The summer season provides the perfect weather to spend time out on the water. Boating is a great way to enjoy a summer day for those who love to swim, participate in water sports, or just want to be outside. However, responsibility and alertness are still paramount to everyone’s safety. If someone acts negligently, they could cause a boat accident that results in terrible injuries or fatalities. After a boating accident occurs that wasn’t your fault, you can hold the negligent party responsible for their actions and seek compensation. To do this, having a Louisville boat accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices will provide you with the guidance and expertise to get the justice you deserve.
Kentucky Boating Laws
Just as there are laws applying to driving, there are laws that apply to operating a boat. Let’s go over some of the laws that everyone in Kentucky has to adhere to.
- Operating a Boat. Those who are operating a boat can be held responsible for negligence. They are supposed to provide other watercraft with plenty of room, adhere to speed limits, and need to have a registration certificate on board.
- Boating Speed. Boat operators need to be aware of their wake. In some areas, they are only supposed to remain idle, which is the slowest speed where an operator can still maneuver their boat. Operators are responsible for accidents that occur from the wake they create.
- Negligent Behaviors. Negligent behavior includes weaving through traffic, following watercraft or someone being towed by watercraft too closely, jumping another craft’s wake that endangers human life, risks injury, or property, cutting between a boat and those being towed by the boat, crossing the path of another boat when there’s poor or obstructed visibility, and steering toward someone or an object in the water and turning sharply when they’re close.
- Operating While Intoxicated. Operators cannot be under the influence or intoxicated because it impairs their ability to safely operate the vehicle. If the operator has a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher, they could face jail time or fines.
According to Kentucky law, the operator of the boat needs to make a Boating Accident Report if any of the following occurs:
- There is a death or disappearance of a person.
- Someone is injured and needs medical attention, or the injuries incapacitate them for 24 hours or more.
- The accident results in loss or property damage of $500 or more.
When a Louisville boating accident attorney from our law firm investigates your case, we’ll go over reports and accounts to find out what happened. If the negligent party was violating any boating laws in Kentucky, we’ll find evidence to support it. This can help show how their negligence contributed to the accident and caused your injuries.
What Causes Boating Accidents?
There are myriad ways for a boating accident to occur. While you’re already aware of some, it’s important to know the main causes of these accidents. You may already recognize one of the reasons why your accident happened. In the US. Department of Homeland Security 2019 Recreational Boating Statistics report, they list the following contributing factors to boating accidents:
- Operator Inattention
- Improper Lookout
- Operator Inexperience
- Excessive Speed
- Alcohol Use
- Machinery Failure
- Navigation Rules Violation
- Hazardous Waters
- Force of Wake
After the boating accident, you may automatically think the other boat’s operator was at fault. While this may be true in some situations, this isn’t always necessarily the case. That’s why having a Louisville boating accident lawyer at your side is paramount to finding out who was responsible for your injuries.
If there was machinery failure, there could have been a faulty part on the boat. In this case, the part’s manufacturer could be responsible for putting a defective product on the market. While going up against a manufacturing company can be intimidating, our lawyers are ready to represent you.
The Consequences of Boating Accident Injuries
Boating accidents can cause devastating injuries. People can be thrown from the boat, hit by a boat, and may not be able to get themselves to safety. The Recreational Boating Statistics report gives the top five causes of death in boating accidents:
- Cardiac Arrest
- Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Serious injuries that can occur include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Lost Limbs
- Broken Bones
- Soft Tissue Injuries
After these injuries occur, medical assistance is paramount. Those injured in a boating accident may need to be hospitalized and receive extensive continued care, even after they’re ready to leave the hospital. These medical costs can rise quickly. This burden shouldn’t fall on your shoulders because the accident wasn’t your fault. Your representation from Thomas Law Offices will look into what the boating accident has cost you financially and fight for your compensation to cover those losses.
We’ll also evaluate the other consequences of the boating accident, including pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. If these non-monetary damages apply to your case, we’ll calculate your compensation to include these as well.
In the tragic event you’ve lost a loved one in a boating accident, our wrongful death attorneys can help you get justice for your loved one. We’ll provide our expertise to help you and your family in any way we can.
Get Sound Legal Counsel from Thomas Law Offices
When you need representation after a boating accident, Thomas Law Offices is here for you. We’ll go over the legal process so you’ll know what to expect and how we’ll fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve. Contact us today so we can go over your case in a free evaluation. We can find the best way for you to proceed and begin to move forward.