The waterways in and around Seattle are beautiful and a constant attraction for locals and tourists alike. Boating on these waters is fun and also a part of many people’s livelihoods. Unfortunately, not everyone is safe while operating a boat, and the resulting accidents can injure others, or even claim their lives. If you were injured in this kind of accident, your harm may be compensable through a personal injury claim against the negligent party.
To effectively pursue a civil claim for monetary damages, you should involve the skill of a Seattle boat accident lawyer. These complicated cases require a well-practiced attorney’s experience and training to pursue compensation on your behalf.
Proving Fault in Maritime Accidents
Boat operators are expected to safely navigate their watercrafts without causing injury to others, including other boaters, passengers, and any other individual person or property. Boaters have a duty to exercise reasonable care in the operation of their watercraft, the same as drivers of motor vehicles do on land.
To prove liability, a plaintiff must establish that the defendant boater was negligent in causing harm. In order to accomplish this goal, the plaintiff must show that the defendant deviated from the standard of care in some way. Common examples of boater negligence include, but are not limited to:
- Violating posted speed limits, if any
- Failure to provide adequate passing space
- Creating dangerous wakes
- Hitting another boat or dock
- Damaging property
- Boating while intoxicated
Proving a watercraft operator engaged in these or other reckless behaviors may establish the defendant’s liability in a boating accident claim. A seasoned Seattle attorney could help someone injured in a boat wreck gather evidence of fault.
Recoverable Damages in Seattle
In a successful boating accident claim, certain damages may be available, including economic damages such as medical costs, lost income, property damage, and rehabilitation costs. Non-economic costs may also be available for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and wrongful death.
What if a Watercraft was Defective?
Many boat accidents are the result of a defective watercraft or a specific part on the boat. If parts fail, it is possible to become stranded or even sink. When injuries occur because of defects in a boat or equipment, the manufacturer of the defective product may be responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries.
Revised Code of Washington Chapter 7.72 sets forth State law regarding product liability actions. It permits consumers to sue product manufacturers when the manufacturer is responsible for their injuries. This responsibility can occur through three primary defective product theories:
- Defective design: The design of the product made it unnecessarily dangerous, even when properly constructed
- Defective manufacture: The manufacturing process was somehow defective or unsafe which made the product dangerous
- Failure to warn: The product has a known danger to it, but the manufacturer failed to properly warn the consumer of the known danger
In boat accidents, equipment failure can result in serious injuries, or even drowning. A local lawyer investigating a watercraft accident could determine whether a defective part played a role.
Speak with a Seattle Boat Accident Attorney to Learn More
Your claim deserves a thorough analysis to determine its strength and likelihood of success. A properly presented claim may result in substantial compensation for you and your family members affected by the accident.
Speak with a qualified Seattle boat accident lawyer to understand and pursue your legal rights. Contact us today.