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Boating Accidents

Can Two Parties Be at Fault for a Boating Accident?

Boating AccidentAs with car accidents, when a boating accident occurs, it’s important to piece together what happened directly before and during the collision to determine who may be at fault. In some cases, it may be concluded that a combination of factors from both sides caused the accident. Claims for these types of accidents are a little different and can be more complicated than a claim against a single at-fault party.

How Two People Can Be Considered At-Fault

In a car accident case, two people may be considered at-fault if they both contributed to what caused the accident. For example, if one person made an illegal turn and the other person was speeding, police officers and insurance companies may consider the case as shared fault.

In boating accident cases, the laws are similar. If one person was speeding in a no-wake zone and the other was operating their boat under the influence of alcohol, it may be determined that both parties contributed to and are at-fault for the accident.

Compensation in Cases of Shared Fault

In cases where two people share fault for a boating accident, a percentage may be determined to help calculate total compensation for both parties. For example, one boat operator may be 70% at-fault for the accident while the other boat operator is only 30% at fault. In a case like this, the party with the most shared fault would likely be responsible for compensation, less the percentage assigned to the party with the least shared fault.

In cases where one party is considered at or more than 50% at-fault, they would be unlikely to receive any compensation from the other party.

When to Contact an Attorney

Many people mistakenly believe that if they are at-fault — to any degree — for a boat accident, then they are ineligible to collect any type of compensation. This is not necessarily true. If you were partly at fault, you may still be eligible to bring a claim against the party who has more shared fault, meaning their actions contributed to the accident more than yours did.

Anytime you are involved in a boating accident, it’s important to reach out to a skilled boat accident attorney to determine what your legal rights are and if you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

Call Mazow | McCullough Today for Experienced Boat Accident Representation

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, our seasoned boat accident lawyers can help you navigate the difficult waters of bringing forward a claim. Contact us today for a consultation to discuss your case at 855-693-9084.

What to Do When a Boat Malfunctions and Causes Injury

Many boating accidents in Massachusetts and New Hampshire are caused by driver error, intoxication, speeding, and other factors that are considered preventable. However, boats that malfunction can also cause injury to the boat operator and his or her passengers. When this occurs, it’s important to know what to do next.

Investigating the Evidence for Boat Manufacturer Responsibility

If a boat malfunctions due to a flaw in the design or manufacture of a boat, the manufacturer of the watercraft may be responsible for damages incurred by the individual(s) injured. However, this can only be achieved if the allegedly defective or dangerous product is maintained and preserved in a manner so that an expert can properly examine the boat.

If you believe that your boating injury was caused by malfunction, you should contact an attorney with specific experience in boat accident claims. Your lawyer will carefully examine what happened directly before the accident, for example, you heard the motor or propeller make strange noises, as well as what happened during and after the incident. Once all the facts are reviewed, your attorney will recommend whether or not pursuing a case against the boat manufacturer is appropriate.

Examples of Boat Accidents & Injuries Caused by Malfunction

Here are some examples of boat accidents and injuries that are the result of a malfunction in a watercraft itself:

  • A fire caused by faulty wiring in the boat’s electrical system
  • A malfunction in the boat’s motor causing the boat to stall, e.g., if the boat was stranded at sea for several days and passengers were injured due to exposure to the elements for an extended length of time
  • A gear malfunction that caused the boat to reverse or be propelled forward into another watercraft or object
  • A defect in the design or build of the craft that caused it to swamp, capsize, or sink
  • Problems with the steering mechanism of the boat, causing a collision
  • A malfunction of the kill switch that does not kill the boat motor in an emergency situation

Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC Today

At Mazow | McCullough, PC, our boat accident attorneys can help you determine whether your boat accident or injury was caused by a design flaw or manufacturing defect and if you have a likelihood of recovering damages by bringing suit against the manufacturer of the watercraft.

Contact us today to learn more about boating accidents and what legal remedies may be available when you or a loved one are injured on a boat. Call now at (855) 693-9084.

How to Stay Safe When Boating This Summer

Being located so close to the North Atlantic Ocean has its perks for residents of Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Boating is one of the most favored pastimes during warmer months and there’s no shortage of speed boats, fishing schooners, and pontoon boats on the waters off the New England coast in the summer.

Here’s how you can stay safe and reduce the risk of becoming involved in a boating accident.

Don’t Drink and Boat

Contrary to popular belief, it is as illegal to drink and operate a boat as it is to drink and operate a motor vehicle. According to the American Boating Association (ABA), “alcohol is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.” If you wish to enjoy alcoholic beverages on the water, elect a designated operator and don’t allow anyone who has been drinking or who appears intoxicated to operate the boat. DUI boating accidents are serious and often result in the critical injury or death of one or more passengers on the boat.

Obtain Boat Safety Training

Operating a boat seems simple enough and many boat owners elect not to receive formal boat safety training. However, the ABA reports that in 2015, 71% of deadly boating accidents occurred on vessels where the boat operator had not undergone safety training. Just 15% of boating fatalities occurred on vessels where the operator had received a boating safety certificate from a nationally-accredited boat safety education program.

