting our boating accident lawyers to ensure that you take the best next steps to facilitate recovery and protect yourself. Often boat accident claims can be complex. Having an experienced lawyer on your side will help you navigate the twists and turns that may be ahead and better your chances of financial and physical recovery.
This information is NOT intended to be substituted for professional legal advice. We highly recommend that you consult an actual boating accident lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.