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Negligence in Boating Accidents

How Bethesda, MD injury lawyers can help in a boating accident

Bethesda MD Injury lawyersIf you get injured in a boating accident, you are entitled to pursue damages with Bethesda, MD injury lawyers. Your boating accident injuries are just like any other type of accident injury caused by the negligent actions or behaviors of another person. In order to prove your claim, your boating accident attorney must prove that the operator and/or owner of the boat was negligent in some way. Negligence is defined as the failure of the owner to act with reasonable care.

Negligence When There Is a Collision with Another Boat

When the boat you are in is in a collision with another boat, the accident is usually caused by the negligence of one or both of the vessels’ operators. Bethesda, MD injury lawyers will likely inform you that similar to occupants in vehicle accidents, any occupants on the boats who are injured can file a claim against the at-fault boat operator. There are also rules of the road that boat operators are required to follow. If they fail to follow these rules and there is an accident, they are usually considered liable. For example, rules call for motorboats to give the right of way and stay out of the way of sailboats.

Negligence When the Boat Hits the Wake of Another Boat

Depending on the size of the wake or wave created by another boat, occupants of a boat can be knocked off their seats, fall down, or even get thrown overboard. Injury lawyers in Bethesda, MD may remind you that boat operators are required to keep watch for any wakes in order to avoid these types of accidents. When they do happen, liability of the boat operator is determined by looking at several factors, including:

  • How fast was the boat traveling
  • How big was the wake
  • What was the boat traffic like in the vicinity of the accident
  • Did the boat operator warn passengers as they were approaching a wake
  • What was the visibility like for the boat operator

The operator of the vessel that created the wake can also be held liable for the accident if it was done in a no wake zone or in violation of any other regulations. In all of these cases, Bethesda, MD injury lawyers can help you prove negligence.

Negligence When the Boat Hits an Object or Land

If a passenger is injured because the boat hits some type of object, such as a rock or pier, the actions of the boat operator, as well as weather conditions, may be taken into consideration on whether or not the boat operator was negligent. Take for example a boat that hits a rock.  If weather conditions were causing poor visibility, but the operator was using a GPS and driving the vessel slowly, they would likely not be found negligent because they were adhering to safety guidelines. If the operator was not using any GPS and was traveling along at a fast pace when they hit the rock, they would probably be found negligent.   

Not Having Proper Safety Equipment on the Boat

Most Bethesda, MD injury lawyers know that there are both state and federal laws that boat owners must follow, including the type of safety equipment that must be on the vessel. These include life jackets, life rings, flares, fire extinguishers, and navigational lights. If there is an accident and the boat owner failed to have these items on board the boat, this could be considered negligent behavior.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury from a boat accident, do not hesitate to reach out to Cohen & Cohen, P.C.

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