Getting out on the water is a form of relaxation that many Southampton residents enjoy. Unfortunately, boating accidents happen frequently and the injuries they cause can be severe, even fatal. Fortunately, if another person is responsible for your watercraft accident, you could hold them financially liable for your injuries.
If you suffered an injury while out on the water, consult with a Southampton boat accident lawyer as soon as you can. While you have a right to compensation from the negligent boater, it can be difficult to prove your case without legal knowledge and experience. A seasoned injury attorney could support you through the process and help ensure you get the compensation you deserve.
Common Injuries from Watercraft Accidents
Getting injured while on the water is different than sustaining an injury on land. First aid might not be available, and it could take hours to get to shore and to a hospital for treatment. Apart from a delay in treatment, conditions on a boat might make it difficult to keep an injured person immobile or keep an open wound clean.
Drownings and near-drownings also frequently result from boat accidents. Other injuries that people involved in watercraft mishaps commonly experience include:
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck and shoulder injuries
58 Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes Annotated §101.4 requires vessel operators to provide a report of any accidents that cause death, disappearance, catastrophic injury, or property damage in excess of $2000. The operator must notify the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission immediately and submit a written report within 48 hours of the incident. It is advisable for anyone involved in a reportable boat accident to consult a local attorney as soon as possible.
Proving Boat Operator Negligence
When a party’s negligence causes an injury to someone else, the negligent party is responsible for paying the injured person’s damages. However, for this to happen, the injured party must prove through evidence that the other party was negligent and directly responsible for the resulting harm.
Many boaters might not have the experience to operate their boats safely in challenging conditions. Some recreational boaters consume alcohol while on the water, impairing their reaction time and judgement. Poor maintenance or defective equipment could also cause accidents.
A savvy boat wreck attorney in Southampton could investigate the circumstances of an accident to identify its cause. The plaintiff could then bring a claim against all the potentially responsible parties seeking damages for their injuries.
What if the Plaintiff Contributed to the Boating Accident?
Sometimes the person who suffered an injury bears some responsibility for an accident. Commonwealth law allows a negligent plaintiff to collect damages as long as their actions were not the primary cause of the incident.
Pennsylvania follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, which makes each party to an accident responsible for the damage they cause. In a lawsuit, a judge decides how much fault rests with each party and allocates responsibility on a percentage basis. The recoverable award will be reduced by the percentage that equals the claimant’s degree of fault. However, if a plaintiff shoulders more than 50 percent of the blame for an accident, they cannot recover damages from any other party.
Speak to a Southampton Boat Accident Attorney Today
Recovering from a boat wreck takes time. If you require ongoing treatment and are unable to work due to your injuries, you could be facing substantial financial hardships in addition to physical and emotional anguish.
A Southampton boat accident lawyer could take into account all your financial and personal losses that stem from your accident and put together a strong claim for damages. Call today to schedule your initial consultation with our reliable team of attorneys.