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Determining Liability in a Boat Accident

Determining Liability in a Boat Accident
Boating can be a lot of fun and a great outdoors activity; however, when a boating accident occurs, the injuries victims may sustain can be extremely serious. When it comes to boating accidents, determining liability can be tricky, as the legal issues can differ tremendously. To find out more, continue reading on about the explanation of liability in boating accidents that our experienced Los Angeles boat accident lawyer has composed.

Negligence in a Boating Accident
When it comes to boating accidents, it is imperative that you are able to prove that the injuries you sustained were caused by the negligence of another. If you are unable to prove that your injuries were a result of someone else’s negligence, then it is more than likely that you will not have a solid case. Negligence stems from the failure to act with reasonable care, and therefore, you and your Los Angeles boat accident lawyer must prove that whoever caused your injury did not act with reasonable care.

Types of Boating Accidents
There are several instances in which a boat accident can arise. You will find thorough explanations of each below:

Collision with Another Boat: If two boats were involved in a collision, it is likely that both boat operators will be found partially at fault. If there are passengers on either of the boats, the passengers would have a legal case against the operators of each boat. However, if one of the operators was injured, the injured operator would have a claim against the other operator if he or she was more than fifty percent responsible for the crash.

Additionally, it is important to note that if a collision between a sailboat and a motorboat occurs, it is likely that the motorboat operator will be held responsible, as it is a requirement for motorboats to keep clear of sailboats.

Hitting a Wake: Hitting a wake happens when the waves of a boat leave behind dangerous flows of water and then another boat crosses it its path, creating a disturbing jolt. When a boat hits another boat’s wake, the result of it can be detrimental. For instance, it can knock passengers down, cause them to be thrown out of their seat, or the worst-case can even cause someone to be thrown overboard. However, determining liability after hitting another boat’s wave is not always well-defined. This means that as a boat operator, it is his or her duty to practice boating safety measures. As a result, he or she must keep a proper lookout for anything hazardous that may arise.

However, the operator’s liability in a wake accident can depend on the following:

  • Size of the wake
  • Boat’s speed
  • Visibility
  • Boat traffic
  • Warning passengers of the wake approaching
  • Whether the injured passengers were on a motorboat or sailboat

There are instances in which a boat operator can undoubtedly be held responsible for an accident caused by its wake.The accident location and boating traffic are two big factors. For instance, there are locations in which are a “no wake zone,” which are typically found in marinas and inner harbors. Additionally, if an operator was boating recklessly in a crowded area, he or she may be found negligent.

Hitting a Wave: Wave accidents are somewhat similar to wake accidents; however, they differ since there is not any other boat to be held liable.

Collision with a Fixed Object: Poor weather and visibility can easily cause a boat to collide with an immersed object, a rock, or even the coastline. If the boat operator is riding cautiously and hits a rock, then he or she may not be found negligent. However, if the boat operator is riding recklessly, that can be found as negligent.

Lack of Proper Boating Safety Equipment: As a boat operator, it is a federal and state requirement to have the proper safety equipment on board, such as life jackets, life rings, navigational lights, flares, whistles, and fire extinguishers. If a boat operator fails to supply the required safety equipment on board, it could lead to a negligence claim against the boat owner.

Contact a Boat Accident Attorney Los Angeles
If you or a loved one was injured in a boat accident, it is imperative that you contact a Los Angeles personal injury lawyer as soon as possible. At Grey Law Firm, we specialize in boating accidents and understand what it takes to get our clients the settlement they deserve, We offer free consultations and do not charge a thing unless we we win. Call today!

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