A boat accident can be really scary. When you are left with severe physical injuries, or when someone is killed, the event will have reverberations far beyond the day of the accident. Our experienced team at Johnson & Biscone can help you decide your next steps. Give us a call at 405-232-6490 today to schedule your boating accident consultation at our Oklahoma City office!
What Are Common Reasons for Boating Accidents?
Like other motorized vehicles, boats take skill to operate safely. Protocols must be followed to keep passengers safe, and the boat’s captain has a responsibility to pay attention to their surroundings and prevent accidents.
Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:
- Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Boater inexperience
- Disregard for others’ safety
- Colliding with another boat or a fixed object
- Boating in prohibited areas
- Choosing to operate the boat in adverse weather conditions
- Reckless or aggressive boat operation
- Faulty or defective boat components or design
Attorneys at Johnson & Biscone can investigate your claim to determine if someone else’s negligence caused the boat accident that injured you, in which case you may have a claim to pursue maximum compensation.
Are There Specific Laws Related to Boat Safety?
Yes, there are various state, local, and federal laws related to boating, as well as maritime regulations. For the most part, in Oklahoma, local laws apply to boating accidents. For example, in our state:
- The boat must carry one wearable personal floatation device (PFD) per person, and the PFD must be approved by the United States Coast Guard
- For boats less than 26 feet long, all passengers 12 and under must be wearing their USCG-approved PFD
- Boats that use flammable liquid as fuel must be equipped with a fire extinguisher
- Children under 12 may not operate a boat with more than 10 horsepower
- Boats must follow the right-of-way rules
Our attorneys can determine if there are any laws related to boating that may play a role in your injury claim.
Who Can Pursue a Boat Accident Lawsuit?
Injured victims can pursue a boat accident lawsuit against the at-fault party. This could be passengers of the boat, or passengers of another boat involved in the collision or incident. It could also be the owner of a boat who was injured because the boat parts were defective.
What are Common Injuries that Occur During Boating Accidents?
Boating accident injuries can cause some serious health complications if not treated quickly or properly. Some of these injuries include:
- Head or brain trauma: In serious cases of boat collisions or falling on a boat, injuries range from concussions, skull fractures, or even spinal cord injuries.
- Drowning: Drowning accidents can happen in a second. It is essential for passengers to wear a life jacket at all times.
- Cuts: Cuts may occur during a boating accident due to equipment on the boat that can become dangerous during unpredictable accidents. While most cuts remain minor, it’s important to be prepared if a passenger suffers from serious bleeding.
- Broken bones: If the boat is unstable during an accident, passengers may suffer from broken bones, which can be painful if not treated quickly.
- Hypothermia: If an accident takes place in freezing water, passengers are at risk of their body temperatures dropping severely low.
- Internal bleeding: Passengers thrown or falling across a boat may suffer from severe trauma that can lead to dangerous internal bleeding of vital organs.
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I was Injured While on a Cruise. Can I File a Compensation Claim?
Yes, you may be able to file a claim if you were injured on a cruise or another type of commercial boating operation. Ask our attorneys about whether you have a case.
Who Can be Held Legally Liable for Causing my Damages in a Boating Accident?
Every case is unique, but generally, liable parties in a boat accident may include:
- Boat captains
- Boat designers or builders
- Manufacturers of boats or boat parts
- Companies responsible for running a commercial lake or recreational area
Sometimes the liable party is not always clear, and you’ll need an experienced attorney to determine if someone is responsible. If you are involved in a boat accident, it’s important not to apologize or imply you are at fault; a careful investigation of the accident is necessary to get to the direct cause.
Can I Wait to File My Compensation Claim?
You shouldn’t wait too long to contact our attorneys after any type of accident resulting in serious injuries, including boat accidents. You should of course get medical attention first and then contact our attorneys soon after. We can begin advising you immediately and helping you determine what to do next to protect your claim.
What Type of Financial Compensation Can I Recover for Injuries Sustained in an Oklahoma Boat Accident?
Every case is unique, and so are the damages involved. Our attorneys spend a great deal of time getting to know you and the details of the incident so we can competently pursue every dollar you need and deserve. Although compensation can never be guaranteed, successful boat accident claims may award damages for:
- Medical expenses, both present and future
- Loss of income
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
- Reduced earning capacity
- Assistive and adaptive equipment and in-home modifications
It’s difficult to put a dollar amount on all the ways you’ve been harmed because not all consequences will be financial. There are also emotional, mental, and quality-of-life-related damages that our attorneys are extensively familiar with.
How Will I Know If I Need a Boat Accident Lawyer?
If you have been a passenger during a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Hiring a boating accident lawyer can help you repair costs from medical bills, trauma, and emotional distress the accident caused you. You may benefit from a boating accident lawyer for the following reasons:
The Boat Owner Has No Insurance
Boat owner’s insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Oklahoma, but if the at-fault owner of the boat involved in the accident is not insured, it’s crucial to have a legal team you can trust to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Your Initial Settlement Hasn’t Covered All Your Expenses
Many injured passengers from boating accidents find their medical bills from hospital states, surgeries, x-rays, and ongoing physical therapy. If you have already filed a claim with the boat owner’s insurance and are still left with outstanding payments from the results of the accident, you may be entitled to more compensation.
The Boat Operator was Negligent
While boating accidents can happen unpredictably, there are times when boating accidents can happen due to operator negligence. Common cases of operator negligence range from small distractions to intoxication. This is a lack of responsibility, and if you were put at risk of injury because of careless actions, it’s essential a good team of lawyers can argue for your case.
Your Injury is Life-Altering
Many boating accident passengers can recover quickly from minor injuries. However, in some instances, passengers suffer from serious injuries such as brain trauma or injuries to the head, spine, or neck that can make your ability to function in everyday life more complicated than before. Serious injuries like these often result in medical costs that go beyond recovery, and many injured people can be left with life-long medical bills. If this sounds like your situation, you will want to have a trusted attorney help you get fair compensation.
Call Johnson & Biscone For A Boat Accident Consultation In OKC!
If you or a loved one was injured in a boat accident anywhere in the state of Oklahoma, please call the Oklahoma City law firm of Johnson & Biscone at 405-232-6490. Or, you can fill out the form in our contact page to book a meeting with one of our well-practiced attorneys! We look forward to helping you with your claim.