Boat Accident Lawyers discuss Negligence
NY boat accident lawyers at the F&A injury law firm discuss negligence on the water as the Spring boat season begins. If you have been in a boat accident, you may wonder who is responsible. Should someone be held accountable for the damage and injuries resulting from the accident? Just as with a car accident, often a person was negligent which resulted in the accident. Negligence is defined as the failure to act with reasonable care. To prove negligence it must be proven that the person at fault failed to act with reasonable care and this directly caused the accident in which damage or injury occurred. Let’s examine some specific examples of negligence in boating accidents.
Boating Under the Influence
If you choose to operate a boat after drinking, you are taking a risk. You are failing to act with reasonable care. It is estimated that one-third of boating accidents are due to the driver being under the influence. It is illegal. Negligence is apparent in this case.
Failure to Follow Maritime Rules
For example, a boater that creates a wake in a no-wake zone can be found negligent, if this causes an accident. If the driver of the boat fails to heed warnings around bridges or docks, they can be found at fault for an accident that results. Just as a car driver must follow the rules of the road, a boat operator must follow the rules of the water.
Ignoring Weather Conditions
Before going out on the water, it is wise to check the weather forecast. If, during the outing, a storm approaches, the operator of the boat must take the proper action and get off the water as soon as possible. Failure to do this is failure to take reasonable care. If continuing to travel into a storm causes an accident, the operator is at fault.
Failure to Warn Passengers
The boat driver is required to constantly be on the look out for hazardous situations. If another boat causes a significant wake, the boat operator needs to warn passengers so they can prepare. If the operator fails to warn passengers, and the wake causes an injury, the operator can be held negligent. In some cases, the operator of the boat that created the wake may be negligent. For example, if they are traveling too fast in a high traffic area, they are not acting reasonably.
The expectation for boaters is that they will act reasonably by following safety rules, driving when sober, and paying attention to the weather. A boater that fails to do these things can be held liable for any accident that occurs. They will then be responsible for paying for property damage and medical expenses. If you have been injured in a boat accident, contact us.