Even though they do not happen as often, when they do, boat accidents can result in serious bodily injuries, property damage, or worse, loss of life.
When a boating accident occurs, you need to understand the legal process involved in boat accident lawsuits because filing a boat accident lawsuit is the only way to receive compensation for economic damages, such as medical expenses, and non-economic damages, like pain and suffering.
Let’s discuss everything you need to know about boat accident lawsuits, including steps to take after the accident and the importance of hiring a boat accident attorney.
What To Do After A Boat Accident
Here’s what you need to do after a boat accident.
Seek Medical Attention
The first step you need to take after a boat accident is to seek immediate medical care. Even though your injuries may seem minor, they can worsen with time and impact your physical health. Therefore, it is vitally important to seek medical treatment after a boat accident.
Report The Accident
After seeking medical care, you need to report the accident to the relevant authorities. This creates an official record of the accident, which can be valuable if you choose to file a boat accident lawsuit.
Document The Scene
While at the accident scene, gather as much evidence as you can. Take pictures and videos of the injuries you have sustained and the damage to the boat. If there are witnesses around, note down their names and contact information, as they may be willing to provide statements about the accident.
Importance Of Seeking The Services Of A Boat Accident Attorney
Consulting a boat accident lawsuit is highly recommended. A boat accident attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a case, advise you on your legal rights and obligations, and guide you through the legal process. The attorney can also ensure that you meet all the requirements throughout the boat accident lawsuit and meet all legal deadlines.
Here are more ways a boat accident attorney can help your case.
- Prove Liability
Establishing liability is an important aspect of boat accident lawsuits. A boat accident attorney can help you investigate the cause of the accident and gather evidence to prove liability. Liability can be attributed to the boat manufacturer, boat operator, the owner of the vessel, the rental company (if you rented the boat), or a fellow passenger.
- Comply With The Statute Of Limitations
Before filing a boat accident lawsuit, you need to know the statute of limitations for filing such a lawsuit in your jurisdiction. A statute of limitations, also known as a prescriptive period, sets the maximum amount of time that persons involved in a dispute have to initiate legal action. If you do not file within the given timeframe, you can lose your right to pursue compensation. Your boat accident attorney can help you comply with the statute of limitations so that you can get the compensation you deserve.
- Seek Compensation For Damages
A boat accident lawsuit aims to provide compensation for damages incurred as a direct result of the accident, including medical expenses, lost wages, or property damage. A boat accident attorney can evaluate the severity of your damages and ensure that you obtain a fair settlement for your injuries or property damage.
- Negotiate Or Go To Trial
Sometimes, plaintiffs (individuals that file a lawsuit) solve boat accident lawsuits by negotiating or entering into settlement discussions with the defendants (individuals that are being sued) or the defendant’s insurance company. A boat accident attorney can negotiate to help you receive fair compensation for your losses. If you cannot reach a fair settlement, your attorney can represent you in court and present your case to a jury.
Hire An Attorney For Your Boat Accident Lawsuit
A boat accident lawsuit is a complicated legal process that requires a certain level of expertise and a keen eye for detail. By following the steps provided in this guide and hiring an attorney, you can breeze through the legal process and seek maximum compensation for your damages. Remember, prioritize your health, report to relevant authorities, preserve evidence and hire an attorney as soon as possible after a boat accident.