How A Boat Accident Attorney Can Help You
Boating accidents are pretty common in the U.S. and there are clear federal and state laws in place regarding boat accidents. Maritime laws differ in many ways compared to regular laws and understanding the difference is very important. A case can get complicated and you cannot take care of them all on your own. Therefore, one should hire an experienced lawyer.
The most common damages as a result of boating accidents are:
- Medical expenses
- Loss of pay due to injury
- Loss of personal property (if any)
- Physical Pain
- Mental suffering
A specialized Boating Accidents Attorney Philadelphia residents trust will understand the laws related to your boating accident and can steer the case in the right direction.
The easiest way to search a trusted attorney is to research on the internet and look for local attorneys. You can go through the reviews from previous clients and select the most qualified one. Even contacting people that have been involved in boating accidents can benefit you. They can recommend a lawyer and tell you everything they did right or wrong.
Once you have met a couple of boat injury lawyers and you select the one you want to proceed with, the process begins. Generally, any law firm abides by the following steps after beginning a new case:
Documentation- During this period, a law firm collects documents related to the accident. This can be:
Witness documents (if any)
Boating documents (if any)
Collecting these documents helps in understanding your case, your level of injury and it also may determine the compensation they should file for.
Investigation- Once they have collected your documents, the attorneys will start the investigation. It is necessary to run a thorough investigation to establish the facts.
Generally, a detailed investigation will include:
- Looking up dash cam recording
- Looking up local security camera footage
- Police reports filed
A good and on point investigation helps in making a strong case and also increases your chances of winning.
Negotiation- Before a case starts with the court hearing the attorneys try to speak to the other party outside of the courtroom.
They try to pitch for the compensation quoted by the victim and get it agreed upon. In case the defense denies the settlement then the case is further looked into in the trials.
Contacting a Boating Accidents Lawyer Philadelphia residents can trust can help in representing the victim or the defendant.
The following are common causes of boating accidents.
Accident due to negligence
A boater is held negligent under the following circumstances:
- Speeding the boat and hitting a wave consequently.
- Ignoring weather forecast and sailing in bad weather resulting in a problem.
- Colliding with propellers.
- Racing at a very high speed.
- Lack of sufficient safety equipment on board.
- Bumping into other boats or hard surfaces.
- Not being aware of the sailing rules laid by FFWCC.
- Overloading the boat with more passengers than it can accommodate.
Sailing while intoxicate
As per the state laws of sailing, it is illegal to be operating a boat while you are under the influence. A person is deemed intoxicated if their blood alcohol level is found to be more or equal to 0.08%.
Any sailor who is suspected of being intoxicated has to go through a test to prove they are sober. In cases of refusals, the sailor’s permit and license can also be revoked.
A sailor who is found guilty of being under the influence of intoxication can be fined or even jailed as per the state laws.
Careless ways of sailing
Under U.S. law, any individual who intentionally sails a boat recklessly without considering the safety of themselves or those around them can be punished under a first-degree crime.
When you approach a Philadelphia Boating Accidents lawyer, they will go through the case details to establish if there was any intentional carelessness.
According to maritime laws, a boat should follow specific guidelines.
- Do s and don’t s while on the boat (What are the Do’s and Don’ts?)
- A diver down flag
- First aid box
- Life jackets and tubes
After repeated citations about being careless while sailing, a person must complete a boating education course before he/she can sail once again.
Accidents on a Jet Ski
Jet Ski accidents are terrible. A person who faces a Jet Ski accident can be more seriously injured than someone who suffers a regular boat accident.
The basic reasons for a Jet Ski accident can be cited as:
- Device malfunction
- Rider’s negligence
In cases of device failure, the compensation can be claimed from the manufacturer of the Jet Ski, the seller or owner. This can be a case-to-case basis, but it is best determined by an attorney.
How Can an Attorney Help Your Case?
Most boating attorneys handle personal injury and maritime claims. When you hire an attorney, it can benefit you in more ways than one.
An experienced attorney can understand the case, gather all the necessary evidence, and make your case strong. The attorney can relate to the laws in place and determine what applies to your case.
They can listen to the incident and determine who is responsible for the loss and calculate what the compensation amount could be.
They will prepare your case by arranging the required documents and seek to settle it in a courtroom.
Finding a good law firm is similar to buying a good product or service. You have to invest time and energy to choose the best one for you.
If you wish to hire a good Boating Accidents Lawyer Philadelphia residents love, then you can do so in the following ways:
- Interviewing different lawyers with a set of questions and then comparing the answers. The one that has the most experience and has taken on cases similar to yours could be a good contender.
- Consulting a lawyer directory. Like everything else, there are directories available for law firms.
- You can also ask for a reference from other attorneys that you know. Being in the same profession they can give you solid recommendations.
- You can also ask a third party to carry out a background check for you on a few attorneys and from their report, you can pick the best one.
- Visiting multiple lawyers and talking to them individually can give you first-hand experience of what to expect from that attorney. This can help in making up your mind.
The Legalities of Fighting A Boating Injury Claim?
In the boundaries of the law, it’s only fair that the victim of a boating accident gets compensated fairly. Someone who has suffered injuries and pain and is undergoing medical treatment should not be burdened with medical bills.
It makes sense when someone suffers due to their own mistake. However, in cases where someone is injured due to the other party’s fault, they deserve compensation.
One of the major causes of boating accidents is negligence and recklessness. In such scenarios, a Boating Accidents Attorney Philadelphia residents rely on can establish a case against the offender for:
Sailing under the influence
Lack of boat safety
How to Select an Efficient Boat Accident Lawyer?
Choosing an attorney can be a difficult task, however, it is very important to choose the right one. If you hire any random attorney without checking their history of boat accident cases and reviews, then you run the risk of losing the case.
It is very important to make sure that the attorney you choose has previous experience in similar cases. As boating accidents are not very common, experience helps an attorney in establishing facts and determining compensation.
Some general guidelines when choosing a boat accident attorney can be listed as:
Research: It’s very important to conduct a market survey of similar lawyers and read customer reviews. This can help in selecting the right attorney.
Honest Discussion: Many times, people attempt to hide facts from an attorney. That is the biggest mistake one can make. It not only misleads your attorney but also weakens the case.
Relationship with The Lawyer: For a case to succeed it is very important to have a comfortable relationship with your attorney. A good Philadelphia Boating Accidents Lawyer will be patient, inquisitive and understanding.
Unspoken Behavior: When you first go to a law firm for the initial discussion, make sure to observe the surrounding people. Whether it is the attorney or their assistants, the way they treat other people can tell you a lot about how your experience is going to be.
Fees and How Much They Charge: This is one of the most important things that should be reviewed before you hire a lawyer. Check how much they will charge and if it is on a contingency basis. Many attorneys charge only after winning the case.
Also, clarify if there are any hidden fees or charges. Only when you have all your doubts cleared and questions answered, then sign the contract with the law firm.