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Boating is a popular leisure activity for many Arizonans, but a boat accident can cause significant damage and severe or fatal injuries. If you or a relative recently sustained any damages in a boat accident, contact the Law Offices of John Phebus today to schedule a consultation with a Glendale boat accident lawyer.
A boating accident may involve multiple parties, significant property damages, and even severe or fatal physical injuries. These incidents invariably lead to complex legal claims against the parties responsible for causing them. A Glendale boat accident attorney can help a client determine liability for a boat accident, gather evidence to prove the extent of the client’s damages, and handle correspondence with insurance companies regarding related claims.
The average person with no legal experience may not have the time, energy, or personal resources to pursue a boat accident lawsuit without an attorney. Missing a filing requirement with the court or other deadlines could lead to a judge throwing out the claim before legal proceedings begin. Hiring an accident lawyer helps to ensure that procedural errors do not jeopardize a client’s case and offers a better chance of securing a recovery.
Arizona boating on Lake Powell, Lake Havasu, the Colorado River at Black Canyon, or any of the other waterways in the state requires the same care and attention as driving a motor vehicle. Boaters have a duty of care to abide by posted navigational signs, maintain safe vessels with appropriate safety equipment onboard, and refrain from drugs and alcohol while operating their watercraft.
As a boat moves through the water, it starts to form a “wake,” or small wave, behind the vessel from the disruption of the water’s surface. This wake builds with increasing speed and may strike nearby vessels at odd angles. Many waterways in Arizona are “no-wake” zones, and operators should remain at lower speeds to avoid producing wakes. A wake can cause another vessel to tip over, injuring that vessel’s operators and passengers.
Boating accidents may also occur due to poor vessel maintenance, onboard fires, passenger misconduct, or many other reasons. If a boat operator causes an injury to a passenger or the occupants of another vessel, he or she is liable for the resulting damages. Additionally, operating a boat under the influence of alcohol qualifies as driving under the influence (DUI) in Arizona, meaning such an offender may face criminal charges in addition to civil penalties from injured victims.
A boat accident may result in drowning injuries, traumatic brain injuries from a vessel striking a swimmer, burning injuries, and many other serious wounds. These accidents also lead to significant property damage, and possibly even lost income while victims stay home from work to recover from their injuries. Injured parties can seek compensation for their medical expenses, lost income, property damage, and pain and suffering through personal injury claims.
If you or a loved one recently sustained damages due to a negligent party causing a boat accident, The Law Offices of John Phebus can help you recover with a personal injury claim. Contact our firm today to schedule a free case evaluation with a Glendale boat accident lawyer, and we will let you know how our firm can help.
As we stated, operating boats in Arizona requires the same amount of care as that of a motor vehicle operated on a roadway. Unfortunately, many of the causes of boat accidents are due to things that are completely avoidable.
Here are some of the most common reasons that boating accidents occur in the first place, which can essentially lead to lawsuits.
Operator Inattention – This is often ranked as the number one cause of boating accidents, even over factors like DUI or excessive speeding. Because a boat is operated on open water which is much less densely populated than a roadway, many boat operators, even those with a relatively high amount of experience may become inattentive. This can lead to accidents even when the vehicle is traveling at safe speeds.
This is particularly a problem for larger vessels that aren’t aware of the position of smaller craft and may inadvertently strike other vehicles or through normal operation cause other vessels to become damaged. This can lead to severe bodily harm and in many cases, as studies suggest, drowning.
Excessive Speed – As we mentioned, when boats travel at high speeds they create wakes which can damage other boats or cause them to lose position and even capsize. Another inherent danger of excessive speed when handling a boat is the inability to properly maneuver the craft.
On the water, excessive speed can quickly lead to a loss of control which can negatively impact both the vehicle being operated in that manner and any other vehicles in its path. Excessive speed combined with other factors such as the operator’s field of vision, their ability to react, wind, and weather can combine to create devastating consequences for other boaters.
Operator Inexperience – Along with operator inattention, operator inexperience is another factor that often leads to crashes. Much like driving on the road, boating requires practice and concentration to master. It is also true that the larger and more powerful a boat is, the more difficult it is for the operator to control.
Much like with automobiles, it is easy for an inexperienced boat operator to fail to operate the craft properly under a stressful situation or when other factors influence boating safety such as bad weather, poor visibility, or just choppy waters.
Equipment Failure – Just like automobiles have to be taken in and serviced in order to operate properly and non-functional equipment like tail lights and signals can lead to accidents, the same is true for boating as well. Many of these standards are enforced by law both on the road and on the water.
Whether on a sail boat or a motorized boat, functional equipment means the difference between being able to adequately control the vessel and not being able to turn or slow down when necessary, which can lead to collisions with other vessels and unintended accidents as a result. Even something as simple as missing safety gear can result in bodily harm or even loss of life in the event of a boating accident.