Handling Cases Nationwide
Boats can be a great way to enjoy a long summer afternoon, but if they are not operated in a careful manner by a trained boat operator, serious injury or death can result. Headlines from various news stories illustrate the various ways in which boats can cause catastrophic injuries:
- Careless boaters can cause dangerous wakes that drown nearby swimmers;
- A boat operator who is not watching where he or she is going can strike another individual with the boat, causing catastrophic injuries or death;
- Boats that are operated carelessly can capsize, causing injury or death to the occupants;
- Boaters who are inebriated or impaired can fall overboard and drown.
Those victims who survive boating accidents can face lifelong consequences, especially if the accident caused traumatic brain injuries or loss of limbs. Medical expenses may only be the tip of the iceberg: there may also be lost wages due to time missed from work, ongoing treatment costs, lost future earnings if the victim is unable to return to his or her previous job, and mental pain and suffering that accompanies any serious injury. A boating accident lawsuit is the means through which victims of boating accidents can recover compensation for these expenses and losses from those who contributed to the accident.
How to Prove a Boating Accident Lawsuit
A boating accident lawsuit is one type of a personal injury lawsuit. The key question in these lawsuits is this: did the allegedly careless person (the “defendant”) act negligently under the circumstances? Proving negligence requires that you show the following four factual propositions are more likely than not true:
The defendant owed you a duty of care.
This is generally not contested as every person owes every other person a duty to act in a reasonably careful manner. This usually involves avoiding actions that needlessly place others in danger of injury or death.
The defendant breached the duty of care.
This is usually the source of disagreement between the injury victim and defendant. The defendant’s actions must be shown to have deviated from what a reasonable person would have done in similar circumstances. While sometimes this is easy to show – a reasonable person would not become intoxicated and attempt to drive a boat, for example – in cases where the defendant claims he or she had to make an evasive maneuver to avoid a more serious accident the question of whether the defendant breached the duty of care can be more difficult to answer.
The defendant’s actions caused your injuries.
There must be a causal connection between the defendant’s negligent actions and your injuries. This is why it is important to seek medical care immediately after a boating accident, no matter how serious you believe your injuries to be. If you neglect medical treatment and develop serious complications or injuries days after the accident, it can be difficult for you to show a causal connection between your injuries and the defendant’s actions.
Your injuries can be compensated through a monetary award.
The court is not a doctor, but it can help you pay for medical bills and other losses. If your only injury is a bruised ego or embarrassment, there is little the court can do to compensate you.
Our attorneys at Zinda Law Group are familiar with what needs to be proven in order for you to win your boating accident case and where to find evidence and testimony to support your claims. Let us develop a trial strategy designed to get you the compensation you deserve for your boating accident injuries by calling us at (800) 863-5312 today and scheduling a consultation with us.