If you’ve been hurt in a watercraft accident and want to pursue compensation, you should speak with a dependable Baton Rouge boat crash attorney. They can represent you so that you can reclaim the damages you’ve sustained.
Boating accidents in Baton Rouge are more common than people realize, so it’s important to be aware of the risks and know what you can do if you’re injured. Having a knowledgeable boating accident lawyer on hand is essential for ensuring that you receive the compensation you deserve.
Boating accidents can involve a single vessel or collision with vessels such as yachts, jet skis, kayaks, and inflatable pontoons. Regrettably, these occurrences are oftentimes due to someone’s negligent conduct.
If your boating accident was caused due to somebody else’s negligence, you have the privilege to get personal injury reparation for your damages. Here at Wright & Gray Law Group, we make it our utmost priority to ensure victims recover the damages they deserve and have the time to focus on recovering.
Louisiana is a popular destination for boaters looking to explore its stunning Gulf Coast. Unfortunately, along with the thrill of such outdoor experience, there is also a risk of accidents. Boaters in Baton Rouge are no exception and may find themselves in the midst of an accident that can range from minor to severe. Sadly, there is a risk of fatal accidents when boating in some circumstances.
Personal injury claims are an option for boaters in Baton Rouge after an accident. Determining the responsible parties is essential to receive compensatory damages. In this situation, it’s important to obtain representation from a qualified personal injury lawyer in Baton Rouge.
What Is Classified as a Boating Accident?
Boating accidents are common occurrences that involve a boat or any other kind of water vessel. Such incidents usually arise due to various factors like:
- Commercial vessels
- Fishing boats
- Vessels used for leisure activities, like yachts, are becoming more popular.
Boating accidents can take on many forms, such as:
- Floods and swamping incidents can be very dangerous and cause serious damage. It is important to be aware of the risks they pose and take preventative measures to avoid them.
- There is an increased risk of boat collisions with stationary objects in the water. It is important to be aware of your surroundings and take necessary precautions when operating a boat.
- Grounding accidents
- Skiing accidents
- Yacht accidents
- Fishing accidents
- Marina and dock accidents
- Party boat accidents
Boating accidents can sometimes lead to debilitating injuries like brain damage due to prolonged submersion. Unfortunately, wrongful death resulting from boat accidents caused by human error is not uncommon either.
Boating Accident Statistics
Contrary to popular belief, boating accidents are actually quite common. Data from the US Coast Guard in 2020 showed that there were 3,329 such incidents in just one year – a clear indication that safe water transportation is more important than ever. Sadly, 407 people lost their lives due to boating accidents. Furthermore, an additional 1,764 individuals were wounded in similar circumstances.
Reach out to a skilled Baton Rouge boating accident attorney now for reliable legal advice.
What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents?
Boating incidents typically occur due to a combination of factors. In this article, we will discuss some of the most significant contributing elements that lead to boating accidents.
- Operator Error: Boat accidents are usually a result of boat operators’ negligence. Causes of these accidents include inattention and distracted boating, where operators fail to focus adequately on the task of driving the boat safely. The consequences can be severe and irreversible, making it essential for all boat operators to remain vigilant at all times. Boating accidents can occur due to a lack of knowledge and experience in boat handling. For example, when a novice boater runs into sudden changes in weather or the sea that they haven’t encountered before, it can lead to disastrous consequences.
- Over-Speeding: Boats are just like any other vehicle they can get into accidents if they’re going over the speed limit. As water holds its own set of dangers, it’s even more important to obey speed limits while boating. Often, speeding doesn’t give operators enough time to notice and steer away from risks, resulting in accidents.
- Faulty Machinery: Boat owners should be aware that their vessels require frequent maintenance in order to keep them in optimal condition. If neglected, parts might break down while out at sea. Additionally, it is possible for malfunctioning to happen due to an initial manufacturing defect as well.
- Bad Weather: Weather conditions and rough waters can be a recipe for disaster when it comes to boats. Sadly, too often boat operators who are not adequately experienced venture out without first checking the forecast first. This inevitably leads to boat collisions occurring. Thus, when they encounter hazardous waters or weather, reversing the course of their vessel may be too risky to attempt.
Baton Rouge Boating Laws and Requirements
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has created specific boating laws for citizens in the Baton Rouge area. Unfortunately, there have been a number of accidents relating to boating in the state; therefore, it is important to be aware of these laws so that you can remain safe on the water.