Wear Life Jackets

Although life jackets can’t prevent a boating accident, they can help reduce the risk of drowning should you find yourself in an unexpected situation. In the same report the ABA published for 2015, they suggest that of the boating fatalities where the cause of death was known, 76% drowned. Of those drownings, 85% of them were not wearing a life jacket. In order to increase your safety on the water, ensure that everyone on your boat – especially small children or anyone who cannot swim – wear a properly sized and fitted life jacket.

What to Do If You’ve Been Hurt in a Boating Accident

Sometimes, you can take all the safety precautions in the world and still end up in a boating accident due to the negligence or carelessness of others who are also on the water. If you or a loved one have been injured in such an accident, don’t hesitate to contact a personal injury attorney to learn more about what your legal options are for collecting compensation for damage to your boat, medical expenses, and even funeral expenses if you’ve lost a family member in the accident.

Contact the Law Offices of Mazow | McCullough, PC today for more information by calling 855-693-9084.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating can be a great deal of fun, however, when an accident occurs, the fallout can be devastating. Learn these top causes of boating accidents, how to avoid them, and what to do if you or a loved one are hurt in a boat collision.

Boating While Intoxicated

Operating any vehicle while intoxicated by either drugs or alcohol is dangerous and boating is no different. Boating Under the Influence, or BUI, is against the law and is one of the primary causes of preventable boat accidents.

Speeding

While there aren’t speed limit signs on the water similar to what you would see on the road – except in no wake zones – going too fast can cause your boat to collide with another boat or even hit a wave and capsize.

Inclement Weather

Inclement weather can increase the risk of boating accidents exponentially, depending on how severe the weather is. Most people dock their boats when they see the weather start to get bad or may even decide not to go out on the water at all on a day where severe weather is forecasted. However, those who choose to boat despite inclement weather are at a higher risk for an accident.

Inexperience

Operating a boat is similar to driving a car in that a person must be both of age and skilled enough to do so safely. Inexperience is one of the leading causes of boat accidents; teens and inexperienced boaters often don’t know how to operate the craft properly and may also have difficulty reacting quickly to potentially dangerous situations.

Distracted Boating

Being distracted while operating a boat can have dangerous consequences. Whether you’re having fun with friends, there are loud kids on the boat, or you’re on your cell phone while boating, any distraction can prove to be catastrophic or even fatal. Always pay attention to your boat and your surroundings until you are safely anchored or docked.

Staying Safe While Enjoying Boating Activities

Boating activities, including jet skiing and water tubing, can be a lot of fun when the weather warms up. In order to stay safe on a boat, ensure that you and everyone aboard your craft wear life jackets that fit properly. Don’t operate your boat while intoxicated, stay abreast of current weather conditions, and follow all safety recommendations. These actions will reduce your risk of becoming the victim of a boating accident but unfortunately, accidents do still occur.

When to Contact a Boating Accident Attorney

At Mazow | McCullough, we represent boat accident victims throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Boating accidents can be unique cases and very different from other types of accidents, so it’s crucial to work with an injury attorney who has significant experience in boat collisions.

Contact us today for a consultation by calling 855-693-9084 or 978-744-8000.

Injured in a DUI Boating Accident? Here’s What to Do Next

When you’re out on the water having a great time and enjoying the sun and the waves, the last thing you expect is to become involved in a boating accident. Unfortunately, boating accidents are on the rise and more and more people are being carried away from the water in emergency vehicles instead of going home in their own vehicles like they had planned. If you or a loved one were injured in a DUI Boating Accident, here’s what you need to do.

DUI Testing for Any Boating Accident

According to the Insurance Information Institute, over half of all boat accidents involve alcohol or illicit drugs. Additionally, alcohol is the leading issue involved in boat accidents that result in a death. If you’ve been in a boat accident, it’s important to ensure that the other driver is tested for boating under the influence.

Emergency Medical Treatment

As with car accidents, it’s important that you seek medical care as soon as possible after the incident, even if you feel you’re not seriously injured. You could be in shock and be unaware of injuries that you’re suffering from, and getting checked out will give you peace of mind. Additionally, seeking medical treatment right away will help strengthen your case later should you decide to bring forward a claim for the damages you suffered.

Collect Evidence

Evidence is crucial in any case, and a boating accident case is no different. In fact, evidence may play an even more critical role in boating accidents caused by a DUI. If possible, take photographs of the boat accident before your boats are moved. If you’re not able to, simply take photos of the damage to your boat and any injuries to your passengers as soon as you can. Also, ask witnesses to get in contact with law enforcement in order to provide an official eyewitness statement as to what happened.

Contact an Attorney

If you or a loved one were injured in a DUI boating accident, you are likely suffering from significant injuries. Many people are unable to return to work and may even be temporarily or permanently disabled after the accident. Some families are unfortunate enough to lose a loved one in a boating accident and are faced with funeral expenses and lost income.

Don’t wait to contact an attorney after a boating accident. At Mazow | McCullough, PC, we have the experience and resources needed to provide you with an aggressive defense after you or a member of your family were hurt in a boating accident. Contact us today for a consultation by calling 855-693-9084 or 978-744-8000.

Photo Credit : Pixabay

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