Kentucky Boating Accident Attorneys
Kentucky is known for its beautiful lakes and rivers. Jet skiing or boating in these scenic areas can be an enjoyable pastime, but you need to know that accidents, even at the hands of experienced boaters, sometimes happen. You need to consider consulting with a lawyer when involved in a boating accident — especially if it was not your fault.
After a boating accident, you must contact an experienced maritime attorney who understands how to handle and negotiate your claim. A maritime claim must be handled by an experienced lawyer with litigation experience and access to the resources needed to represent a client successfully.
Bryant Law Center has considerable experience and success with recovering compensation for those injured from boating accidents.
If you have been injured in an accident on the water, talk with one of our experienced boating accident lawyers. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Contact us today to find out how a boating accident lawyer can help with your recovery after an injury.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Kentucky
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the most common type of boating accidents are collisions involving recreational vessels and the type of boat most commonly involved in accidents are open motorboats.
The most common causes of accidents in one recent year in order were:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol Use
- Force of wake or wave
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
Some other causes include:
- Running the boat aground
- Colliding with a submerged object
- Colliding with another object such as a dock or bouy
- Interacting with marine life
- Water-skiing or tubing accidents
Boating accidents can cause injuries that are traumatizing and costly. For instance, mechanical failures can lead to electrocution, a fire or explosion on the boat, or the boat sinking or capsizing. Inattentiveness or inexperienced operation can lead to a person falling overboard, being ejected from the vessel, or struck by the propeller.
Any of these scenarios can lead to serious injury or death and poses a grave risk of drowning.
What Forms of Compensation Are Available in Boat Accident Claims?
After a boating accident, you might qualify for many different types of compensation, including recovering money for your injuries and damage to your property.
Some examples of things you can recover from in a boating accident lawsuit include:
- The cost of medical bills, treatment, surgery, and durable medical equipment
- Past and future lost wages
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional or psychological trauma
- Property damage
In some cases, you may be eligible to receive compensation in the form of punitive damages. This form of compensation is designed to punish the defendant for their behavior or actions that led to your injuries and deter them and others from similarly causing future harm. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Kentucky can help ensure you receive the total compensation you are entitled to.
Punitive damages are rare, and Kentucky law requires that your attorney prove that the at-fault party acted with “fraud, malice, or oppression.”
Negligence in Recreational Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can happen in various situations – even on simple boat trips out to the lake. Bryant Law Center in Kentucky understands the laws and statutes about careless operations of a boat. It can help you determine who is liable for your damages and where to file suit.
A boating accident lawyer could investigate the cause of your injury and work with you to file a lawsuit to get compensation from whoever is at fault.
Some examples of negligent actions that your attorney may look for include:
- Colliding with other boats or objects
- Failing to pay attention to the boat’s surroundings
- Failing to follow navigation rules
- Failing to stow the proper safety equipment aboard the boat
- Operating the boat in a dangerous manner, such as by hitting a wad or wave at high speed
- Operating the boat in hazardous weather
- Operating the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Overcrowding the boat
- Overloading the boat
If the boating accident was not caused by the negligent actions of the boat’s operator, your attorney would also investigate whether faulty equipment was the cause. In this case, your attorney will gather evidence to hold the manufacturer of the defective equipment responsible for your damages.
Personal Watercraft Accidents
Personal watercraft such as Jet Skis, WaveRunners, and Sea-Doos Jet Skis are popular watercraft on the rivers and lakes of Kentucky but operating one can sometimes come at a greater risk.
Like the difference between car and motorcycle accidents, PWC injuries can be much more severe than the typical boating injury because the rider is more exposed than people on boats.
As with boating accidents, if you retain an attorney for your PWC accident claim, they will investigate the cause for any signs of negligent operation or manufacturer defect.
Visit our page on PWC accidents for more information.
How an Attorney Can Help You Through the Boating Accident Lawsuit Process
A boating accident can be a traumatic experience for you and your family, with significant medical expenses and physical injuries that may not heal. Luckily, support is available to help you get the financial compensation that allows you to get back on your feet without having to pay these expenses out of pocket.
A boating accident lawyer can help you in various ways, such as by advocating for your rights from the beginning. The experienced boating accident attorneys at our law firm will strive to maximize your compensation for the injuries and losses you sustained
When you retain an attorney, they will be able to help by:
- Investigate the cause of the accident to determine who is liable.
- Handle all negotiations with the insurance company.
- Seek out all forms of compensation you may be eligible for.
- Gather evidence to support your case, including witness testimony.
- Seek out the assistance of expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists.
- Manage the legal details of your case, including filing your lawsuit and handling the discovery process.
- Take your case to court if the at-fault party will not offer a reasonable settlement.
Commercial Shipping and Barge Accidents
Recreational boaters aren’t the only people on our waterways. Thousands of people work on boats and barges that transport cargo along Kentucky’s rivers and lakes which are a valuable transportation resource, providing a link to move millions of tons of cargo a year.
When a maritime worker is injured on the job, laws ensure that they are protected and can be compensated for their injuries. There are also laws that are intended to protect them from working on unsafe vessels.
Workers’ Compensation & Jones Act Claims
The Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) are two essential laws protecting workers on waterways.
Under the Jones Act, sailors and seamen are entitled to protection from boats and barges that have been deemed unseaworthy. The boats they work on must be reasonably fit for use and have the proper safety equipment.
Maritime workers protected under the Jones Act are entitled to immediate medical treatment after an injury. If the boat was found to be dangerous or did not have the proper safety gear, they may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, people who work as a longshoreman and in other maritime jobs can be compensated for injuries that occur on the job. Their families are entitled to benefits in the event of a fatal accident.
Maritime injury claims can be complex and frustrating types of workers’ compensation claims. Having an attorney go through the steps of filing and appealing your claim can help you receive justice sooner rather than later. At the Bryant Law Center, we understand the intricacies of these specialized workers’ compensation claims and know we can help you get the justice you deserve.
Other Boating Resources
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is responsible for enforcing boating laws. Here’s a link to their website with information on Kentucky Boating Safety and Boater Education.
The United States Coast Guard will also patrol and have enforcement authority on federally controlled waters such as the Ohio River.
Here’s a link to our blog on Kentucky Boating Safety.
Contact the Kentucky Boating Accident Attorneys at Bryant Law Center
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you need an experienced boat accident attorney to help you navigate through the complicated claim process and get you the compensation you deserve. Time may be limited for you to file your claim so it is in your best interest to reach out for help as soon as possible.
Contact Bryant Law Center today for a free consultation with one of our skilled Kentucky boating accident lawyers.