Personal Injury Claims for Drunk Boating Accidents
Boating accidents may not be as common as car accidents but there are still thousands of accidents every year. According to data from the Coast Guard, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents and 613 boating accident-related fatalities in 2019 alone; this was a slight decrease from the 633 boating fatalities reported in 2018. In 2019, the boating fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. In addition, 2,559 people were injured and there was $55 million dollars’ worth of property damage.
Some of the common causes of boating accidents are inexperienced captains, unfavorable boating conditions, and drunken boating. In fact, drunk boating accidents are responsible for hundreds of injuries and boating deaths every year.
If you or a loved one was injured or killed because of a drunken boat skipper, you are entitled to file a boat accident claim that seeks to recover damages. An experienced boating accident attorney can discuss your legal rights and help you through the process to ensure you get the maximum settlement for your injuries.
Types of Drunk Boating Accidents
There are several types of drunk boating accidents that can lead to serious injuries or death, including:
- Drunk operators who steer and crash the boat into docks, other boats, debris, or land masses.
- Underage drinking and boating combine inexperience and immaturity with drunkenness. This can lead to crashes.
- Drunk passengers who slip and fall on the deck, trip and fall on stairs, or fall over the side of the boat and drown. In some cases, passengers are over-served on a cruise ship, yacht or sailboat.
- Drunk passengers are also more likely to become aggressive with other passengers.
Personal injury claims for drunk boating accidents
One of the first things that a boating accident lawyer will do is determine liability for your boating accident. The circumstances that lead to each boating accident are different, which makes liability different in each case. Some examples are:
- If your boat or dock was crashed into by a drunken skipper, they may be liable for the accident.
- If the owner of a boat knowingly did not properly secure or make their boat safe for passengers and a passenger gets injured as a result, the owner may be liable for the accident.
- A company that hosts a boat party where alcohol is served may be liable for injuries or assault and battery that occur as a result of drunkenness.
- A licensed bartender who overserves a passenger may be liable for injuries they cause.
These are all examples of negligent behavior, which is required for assigning liability.
Don’t wait to file a boating accident claim
In Washington State, injured persons generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury claim. If you were injured in a boating accident because of the negligence of another, it is important to gather as much evidence as possible, as quickly as possible including pictures of the scene and your injuries. Get the contact information for any witnesses, seek immediate medical care and contact an accident attorney as soon as possible. The attorney will help you gather information to prove your claim.
How much money can I get in a boating accident settlement?
The amount of money you could recover from a boating accident claim or lawsuit will vary greatly depending on the severity of your injuries and the circumstances that led to your accident. It will also depend on hiring the right personal injury attorney. Personal injury settlements can range from a few thousand dollars to millions of dollars and are meant to compensate for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, disability, and more.
While you will not be expected to pay for lawyers’ fees up front in a personal injury case, the law firm is repaid for the out-of-pocket costs they have advanced from the proceeds of a settlement or judge or jury verdict. You pay nothing if no settlement is reached.
Seek the help of a boat accident attorney
If you or a loved one was injured because of the negligence of another, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal rights. Let an experienced boat accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times larger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!