With its proximity to the waters of the Budd Inlet, recreational boating is an activity enjoyed by individuals and families throughout Olympia, Washington. Despite the fun and joy that recreational boating can bring, recreational boating can turn dangerous in a second if a boat operator or other individual is negligent and puts others at risk for an accident.
If you found yourself in this scenario, call Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC to start discussing the legal avenues available that allow you to recover damages. You can reach us at 844-920-2324.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
A boating accident can be caused by a number of factors. Sometimes, boating accidents are caused by poor weather and water conditions. Other times, boating accidents are caused by the mechanical failure of the boat. But in many other cases, boating accidents are caused by preventable boat operator errors.
A document published by the U.S. Coast Guard detailing primary contributing factors of boat accidents in 2012 listed some common causes of recreational boating accidents in the U.S. as those outlined below.
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Navigation rules violation
- Alcohol use
- Force of a wave or wake
- Hazardous waters
Many of these factors are avoidable, and had proper care been taken, an accident could have been prevented.
Injuries Caused by Recreational Boating Accidents
Injuries caused by recreational boating accidents are often tragic. Drowning is one of the biggest risks of a recreational boating accident, especially when life vests aren’t worn. A near-drowning experience can be physically traumatic and can cause permanent brain damage.
Other injuries that a person may sustain from a boating accident include head injuries or traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, sprains and strains, back and neck injuries, spinal cord injuries, and various internal injuries. If you suffered serious injuries in a boating accident, you may be entitled to recover compensation related to your injuries from a liable party.
Determining Liability for a Recreational Boating Accident
After a boating accident, you’ll have to determine negligence to identify which party or parties are liable for your injuries. Negligence refers to the failure to act in a safe or responsible manner. If the operator of a boat behaved negligently and that negligence led to an accident, then the boat operator may be liable.
Examples of negligent actions include operating a boat illegally, such as drinking alcohol while operating a boat, traveling at an illegal speed or operating a boat while under the influence of drugs. Other reckless behavior, like taking sharp turns too quickly, can be considered negligent acts.
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you can pursue a personal injury claim to recover damages. You will have to prove that the operator of the boat acted negligently, the negligence caused the accident and the accident caused your injuries. You also must establish that you suffered damages, like medical bills, lost wages or pain and suffering. If you have lost a loved one in a recreational boating accident, you can pursue a wrongful death case for damages.
If you want to file a claim against the party that caused your boating accident, you have three years from the date when the injury occurred to do so, according to Washington Revised Code Section 4.16.080. An attorney from Ron Meyers & Associates can help you get started.
Speak with a Lawyer at Our Firm Today!
If you’ve been in a boating accident, hire a boating accident attorney to represent you or your loved ones when pursuing a personal injury action. An attorney can provide the legal support and know-how you need to help you recover fair damages. An attorney can provide insight on how to prove negligence and liability and the types and amount of damages that you may be able to recover.
At Ron Meyers & Associates PLLC, our attorneys will be your legal advocates if you were injured in a recreational boating accident. To schedule your FREE legal consultation, call us today at 844-920-2324.