Important Legal Matters Involved In Boat Accidents

Important Legal Matters Involved In Boat Accidents
Important Legal Matters Involved In Boat Accidents
William T. Corbett, JR.

Boating accidents near Mooresville North Carolina are more common than most people may realize. Even minor collisions can result in personal injuries and that could lead to a lawsuit. That means there is going to be a fair amount of legal matters to deal with following a boat accident.

The first thing to know about injuries caused in a boat accident is that there is a need to prove negligence. A personal injury may occur, but in order to be able to file a legitimate lawsuit, there needs to be ample proof of negligence. That is defined as not acting with reasonable care. The burden of proof has to show someone’s lack of reasonable care caused your personal injury.

It is also important to acknowledge the many gray areas that exist in boat accidents. Some boating accidents are not caused by collisions at all, but by the wake of another boat. The operator of a boat is required to be vigilant enough to spot any hazardous conditions. However, an injury that results from the sudden jolt of a wake might not be entirely the operator’s fault.

In such instances, there are things that need to be considered, such as the wake size, speed of the boat, amount of visibility and traffic in the vicinity of the incident. Similar instances can occur when a boat operator hits a wave and the jolt injures a passenger. This can also be a gray area because circumstances will dictate whether there was negligence.

Even when negligence is proven, it does not always mean compensation is automatic. Just like automobiles, boat owners rely on insurance to cover injuries. However, boat insurance is a bit different and does not always cover personal injuries to the same extent that auto insurance does. It is important to find out what kind of coverage a boat operator has after an accident.

Compensation can be easier to receive when an operator is found to be boating under the influence. Laws are made to protect passengers and other boat operators from individuals who boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Reckless driving of a boat is another case that is clearer cut.

In all boat accidents, the immediate protocol should be similar to that of an auto accident. Victims should take as many pictures as possible, obtain as many eyewitness accounts as they can and be sure to get a police report. All that will go a long way in proving negligence of the guilty party.

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