Where there are large bodies of water, you’ll find boats, even on the Great Salt Lake. Boat cruises are a popular activity in the city and in surrounding reservoirs, but most boaters only get an average of 110 hours on the water each year. Many boaters cause accidents because of this.
There’s no question that boating is dangerous. You could get injured or killed easily in a boating accident. If you or someone you love has been harmed in a boating accident, speak with our Salt Lake City boating accident lawyers at 1Law.
The great danger of boating accidents is not the collision. It’s the water. If someone goes unconscious while in the water or cannot swim to safety, they could drown. This is why life vests are so important for all boat riders. They can keep you above water until help arrives.
Alcohol is another danger in boating accidents. You’re far more likely to suffer a fatal accident if you’re intoxicated, even if you’re a passenger. You might not know that it’s easier to become an impaired boater than an impaired driver. Even a little alcohol, combined with the stresses of operating a boat, can be enough to qualify someone as intoxicated.
The,n there is the danger of unmaintained vessels, especially those that go on the Great Salt Lake. Because of the salt, boats must be flushed and washed each time they leave. If they don’t, the salt could corrode the boat and make it unseaworthy. If you’re a passenger on a poorly maintained boat and it capsizes, you may have a case.
Since the risks are so high, there are some things you should do beforehand to stay safe during boating accidents. First, check Utah’s essential equipment checklist for boaters. If you lack any of these, it could make you more negligent in an accident and reduce compensation.
The most important item for personal safety is the life jacket. 80% of people who have drowned in boating accidents would have survived if they had been wearing a life jacket. They may be bulky, hot, and unflattering, but there is no question they save lives. Wear one whenever you’re near the water.
Finally, the people on the boat should know who to contact in case of an emergency. 911 is a good start, but there may be an on-site emergency number. Check with the marina for the best number to contact for help.
The most essential task after a boating accident is to account for all the passengers and get them medical care by calling the authorities. If you have one, raise an orange flag. This is the signal for distress in boating accidents.
From there, it works much like a car accident. You’ll want the contact information and insurance information of all the boat operators, as well as contact information of any witnesses for a statement. Take photos of the scene, the boat damage, and your injuries if you can.
Once you’ve spoken to the authorities, see a doctor as soon as possible for a diagnosis. You should do this even if you feel fine. Tell them you were in a boating accident. If they find an injury, follow their advice and then contact a boat accident lawyer in Salt Lake City for your next steps.
If you’ve followed the steps above, the odds are good that you have a case. A boat accident lawyer will evaluate the evidence you’ve brought to the consultation and listen to your story, then tell you if you have a case or not, and possibly give you an estimate of its worth based on previous cases.
If you choose to retain a lawyer, they will get started building a case on your behalf by gathering more evidence and giving you advice on how to proceed. They will also become the go-between for you and any insurance agents. Just tell them you have a lawyer and give the contact information to them.
They will do the hard work of building your case and presenting it to the insurance company for negotiations. If negotiations break down, you have the option of going to court where a judge and/or jury will decide the outcome of the case.
Boat accidents are expensive, if only for the cost of getting your vessel back if it sinks. The dedicated attorneys at 1Law know how to litigate boat accident cases. Let us put our expertise to work for you in a free case consultation.
To get started on your case, contact us by phone or use our free legal chat option. Let our Salt Lake City boating accident attorneys help you move on from your boat accident with dedicated legal support.