Boating is a leisurely activity that brings joy to countless people all over the state of West Virginia. However, on rare occasions, accidents can happen. These accidents can result in anything from minor injury to unfortunate drowning. Any accident involving more than first aid or minor property damage requires a boating accident report to be filed.

This report can only be filed within a short window of time. If there are no injuries other than property damage, you have 10 days to file. That said, you only have 48 hours if there was serious bodily injury, and a mere 24 hours if a person was tragically killed during the incident. In the event of any boating accident, it is prudent never to speak to an insurance provider prior to consulting a West Virginia boat accident lawyer. Doing so could potentially jeopardize any settlement offers.

The rivers in West Virginia are often filled with everything from commercial barges to jet skis. With such a high level of traffic in the summer months, so comes the potential for personal injury, even death. Drowning is particularly frequent in boating accident claims. It is essential that any injured party contact a licensed personal injury attorney to navigate the unique maritime laws often affiliated in determining negligence.

Common Types of Boat Crashes in West Virginia

Every type of boating accident has different degrees of severity. Understanding the nature of a boat collision is beneficial for anyone considering a civil lawsuit.

Collisions between Watercrafts

Injuries can be severe when two boats collide with each other. These accidents are common and generally result from operator negligence.

It is possible for water vessels to collide as a result of defective parts, as well. For example, if the braking mechanism failed, the manufacturer could be held liable for a faulty part.

Fixed Object Collisions

Boat accidents also frequently involve a vessel striking a fixed object, such as a dock, submerged tree, a piece of debris, etc. Fixed object boating accidents also include running aground.

Falling Overboard

Some of the most dangerous accidents do not involve a boat colliding with anything at all. When a boat passenger falls overboard, the risk of drowning is significant, especially if he or she suffers a head injury and is knocked unconscious before going into the water.

Obtaining Compensation after a Boating Accident

Recovering monetary compensation is possible with the help of a boating injury lawyer in West Virginia. There are several different types of compensation that could be available, depending on the specific circumstances of a watercraft collision.

Lost Wages

Many boating injury victims are unable to return to work for weeks or months after a collision on the water. Missing out on income could put unexpected financial strain on a person and his or her family. A successful boat collision lawsuit could compensate those lost wages.

Medical Bills

The cost of medical care in the aftermath of a boat accident can be staggering. While emergency medical care can be significant, those expenses represent only a portion of the medical bills that could follow a water vessel crash. In cases of catastrophic boating injuries, it could be possible to recover the cost of both past and future medical expenses.

Boat Damage

Even minor boat repairs can cost thousands of dollars. A successful civil claim could recoup the cost of repairing or replacing a damaged watercraft.

Resolving a Boat Accident Claim

There are different ways a West Virginia lawyer could obtain a favorable outcome in a boating accident case. In many situations, an attorney can resolve a claim through a negotiated settlement. When settlement offers fall below the value of an injured person’s boat crash claim, however, the best option may be to go to trial and obtain a judgment from a local civil court.

If trial becomes necessary, a local attorney can handle the work of selecting a jury, developing a theory of negligence, and litigating the case in court. A judgment from the court is a powerful tool that could help with collecting what is owed from the responsible party, so do not hesitate to get the right legal representation from a well-practiced legal team.

West Virginia Boating Accident Lawyer

If someone else is to blame for the boat accident, damages can be rewarded to cover such things as medical expenses and lost wages. However, this negligence must be proved. A local personal injury attorney specializing in boating accidents can help you uncover and investigate the contributing factors and present a case for liability accordingly.

Boating accidents can be terrifying enough without having to worry about what to do next. If you or a loved one were injured in a boating collision due to another party’s negligent or reckless conduct, contact a licensed West Virginia boat accident lawyer to discuss any legal options you may have.

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Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law

Jan Dils, Attorneys at Law