Unfortunately, boating accidents are common across the United States, and some lead to serious injury or death. For example, the U.S. Coast Guard states there were 622 fatal boating accidents in 2022.
If you lost a loved one in a recent boating accident caused by someone’s negligence, you could have legal options for compensation. Speak to a Nix Patterson wrongful death drowning or boating accidents lawyer today to potentially be compensated for your economic and non-economic damages.
The cause of most fatal boating and drowning accidents will vary based on the circumstances. However, we can say that most fatal boating accidents involve drownings, and these are often caused by careless boat operators, inadequate safety gear, and operating in hazardous weather conditions.
Overall, boat operator negligence of various types is the leading factor in most boating deaths. Alcohol consumption and lack of safety training are significant issues in many of these tragic incidents. Many fatal boating and drowning accidents could be avoided if the boat operator was properly versed in safety protocols and avoided drinking alcohol. Also, whether the accident happened in a boat or a pool, having life jackets and related safety equipment in use could prevent many tragedies.
If you are going boating or swimming, there are several things you can do to avoid severe and sometimes fatal accidents. They are:
Many drownings could be avoided if life jackets were always used on open water. Most drowning victims in boating accidents didn’t wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. So, make sure if you operate a boat that there is a life jacket for everyone on the boat and that they are in use.
If you own a boat, you should always take and pass a boating safety class. A boating safety class will give you essential skills and knowledge to prevent severe and sometimes fatal accidents on the water. The U.S. Coast Guard advises that all boat operators take a boating safety class, even if they are experienced boaters. Many states also require you to take a boating safety class before operating a boat.
Weather can change drastically on the open water in minutes, and dangerous conditions can blow up out of nowhere. Always review the latest weather forecast before hitting the water, and watch developing weather patterns during your excursion. Head for shore immediately if you see dark clouds looming on the horizon. Also, head for safety if you notice a sudden drop in air temperature.
A trip or float plan is a crucial safety document stating the reason for your boating trip, where you will go, the route, and when you expect to return. Share your trip or float plan with a close friend or relative. In an emergency, this person can relate critical information to the authorities to find and rescue you.
You may wonder who could be held financially responsible if you lost your loved one in a drowning or boating accident. In the case of a drowning death at a home, the property owner could be at fault. If the drowning happened at a public pool, the owner could be responsible for not providing adequate lifeguard protection. When the death was related to a boating accident or drowning, it’s possible that the boat operator could be successfully sued for the loss.
Depending on the circumstances, there are many potentially liable parties for drowning and boating deaths. The best action is to speak to a wrongful death drowning or boating accident attorney today to find out if you have a potential case.
If you lost a loved one in a drowning or boating accident and someone else was responsible, you should talk to a wrongful death attorney. Strong evidence could tie the boat operator to death, such as improper or faulty safety equipment, drinking, or negligently piloting the boat.
Also, you should always consider legal representation if you suffered damages because of your loved one’s death. For example, if you had to pay for your loved one’s medical care or funeral expenses and another person may have been at fault, you should speak to a lawyer.
Many people don’t realize they could be entitled to far more than medical and funeral expenses. When another party causes your loved one’s death in a boating or swimming accident, you could be entitled to lost future income, loss of inheritance, and mental and emotional pain and suffering.
It’s easier to obtain this type of compensation with the help of an experienced attorney. The insurance company for the defendant will be reluctant to pay the full case value and will look for any reason to pay you less than you deserve. Without an attorney fighting for you, you are likely to get far less than you deserve.
The decision to file a lawsuit is personal, but there are often strong reasons to consider legal action if you lost your loved one in a boating or drowning tragedy. They may include:
There are many valid reasons to pursue compensation after a death caused by another party. An attorney can review your case quickly and determine if another party could be held accountable.
If one of your loved ones died in a wrongful death boating accident, only you understand the unique pain of such a devastating and personal loss. While legal action may understandably be the furthest thing from your mind, filing a wrongful death boating accident lawsuit could help secure your financial future and give you a measure of justice.
The wrongful death boating accident lawyers at Nix Patterson can help you understand your options. Contact us today for a complimentary legal consultation.
Nix Patterson only works on a contingency fee basis. Our clients pay us nothing unless we win. Schedule a free consultation today. Call 512.328.5333 or complete the form below.
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