The operators of boats have many of the same obligations as car or truck drivers to protect those who are near them. In general, someone driving a watercraft must act in a way that does not place any other person at an unreasonable risk of harm. More specifically, there are rules that apply on lakes, rivers, and oceans that intend to protect the general well-being of everyone. Failures to provide this protection that results in an injury means that a boater is legally liable for all resulting damages.
Speaking with a Cleveland boat accident lawyer today could be the first step towards proving that someone else was liable for your injuries. A skilled personal injury attorney at Smith Hulsey works to prove fault for an incident and show how that incident has affected your life. This could result in you collecting compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and emotional traumas.
The first step towards collecting compensation following a boat wreck is proving that another person was responsible for the event. There are two main ways to achieve this: showing the vessel operator was legally driving their vehicle unsafely or showing that they were negligent.
The most direct way to prove fault following a crash is to show that the driver of the watercraft received a conviction for an offense on the water. Common examples include speeding, failing to obey navigational buoys, or texting while boating.
This is powerful proof of fault because of a concept of law called res judicata. In short, if one court decides that an incident has occurred, another court will accept that information as fact. As applies to boat wreck demands for compensation, a conviction in criminal court for a violation is proof of responsibility for a collision in civil court.
The other way to prove responsibility for a water vessel crash is to show that the other party was negligent by being careless. In these cases, courts may use a concept called modified comparative negligence. Under the Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 51-12-33, defendants can argue that injured people did not take appropriate steps to protect themselves.
If a court believes this argument, it must reduce an award by the percentage of fault that it attributes to the injured individual. Contacting a Cleveland boat collision attorney to pursue the case could help to place blame for the incident squarely on another watercraft operator’s actions.
Once it becomes clear that another boater was responsible for an accident, it is possible to collect compensation for one’s losses. However, the burden always lies on injured people to prove the extent of these damages. A Cleveland watercraft crash attorney is prepared to assist in this process.
Every case will revolve around a physical injury. These can include:
An at-fault party must provide payments for all necessary medical care.
Cases can also seek out compensation for other losses. These can include lost wages due to missing time at work, payments for property damage, and compensation for emotional traumas. Allowing a trusted legal team to handle the case gives people the best opportunity to receive full value after a loss.
People who cause other’s injuries while on the water must provide fair compensation to anyone hurt because of their actions. This applies regardless of whether you were in your own boat, on the shore, or were a passenger in the negligent operator’s vessel. Collecting these payments requires you to both show fault for the incident and connect your losses to the collision.
A Cleveland boat accident lawyer is prepared to help in both these areas. They can pursue your case for its appropriate value while you work on making your best recovery. Give Smith Hulsey a call now to discuss your case and learn more about why someone else’s actions may leave them responsible for your losses.
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