Eligible Boat Operators
Those wanting to operate a motorboat or personal watercraft over 10 horsepower in Baton Rouge must be 16 years of age or older and have completed an approved boater education course. Anyone below this age is not qualified to become a boat operator. If you are over 18 and have completed a recognized boater education course, you are eligible to accompany the person born after January 1, 1984.
Rules of the Road
Louisiana requires vessel operators to abide by their specific road rules. Violating these rules can result in a monetary fine of $300 or even 30 days in jail. As an example, vessels crossing paths must remain on their respective sides to ensure safe navigation. When boats pass each other, they must respect the right of way and stay on their course. Motorboats must not deviate from their path while sailing alongside sailboats.
Apart from these, there are also other pertinent rules that apply, such as:
- Boat owners must be careful to not exceed the weight capacity of their boats when it comes to passengers or cargo.
- All vessels must abide by their power limit and should not carry motor machinery more than what is safe for them. This ensures that there is no risk of any unsafe incident from taking place due to an overload of machinery.
- For safety, it’s essential that no one is permitted to stand or sit on either side of the boat – the starboard or port gunwales.
- It is strictly forbidden to take any type of boat into locations where people are swimming or bathing. This zone must be left untouched, as it could be dangerous for all involved.
- Discharging oil or oily substances into rivers is against the law and strictly prohibited.
Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?
Figuring out who is responsible for a boating accident can be tricky; especially in a fault-accident state like Baton Rouge. We understand this and have developed effective ways to analyze the various parties who may be held liable. This analysis of the incident ensures that victims know exactly where to place responsibility after a boat collision.
As vessel operators are the ones in control of the boats, they’re essentially responsible for passengers’ lives on board. Because of this, they should ensure that no accidents occur by taking proper safety measures. Some of the ways in which operators can lead to accidents include:
- Failing to give a life jacket to each passenger onboard is highly hazardous and should be avoided. Everyone’s safety should be a priority, and having the right supplies on hand is essential.Ignoring a reckless passenger’s activities
- Operating a boat while impaired by alcohol or drugs is highly dangerous and should be avoided at all costs. This can have serious consequences, both for the operator and for any passengers on board.
- Disregarding boating laws
Absolutely, it’s possible for a boat passenger to be the culpable agent in an accident. This arises when a person acts carelessly or recklessly while onboard. For instance, if a passenger pushes someone off the boat into the water, they would be held accountable for the incident. Suppose the passenger in the water is not able to swim. In that case, if anything happens to that person, it can be traced back to the passenger who pushed them into the water and they will consequently be held accountable for any mishap.
Boat owners, manufacturers, and rental companies can all be held responsible in the case of an accident. Victims can sue vessel owners for loaning their boats to unqualified operators while faulty manufacturing could make the manufacturer liable. If a rental company hasn’t kept up with their maintenance duties, they will be deemed at fault as well.
Recoverable Damages in Baton Rouge Boating Accidents
After determining who is liable for the boat accident, you can seek damages. Any responsible party or their insurance provider will then be in charge of reimbursing the recoverable losses.
- Medical Bills: Medical costs are the most essential damages related to boat accidents because all victims need to get medical help.
- Lost Wages: If you are facing financial hardships due to internal or physical injuries, you can claim compensation from the responsible party to help you get back on track. With this, you can recover all the lost wages.
- Property Damages: Bringing items of value on board the boat can leave them vulnerable to water damage. Should this occur, the liable entity will be responsible for replacing them.
Even though some damages from boating accidents cannot be seen or measured, the legal system does not disregard them. It assigns a monetary value to such losses and makes the responsible party pay for these. These include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Besides medical costs, the family of a deceased can be reimbursed for funeral expenses in certain wrongful death cases. It’s important to remember that you have one year to submit a claim after a boating accident or someone’s demise has taken place.
Were You Injured in a Boating Accident?
You may be eligible to receive monetary compensation in the event that your boating injury was due to the negligence of another individual.
Wright & Gray’s Boating Accident Lawyers in Baton Rouge Can Help You
Experiencing a boat collision in Baton Rouge? You may be eligible for financial recompense from the responsible party. However, you must seek legal representation from a trusted boating accident lawyer in order to move forward with your potential claim. Boat accident attorneys first assess liability and then help you file a claim to get the rightful compensation.
At Wright & Gray, we provide specialized legal services for boating accident claims. Our experienced team can help you get back on the right path and secure financial recovery from your losses. Contact us today to discuss the details of your case.