Negligence on the Water Cause Your Boat Accident Injuries?
Lafayette Boating Accident Attorney Explains Common Maritime Injuries
Boating accidents may result in a wide variety of serious and possibly fatal injuries, often due to the unique risks and dangers associated with watercraft. Passengers may be at risk for severe brain and spine injuries due to unsafe operation, slippery decks and/or owner negligence. A fall on the deck or overboard can also cause deep lacerations, broken bones and other harm. In nearly all cases, the danger of a boating injury is compounded by the risk of drowning. However, if a boating accident caused your serious injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, then you may be able to collect compensation for your damages from the boat’s operator, owner, manufacturer and/or passengers.
At Galloway Jefcoat, LLP, our attorneys have been advocating for the rights of injury victims in Louisiana for over 20 years. We have experience investigating major accidents at sea, including those involving oil rigs. However, we also represent recreational boaters throughout Calcasieu Parish. A boating accident attorney from our law firm can investigate any accident involving a watercraft, and can work to ensure you obtain the compensation you deserve.
What are the Most Common Boat Accident Injuries?
Serious boating accidents can result in extensive personal injuries either during the accident itself or due to victims falling into the water. Some common results of accidents on the water include:
- Traumatic brain injuries. A brain injury can result from any kind of blow to the head. On a boat, this may be due to dangerously slippery surfaces, the impact of a crash or negligent or reckless maneuvering by the operator. Additionally, lack of oxygen to the brain from near-drowning can cause brain injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. Like brain injuries, spine injuries can happen due to any fall or impact while aboard a vessel. The damage of spinal cord injuries may be exacerbated by a fall into the water or the motion of the boat.
- Fractures and muscle damage. A fall aboard a boat can cause serious fractures, lacerations and muscle tears. These injuries can make swimming difficult if the victim falls into the water, increasing the risk of more serious injuries.
- Burns. Explosions and fires may result from poorly maintained boating equipment, which may cause extensive burn injuries.
- Wrongful death. Falls overboard can result in a fatal boat accident. However, nearly all boating accidents carry the risk of capsizing and falls overboard, which may result in drowning. Alcohol also dramatically increases the risk of wrongful death by drowning.
Any boat accident injuries may have a lifelong impact on the victim and/or the victim’s family. However, if someone else’s negligence caused the accident, then you may be able to recover compensation from the responsible party or parties for your medical bills, lost wages and other damages.
Who is Liable for Boating Accidents?
Boating accidents generally result from negligence by the operator or other parties associated with the vessel. The possible liable parties may include:
- The owner. Generally, the owner of a recreational vessel must have insurance to cover any potential accidents. If your injuries resulted from poor boat maintenance, lack of training, equipment failure or other dangers, you will likely be able to collect compensation from the owner’s insurance policy.
- The rental company. Many companies throughout Louisiana rent out watercraft, which must be maintained in good working order. Additionally, these companies must take reasonable precautions to ensure that the person renting the boat can operate it safely.
- The boat operator. The person driving the boat, who may be different than the owner, may be liable for boating accident injuries and damages if he or she behaves in a negligent manner. For example, an operator may turn too quickly and a passenger is thrown overboard. One of the most obvious forms of negligence is operating a boat while intoxicated, which can lead to a serious or fatal boat accident.
- The boat or equipment manufacturing company. If equipment failure or boat defects cause an accident, then the manufacturer may be liable for the resulting damages.
- Other passengers. In some cases, if the other passengers aboard a boat acted negligently or recklessly and thereby caused the injuries or accident, then they may be legally responsible for the damages.
In many cases, it may not always be clear what caused the accident that led to your injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death. However, a boating injury attorney from our law firm can investigate the accident to determine liability. Our investigators can examine the boat itself, interview witnesses and obtain maintenance records to find all possible liable parties.
More Questions? Contact a Lafayette Boating Accident Attorney Today
If someone else’s negligence cause your boat accident injuries or a loved one’s wrongful death, contact Galloway Jefcoat, LLP today. We can start an investigation right away and preserve crucial evidence in your favor. We represent boat accident victims throughout Louisiana, including residents of Lafayette, Sulphur, Lake Charles and the surrounding areas.
Call our office or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation with a boating injury lawyer.