The water can be a dangerous place. Boating accidents happen in Utah and result in financial loss, devastating injuries, and death. Much like driving a car, operating a boat or personal watercraft can be hazardous, and rules of the water need to be followed to keep everyone safe.
When alcohol, reckless actions, carelessness, or other factors result in a boating accident, a fun day playing on the lake becomes a tragic event. If you or your loved one were hurt or if you experienced property damage in a boating accident, the Provo boating accident lawyers from 1Law can help.
Whether you were driving, a passenger in the watercraft, or just a bystander, you should not be held financially responsible for injuries and property damage that wasn’t your fault. You may be able to pursue compensation with the help of our personal injury law firm.
The operator of the boat is usually the first person that is considered for liability. The owner of the boat can also be held responsible. Depending on the circumstances of the accident several parties may be liable or even share liability. Some of the liable parties can include:
While the cause of your accident may seem obvious at first glance, it isn’t always as clear as it may seem. The fact is, just like anyone else operating a vehicle or piece of equipment, boaters expect a duty to a safe environment. When that duty isn’t met, someone must be held liable.
A skilled Provo boating accident lawyer can investigate all the evidence to identify any and all sources of liability.
Usually, the owners of power boats, speed boats, personal watercraft, or other expensive water toys will have insurance policies that cover the boat and liability.
If there is not a policy, you may be unable to collect damages unless the liable party is financially able to pay restitution from their own personal financial resources. In some rare cases, homeowners’ policies may cover some of the damage.
Depending on the cause of the accident, the manufacturer, recreational service, or another entity may be assigned partial liability, and those damages would be paid by the liability insurance that is carried by the company or government agency. This is one of the reasons why contacting a boating accident attorney in Provo is so important.
Your lawyer has the experience, knowledge, and resources to identify and locate these parties to give you a better chance of financial recovery. Your lawyer may also have knowledge of recalled or defective parts, known water hazards that have caused previous issues, or other information that can help your case.
It may be unclear what kinds of crafts could be referred to as recreational boats. Some of the other recreational boats that we see involved in accidents include:
There is no exclusion for the type of boat that caused your injuries or property damage. If a floating vessel caused you to harm on the waters in Utah, you are generally able to file a lawsuit.
Boating under the influence is a leading cause of boat accidents, and Utah is high on the list of states with accidents where alcohol is a factor. While drinking may have been a factor in your accident, it isn’t always the case.
The other common factors in boating accidents include:
Operator inexperience is frequently a factor in boating accidents, according to a study by the United States Coast Guard. Just like driving a car, boat operators need a basic understanding of boating rules, and navigation principles and they also need to understand what to do in case of emergencies.
Driving a boat requires as much attention as driving a car. While you may have less traffic to contend with, the speed and weight of a boat hitting any object can result in damage and injuries that are extremely serious. Not paying attention while operating a boat is negligence.
For example, a boating accident lawyer could locate evidence to prove operator distraction. This could be found by interviewing witnesses or finding video footage of the driver looking at a cellphone while operating the boat. If witnesses provide statements that the boat operator wasn’t paying attention, this can be used as evidence.
Alcohol and drugs are well-known contributors to car accidents, and the same principle applies to boating. However, what many people do not take into account is the fact that boating already compromises equilibrium and judgment.
While a driver may be used to the effects of a beer or two, the effects of the alcohol while boating may be compounded by the movement of the boat, wind, dehydration, heat, and other factors.
Operating a boat safely means using speed moderately and safely. Excessive speed doesn’t allow ample time to avoid collisions or hazards that can appear suddenly. This can result in dangerous conditions that lead to accidents.
Maintaining the boat properly to ensure the safe operation is the responsibility of the owner. If the owner fails to maintain the boat or safety equipment and it fails, they could be held liable for any injuries or property damage.
In some cases, a part of the boat or the safety equipment can be defective. For instance, if the buckles on a lifejacket fail, it could be the manufacturer who is liable. Our Provo boating accident attorneys will conduct a complete investigation to uncover any possible boat or equipment failures that could have led to the incident.
Utah has so many water recreation opportunities and beautiful lakes in all elevations and environments. It’s a haven for boaters and fishermen, but accidents often happen when boat operators forget to use caution.
1Law’s boating accident lawyers in Provo understand the financial and emotional burden that boating accidents cause. We are prepared to help you pursue any legal avenues for compensation and advise you of your options. Get a free legal chat today for more information.