Representing Victims After A Renton Boating Accident
Boating is an extremely popular pastime on Lake Washington and Puget Sound. Residents throughout Renton can easily head out onto the water and enjoy a fun-filled day boating, swimming, and relaxing. Sadly, a single act of carelessness or recklessness can turn a lively day into a tragic event.
If you or someone you love was injured by a negligent boat owner, then you are in dire need of legal aid. Boating accidents are rarely ever minor, and many victims are left disabled every year because of negligent operators. But, with the right Renton boat accident attorney, you may be able to recover compensation for your medical injuries, lost wages, and much more in a personal injury claim. To learn how, reach out to the expert trial attorneys at Pendergast Law by calling toll-free at 888-539-9211.
How Do Boating Accidents Occur On Lake Washington?
Boating accidents are an all too common occurrence in Washington. In a single recent year in our state, 114 recreational boating accidents caused 15 deaths, 50 injuries, and approximately $1.28 million in property damage, according to the Washington State Parks and Recreation. The fatality rate was 13.2 deaths per 100 accidents. The injury rate was 43.9 injuries per 100 accidents.
The top three primary causes of boating accidents listed by the department are operator inattention (23%), operator inexperience (15%), and alcohol or drug use (9%). Although weather conditions, hazardous waters, or mechanical failure may contribute to some boating accidents, most are caused by operator error. In addition to the factors listed above, common avoidable operational mistakes include:
- Improper lookout
- Excessive speed
- Navigation rules violations
Any of these actions can lead to a catastrophic boating accident, often leading to serious medical injuries and an extreme amount of property damage. These types of negligent actions can result in boating accidents like:
- Collisions with other recreational boats
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Flooding or swamping
- Falling overboard
- A person ejected from the vessel
- Getting caught in lines
- Getting hit by booms
If a boat operator or owner violated Washington state boating laws and caused one of these accidents, they could be found liable for any injuries a victim suffers.
Common Types Of Boating Injuries
During a boat accident, boat occupants, swimmers, divers and other boaters can be seriously injured or die due to a poor single decision. Drownings are ultimately the most common and fatal result of a boating accident, there are several other injuries boaters can suffer from. For example, if a fire breaks out on a boat, an occupant can suffer internal damage from smoke inhalation or serious burns while trying to escape.
Common types of boating accident injuries include:
- Drownings or near-drownings
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Fractured bones
- Spinal cord injuries from falls or collisions
- Sprains and strains
- Burns from fires
- Heat strokes while treading water
Each of these injuries can lead to sizable medical bills, especially if you require emergency treatment, as well as weeks to months off work to comfortably recover. In addition, injuries like spinal cord damage or head trauma can lead to long-term disabilities. At the end of the day, negligent boat owners can easily ruin lives and should be held accountable for their actions.
How Do You File A Boating Accident Claim?
To recover compensation from a boat owner or operator based on negligence, you will need to show that the boat operator or responsible party acted negligently, that negligence caused the accident, and the accident caused your injuries. You will also need to prove that you suffered damages, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering, which can be supported with your personal financial records as well as expert testimony.
Negligence in a boating accident can be defined as the failure of a boat owner or operator to act in a safe and responsible manner. Boats are just as dangerous as cars or trucks, and operators should take every precaution to ensure both occupants and other people on the water are safe. If the violate state boating laws or commit some other act of negligence, they can be found liable for injuries their actions cause.
Examples of operator negligence include:
- Operating a vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Traveling at excessive speeds
- Reckless operation, such as making sharp turns too quickly
- Failure to follow the rules for safe boating
Boat operators or owners are required to file a report with local law enforcement agencies after a boating accident involves loss of life, an injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid, the disappearance of a person, or property damage above $2,000. These reports are extremely important to your claim, as they can outline how an accident occurred and if a boat operator committed an act of negligence. As a victim, you are entitled to a copy of this report and can request it from the local authorities.
Even if you have not received a copy of the report yet, you may reach out to an attorney at any time to discuss your claim and we at Pendergast Law, highly recommend you do so as early as possible. While you have up to three years after an accident to file a claim in Washington, you will want to get started as early as possible. Your attorney will need time to collect evidence, interview witnesses, speak to local authorities, calculate damages, and negotiate a fair settlement or prepare for a jury trial.
Work With A Diligent Legal Team
At Pendergast Law, we provide first-class legal services in personal injury matters. When we take on a case, we prepare as if we are going to take it to trial. This means that if you reach out to our Renton personal injury attorneys, we will thoroughly investigate your case and review every single detail, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant. In addition, we will work with medical and financial experts to ensure that your claim includes every cost you incurred. At the end of the day, our goal is to get you the best settlement offer or jury verdict possible so that you can comfortably recover. To get started on your case, contact our office at today toll-free at 888-539-9211 and schedule a free consultation.