Boating accidents can cause life-changing injuries. In 2020, accidents on the water accounted for 3,191 injuries, 767 deaths, and $62.51 million in damages nationally. Most of these accidents were caused by negligence and could have been avoided.
Depending on the nature of your accident, boat owners, rental companies, boat manufacturers, and boat pilots could be held responsible for damages. If you or someone you love has been in a boating accident, it is important to speak to one of the Michigan boating accident lawyers at Fieger Law today. Our nationally recognized firm has a strong record of success and will work hard to uphold your rights.
Types of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents come in many varieties, which affect who is liable for damages. Some common types of watercraft often involved in boating accidents are:
- Open motorboats
- Personal watercraft
- Cabin motorboats
- Jet skis
- Inflatable boats
Boating accidents can be more serious than car accidents due to the open design of boats and the lack of safety features like seatbelts and airbags. Accidents are not limited to passengers inside boats. Boats often hit swimmers, surfers, or others enjoying the water. If you or a loved one has been injured in or by a boat, speak to one of our boat accident attorneys to see if you are due monetary compensation and justice.
Causes of Boating Accidents
The United States Coast Guard lists operator inattention, speeding, inexperienced operator, improper lookout, and machinery failure as the five most common causes of boating accidents. While they are the most common and often grounds for a liability suit, they are far from the only causes.
Boat owners and boat rental agencies sometimes neglect their legally mandated upkeep and maintenance duties, which can cause accidents. Likewise, boat manufacturers may have produced a product that is insufficiently safe or has a known defect that could affect the safe operation of the boat. Boat repair shops can also be held liable if they perform faulty work or fail to address visible problems.
Boat pilots cause some of the most common types of accidents. 77% of all boating accidents are caused by boat pilot error, usually due to inexperience. Intoxicated boat pilots are often the cause of serious accidents. Pilots who engage in dangerous maneuvers, like sharp turns at high speeds, and pilots who fail to consider water conditions, time of day, and weather are also more likely to get into accidents.
Agencies and owners who allow boats to be overloaded or neglect life jacket rules can be held liable for accidents. Unruly passengers who engage in dangerous behavior may also be legally responsible.
Wrongful action that leads to injury is inexcusable. The exact details of your accident will be important in understanding who may be liable in a lawsuit. Attorneys at Fieger Law will investigate your case to determine liability and gather evidence to support your claim. If you feel negligence or human error has been a factor in your or a loved one’s boating accident, contact Fieger Law immediately.
The laws around liability in boating accidents are complicated and vary significantly between cases. The best course of action is to speak to a legal professional at Fieger Law to see if the responsible party violated any laws and how you can seek restitution.
Even if you think it was just an accident or a minor mishap, it is vital to speak to an attorney to understand your rights in these cases. Boats should be a source of fun and enjoyment, and if your life has been changed by an accident, let the lawyers at Fieger Law fight for you.
What to Do if You Have Been in a Boating Accident
If you have been involved in or are the victim of a boating accident anywhere in the United States, contact one of the boating accident attorneys at Fieger Law for a free consultation immediately. We regularly take on high-profile cases and aren’t afraid to defend your interests against a boating company or manufacturer.
Our attorneys have the skills and resources to handle every case, no matter how complex. Fieger Law has won many verdicts over $1 million for negligence cases and can help you receive the compensation you deserve after a boating injury. Contact us today for a free consultation of your case.