Boating is seen by some as an activity that is full of danger. However, just because there are inherent risks does not mean that participants are the only ones who hold blame when an accident occurs.
Depending on the circumstances of a boating accident, there are a number of parties who may be held responsible. Are you currently struggling with questions such as:
Our legal team is prepared to answer these and any other questions you may have. We are experienced in getting victims of negligence the compensation they deserve, and we want to help you get justice, too.
Personal injury claims arising out of a boating accident often include challenging technical and legal matters. Such cases should be handled by an experienced Pennsylvania boat accident lawyer to ensure negligent parties and entities are held financially accountable for boating-related injuries and damages.
State laws governing the maintenance and operation of watercraft apply to owners and operators. Pennsylvania law prohibits the operation of watercraft negligently or recklessly that could endanger another person or their property. Among other things, the law prohibits boating through an area used by swimmers. It also prohibits the operation of a vessel erratically or in such a manner that requires the vessel to cut speed or abruptly swerve to avoid a collision.
Pennsylvania law also has boating speed limits. Operators are prohibited from traveling at an improper speed - meaning faster than prudent and reasonable based on traffic, visibility, weather conditions, or other hazards. Passengers are prohibited from riding on the bow or gunwale or anywhere else that presents a risk of falling overboard. The law prohibits the operation of a boat with unsafe conditions, including having an inadequate supply of fire extinguishers or life jackets, a fuel leak, not displaying navigation lights, excessive accumulation of water in the bilge, and inadequate ventilation.
Boating while drunk causes many crashes throughout the country, and Pennsylvania is no exception to that unfortunate fact. If it is determined through evidence such as police reports, criminal charges, toxicology reports, and witness statements, we will assist you in recovering economic damages, which in some cases involving drunk boating could include additional punitive damages.
Operating a boat at excessive speeds can make the vessel more difficult to control. It also increases the likelihood of occupant injury or death in the event of a crash. Accident reconstruction experts can provide evidence that excessive speed contributed to your injuries.
If negligent manufacturing or design of the boat or a boat part caused or contributed to the boating accident, our attorneys work with experts who can identify the responsible parties and testify as to the dangerous equipment that played in the crash.
Many times in a boating crash, passengers are ejected from the vessel. This can result in devastating and disabling injuries, including but not limited to brain injuries or broken bones.
When a boat capsizes, it overturns in water. Capsizing is one of the most common causes of boating injuries in Pennsylvania. It can lead to severe and sometimes fatal injuries.
Propellers can cause significant lacerations and have even resulted in amputations. Propellers can contact the head and face, which can result in traumatic brain injuries, facial lacerations, and scarring of the face. Often propeller injuries are caused by negligence on the part of the boat operator.
Pennsylvania has strict regulations as to who can operate watercraft and where it can be operated, as well as laws about the safe operation of the watercraft itself. Deviation from these regulations can result in injuries. It is also against the law.
Other common boating injury scenarios include crashes with other boats and slip-and-fall accidents on deck. Negligence can still be a factor even if the boating operator was not breaking the law. An experienced Pennsylvania boating accident lawyer can help you determine if there are grounds for an injury claim.
Injuries that occur with or on a boat are considered boating accidents. This type of accident can happen on a cruise ship, jet ski, ferry, or someone’s privately owned yacht. The general rule is that the boat operator and its owner have a duty to exercise care to prevent injuries to others.
Don't forget, non-motorized boating accidents occur as well. This includes sailing, canoeing, kayaking, rowboats, and inflatables such as rafting. Changing water or weather conditions, cold water, underwater debris can all point to disaster. Also, non-motorized vessels have reduced visibility due to a lower profile in the water. This often makes them a target for larger, motorized boats.
Besides interaction with motorized vessels, often, in a non-motorized boating accident, it results from an unsafe vessel, overcrowding, lack of life jackets, and lack of experience.
Anyone injured in a boating accident may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit if another person or group caused or helped cause the accident. Under negligence law, a person is liable for injuries caused by his or her failure to exercise reasonable care under the circumstances. A personal injury lawsuit can compensate the injury victim for their losses caused by the accident. A personal injury claim is also a way to hold those responsible for their actions that caused injury or harm to another.
Contact us now to learn more about your rights after a boating accident. Our law firm offers free consultations and only accepts cases on contingency - this means that if you don't win your case, no legal fees whatsoever will be owed.