Boating is a popular recreational activity in Michigan. In most cases, it is a safe and enjoyable experience but sometimes, boat accidents happen because of someone else’s careless actions. These accidents can cause serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. If this has happened to you or someone you care about, you may be able to pursue compensation for any injuries and damages endured.
I would like to say I was completely satisfied with the way Jay Trucks & Associates performed in handling my case…
– R. Louis
Jay Trucks & Associates has decades of legal experience representing injury victims throughout the entire state of Michigan adnd we have successfully recovered more than $500,000,000 on behalf of our clients. Firm founder Jay F. Trucks is an active member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and has more than three decades of experience handling personal injury cases.
Our consultations are completely free with no obligation to take legal action. There are no upfront fees unless we obtain compensation for you. A Traverse City boat accident attorney is ready to take your call.
Jay Trucks & Associates: (800) 762-8623.
Do I Have a Viable Case for Compensation?
Our legal team needs to evaluate your situation to determine whether you may have a viable case for compensation. A free consultation will allow you to talk about what happened and get the answers you need regarding the legal process.
Being able to pursue compensation will mean proving that negligence led to the boat accident and your injuries. The legal theory of negligence used in most personal injury cases requires establishing the following:
- The other side owed you a duty of care to prevent you and others from harm
- The other side breached this duty by not acting as a reasonable person would have under similar circumstances
- The other side’s actions or inactions caused your injuries
- You were injured as a result of this breach and suffered damages (i.e. medical bills)
All of these elements must be proven to pursue a potential legal claim. Consider meeting with an experienced Traverse City boat accident lawyer to learn more about your available legal options.
Free Consultation. No upfront fees. Ph: (800) 762-8623.
Potential Liable Parties in a Boat Accident
When it comes to boat accidents and liability, it is often difficult to assess who can be held at fault for damages because more than one party could be involved. These potential liable parties could include:
- Another boater – Most boat accidents are caused by operator error. Another boat could be liable for boating under the influence, excessive speed or reckless operation.
- Boat operator – Failure to take reasonable steps to prevent passengers on board from harm, such as not having enough life jackets, could make a boat operator liable for any resulting injuries.
- Boat owner – An owner who knowingly loans a boat to someone not trained or experienced to operate it could be held responsible in the event of an accident.
- Boat passenger – Passengers who act recklessly or prevent a boat operator from doing his or her job may be liable, in part or entirely, for the damages victims suffer due to their negligence.
- Boat rental company – These companies have a responsibility to ensure that any boats and equipment rented to consumers is safe and effective to use. Failure to properly maintain boats or fix issues that were known or reasonably should have been known could make them liable for injuries.
- Boat manufacturer – When an accident is caused by a defectively designed boat, equipment failure, or defective safety gear, the boat manufacturer may be held liable.
Our legal team often conducts detailed investigations to help our clients determine liability for their injuries. We know that holding the appropriate party or parties accountable is important towards negotiating fair and just compensation for boat accident victims. Let us fight for maximum compensation for you.
Compensation for Boat Accident Injuries
Our Traverse City boat accident lawyers are prepared to identify your damages and determine the potential value of your case. You may be eligible to obtain compensation to help cover:
- Medical bills, including hospitalization and tests
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages and income
- Disability, either temporary or permanent
- Pain and suffering, either physically or mentally
- Emotional anguish, including anxiety and depression
- Loss of enjoyment of life in the activities that used to make you happy
We welcome the opportunity to review your situation at no cost to you. Our services are provided on a contingency fee basis, you pay us nothing up front until we recover compensation on your behalf.
Read some of the reviews by our satisfied clients.
What If I Share Some Responsibility for My Injury?
You may still be able to pursue compensation even if you share some blame for your injuries. However, you cannot be greater than 50 percent at fault. Michigan uses a doctrine of comparative fault to determine how much a negligent accident victim may be able to recover in damages.
Under the law, any amount awarded will be reduced based on your percentage of fault. For example, if you were deemed 25 percent responsible for the accident, and damages were assessed at $150,000, you could recover 75 percent of that, or $112,500.
Consult with a pleasure craft injury attorney for legal help today. Ph: (800) 762-8623
Deadline for Filing Boat Accident Claims
Boat accident victims generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a claim. Waiting too long to take legal action may result in a court dismissal and being unable to pursue compensation.
While three years may seem long enough, investigating, gathering supportive evidence, and obtaining your medical records to link the accident to your injuries takes time and effort. A dedicated Traverse City boat accident attorney from our firm is ready to help you meet the deadline and offer advice.
Why Boat Accidents Commonly Happen
A boat can capsize, sink, flood, or collide with other boats, fixed objects or people in the water for many different reasons. The most common boat accidents happen due to careless or negligent behavior, such as:
- Inexperienced operators
- Inattentive operators
- Improper lookout
- Use of drugs or alcohol
- Excessive speeding
- Equipment failure
- Reckless maneuverers
- Improper maintenance
- Operating in poor conditions
- Inexperience with terrain, like sandbars
- Lack of proper training or necessary license
- Disregard for boating rules or laws
Passengers can be ejected from a boat and fall overboard and result in drownings. Other boat accident injuries could include:
- Broken bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Brain injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Back injuries
- Eye injuries
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What You Can Do To Build a Strong Case
There are a number of steps you can take after a boat accident happens to protect your health and build a strong case for compensation. These include:
Seek Immediate Medical Attention
Check yourself for injuries and then see if anyone else needs help while waiting for emergency responders. Once in the care of a doctor, he or she can determine the extent of your injuries and provide a treatment plan. This would be recorded in your medical file.
Exchange Contact Information
If it is possible, get statements and contact details from those involved and others who may have witnessed the accident. Additionally, write down the name of the boat, the boat’s registration number and insurance company information from the boat operator.
Take Pictures and/or Video With Your Cellphone
Include photos of the accident scene, your injuries, damage to the boat and other surrounding property.
File a Boat Accident Report
The boat operator or owner must file an Official Boating Accident Report within 48 hours to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources under certain circumstances, including:
- if the accident resulted in a death within a 24 hours after injury
- If there is an injury that requires medical attention
- If there is any damage to the boat costing more than $2,000
- If any person who disappears from the boat that is likely seriously or fatally injured
Speak With a Traverse City Boat Accident Lawyer
A Traverse City boat accident lawyer is ready to review your claim and discuss your available legal options in a free consultation. We are ready to handle all legal matters related to your potential case, including the form of compensation you may be eligible for and potential party or parties that may be liable for your injuries.
There are no upfront services fees. We only get paid if you do. Reach out anytime, day or night, to schedule a free case evaluation. There is no risk or obligations involved.
Jay Trucks & Associates. We are here to help. (800) 762-8623.