Finding a lawyer after being involved in a boating accident is very important. Whether you were the cause of the accident or you were the victim, securing effective legal counsel can make your life dealing with the accident much easier.
What should you look for in a lawyer? Well, you should first ask questions and find a lawyer who specializes or at least has some experience with boating accidents. After an accident has happened – especially a boating accident – finding a lawyer might not be your first inclination, and it shouldn’t be. But you should find your lawyer as soon after the boating accident as possible.
Believe it or not, maritime accidents carry the same possibility of penalties and fines as a car accident. Depending on the severity of the accident, the amount of damages awarded is often just as large as with a car wreck. Of course, we hope you had already secured adequate boating insurance, but if you are the victim, you still need to have all of the information you can get.
Typically, powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis are the most common watercraft to be involved in boating accidents, although sailboats can be involved in accidents as well.
The most frequent sources of injuries are caused from propeller accidents and collisions. Because personal watercraft such as jet skis can’t be steered when the throttle is released, inexperienced drivers often have collisions when confronted with an emergency. Serious personal injury and even death can occur due to a boating collision or from a person falling over the side of a watercraft and drowning.
As the operator of a vessel you are required by law to file a formal, written report of an accident. Reports must generally be filed within 48 hours of the date of the accident. That is applicable whether there are injuries or not.
In general, you will only need to find a lawyer after a boating accident if there is some damage done either to the coastline, the boats, or in the loss of life or serious injuries. Just to be safe, it’s still a good idea to file a report with your state maritime authority so you can avoid any fines that might come about for not filing an accident report.
Boating accident attorneys will approach the accident just as they would a car accident. They will speak on your behalf using previous laws to strengthen your case. Their job is to obtain compensation both for damages as well as injuries, if there are any.
Finding a lawyer after a boating accident is definitely a good step to take when becoming involved in a wreck on the water. If for nothing else, you will be properly represented and properly defended depending on what side of the accident you are on.