Paducah Boating Accidents
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. When involved in a boating accident — especially if it was not your fault — you need to consider consulting with a lawyer.
After a boating accident, it is crucial to contact an experienced maritime attorney who understands how to handle and negotiate your claim. It is important that a maritime claim be handled by an experienced lawyer who has litigation experience and access to the resources needed to successfully represent a client.
The Bryant Law Center in Paducah 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. To find out how a boating accident lawyer can help with your recovery after an injury, contact us today.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Kentucky
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, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
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 being struck by the propeller.
Any of these scenarios can lead to serious injury or death and poses a heavy 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 for 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 to deter them, and others, from causing future harm in a similar way.
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 a variety of situations – even on simple boat trips out to the lake. The Bryant Law Center in Kentucky understands the laws and statutes about careless operations of a boat, and can help you determine who is liable for your damages as well as where to file suit.
A boating accident lawyer could investigate the cause of your injury and work with you to file a lawsuit in order to get compensation from whomever 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 will also investigate whether faulty equipment was the cause. In this case, your attorney will gather evidence to hold the manufacturer of the faulty equipment responsible for your damages.
Jet Ski Accidents
Jet skis are another popular watercraft on the rivers and lakes of Kentucky but operating one can sometimes come at a greater risk.
Much like the difference in injuries in car accidents and motorcycle accidents, Jet ski 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 jet ski accident claim they will investigate the cause for any signs of negligent operation or manufacturer defect.
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 large medical expenses and physical injuries that may not heal. Luckily, there is support 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 a variety of ways, such as by advocating for your rights from the very beginning. The experienced boating accident attorneys at the Bryant Law Center will strive to maximize your compensation from the injuries and losses you sustained
When you retain an attorney, they will be able to help by:
- Investigating the cause of the accident to determine who is liable.
- Handling all negotiations with the insurance company.
- Seeking out all forms of compensation you may be eligible for.
- Gathering evidence to support your case including witness testimony.
- Seeking out the assistance of expert witnesses and accident reconstructionists.
- Managing the legal details of your case including filing your lawsuit and handling the discovery process.
- Taking your case to court if the at-fault party will not offer a reasonable settlement.
Workers’ Compensation & Jones Act Claims
Recreational boaters aren’t the only people on Kentucky’s waterways. Thousands of people work on boats and barges that sail along the Commonwealth’s rivers and lakes.
When a maritime worker is injured on the job, there are laws in place that 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.
Two important laws that protect workers on waterways are the Jones Act and the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
Under the Jones Act, sailors and seamen are entitled to protection from boats which have been deemed unseaworthy. The boats that 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 on the job. 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 longshoreman and in other maritime jobs can be compensated for injuries which occur on the job and 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 can help you get the justice you deserve.
Contact the Boat Accident Attorneys at the Bryant Law Center Today
If you’ve been injured in a boating accident you need an experienced attorney to help you get the compensation that 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 Paducah boating accident lawyers.