Serving West Virginia Areas of Parkersburg, Charleston and Morgantown
Boat accidents can involve boats, ferries, ships, and personal watercraft such as jet skis and Wave Runners. There are thousands of people injured each year in boating accidents. In 2005, there were approximately 700 boating-related deaths in the United States, and of those killed, approximately 80% were not wearing their personal flotation devices at the time of the accident.
At the current time, there are almost 13 million boats and personal watercraft (PWC) registered in the United States. Unfortunately, the increasing popularity of boating has resulted in an increase in boating-related deaths and injuries.
There are laws that dictate how long you have to file a boating accident report after the accident actually occurs. The laws vary depending on whether or not injury/death was involved or whether property was damaged. There are also laws governing the age at which people can operate certain watercraft. The West Virginia boating accident attorneys at Jim Leach, LC will thoroughly analyze all the factors involved in your accident in order to make sure you are fairly compensated for your injuries.
Causes of Boat Accidents and Injuries
There are many causes of boating accidents, but the majority of them can be prevented. The main cause of boating accidents is operator inexperience/inattention. According to statistics, 84% of all boating deaths that occur happen where operators have not completed a boating safety education course. Other reasons include:
- Careless boat operation
- Unsafe speed
- No lookout
- Alcohol use
The majority of fatal accidents in small boats occur when the victims are not wearing their personal flotation device. Taking this small safety step can greatly minimize the seriousness of many of these accidents.
Most non-fatal accidents are caused by collisions with other boats or objects in the water. Remember that the rules of the water require that a lookout be posted at all times.
Drawing on his long experience as a trial attorney, Jim Leach gives the residents of West Virginia high-level service and individualized legal help. He regards each case as one-of-a-kind and starts out by listening carefully to your story. Once he has a grasp of your particular situation and needs, he can apply his knowledge of how insurance companies operate. Mr. Leach is familiar with how insurance companies assess the trial and settlement value of your case. With his associates, he uses a unique case management system to collect and organize all the important facts so that he can maximize your compensation.
Get Your Boating Accident Questions Answered
You must file a boating accident report in the following instances:
- A death occurs.
- Someone is injured severely enough to require more treatment than just first aid.
- The boat is lost.
- The boat is damaged beyond $500.
There is a short time limit for filing boating accident reports. You have 48 hours to file the report if a person passes away within one day of the accident or if a person must receive medical treatment beyond first aid. You have 10 days to file the report if there are no injuries, but just property damage is involved.
The U.S. Coast Guard makes this classification. It refers to vessels that use an inboard motor to operate a water jet pump as the main way of moving the boat along. PWCs are designed to be driven by someone kneeling, standing, or sitting in the boat. Examples would be jet skis and Wave Runners. PWCs must follow the same rules that apply to other boats.
You should never provide a statement to the insurance company without consulting with an experienced boating accident lawyer first. The personal injury lawyers at Jim Leach Attorneys at Law can advise you before you speak with the insurance agent so that your statement does not potentially jeopardize your settlement.
Maritime Law, also called Admiralty Law, is a set of laws which govern how people and goods are transported over navigable waters. Navigable waters include any waterway which can transport people or goods between states and other countries. That waterway must be usable for interstate commerce. So if a boat accident occurs on navigable waters, it will fall within maritime jurisdiction. Maritime Law will then determine what claims may be filed and how they can be dealt with.
Our boat injury attorneys have handled many boating accident claims, and we have a thorough understanding of the complex laws governing these cases. We will conduct an investigation to conclusively prove negligence in your case, and we will employ expert witnesses to help prove this in court. Our lawyer will battle the insurance companies so that you are treated fairly and offered an appropriate settlement.
Please contact our West Virginia boating accident attorneys to schedule your free initial consultation. Our boating accident attorneys represent boat accident victims throughout West Virginia and Southern Ohio including the communities of Belpre, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Athens, Morgantown, Charleston, and Huntington.
Parkersburg Boating Accident Lawyer
Please contact our West Virginia boating accident attorneys today to schedule your free initial consultation regarding your boat accident lawsuit. We represent boat accident victims throughout West Virginia and Southern Ohio including the communities of Charleston, Belpre, Parkersburg, Wheeling, Athens, Morgantown, and Huntington.