Although accidents on the water may not be as common as those on land, they have the potential to cause serious injury. When you are involved in a boating accident, there are actions you can take to minimize the damage and maximize your chances of recovering compensation from the responsible party.
If you have been involved in a boating accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances, the party responsible may be required to pay your medical bills, compensate you for lost wages, cover damage to your boat and remit payment for other expenses. To collect the compensation you deserve, you will need to file a claim against the party responsible for the accident.
There are things that boat operators can do to avoid such accidents in the first place. One of the most important parts of boating safety is paying attention to navigation aids. On the Mississippi River, some of its tributaries and certain other rivers flowing toward the Gulf of Mexico, short-range navigation aids are part of the Western Rivers System, which is a variation of the U.S. Aids to Navigation System. Key differences exist between the U.S. Aids to Navigation System and the Western Rivers System. For example, numbers on navigation aids usually indicate mileage from a fixed point in the Western Rivers System, as opposed to serving as lateral markers. Understanding the specific rules associated with this navigation system ensures that boat operators will be able to interpret aids on these waterways properly.
Boat operators can also avoid accidents by following all relevant laws that apply to navigating waters, such as those governing speed limits, right of way and cautious operation of their watercraft. Accidents can also occur because of faulty equipment, intoxication of the operator, bad weather and other factors.
Immediately following any accident on the water, the first step is to inform the authorities that an accident has occurred and get help for any injured parties. If the accident resulted in significant personal injury or property damage, you will need to file an accident report. Next, you should collect as much evidence as possible about the accident. Take pictures of the scene if possible, and be sure to collect contact information from boat operators and witnesses. Ask witnesses to submit written statements detailed what they saw when the accident occurred. In addition, you should write down any relevant information about the accident so you will remember it later.
If you have been involved in a boating accident that resulted from another party’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. Depending on the circumstances, the party responsible may need to pay your medical bills, compensate you for lost wages, cover damage to your boat and remit payment for other expenses. To collect the compensation you deserve, you will need to file a claim against the party responsible for the accident.
Goforth & Lilley represents clients who have sustained injuries in boating accidents. To learn more about how we can help you with a maritime injury claim in Louisiana, call our Lafayette office at 337-446-4239 or contact us online to arrange a free consultation.
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