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St. Tammany Parish Boat Accident Lawyer

From the Pontchartrain to the Gulf, southern Louisiana is full of opportunities for recreational boating. Spending time on the water can be relaxing, but it also carries inherent risk. Other boaters may act recklessly on the water, potentially inflicting significant harm and financial damages requiring the help of a personal injury lawyer. The boat itself may be defective. If you were injured, a St. Tammany Parish boat accident lawyer could help you recover the money you deserve from the negligent party.

Types of Claims in Boating Accidents

Boating accidents are often caused by the negligent behavior of recreational boaters. A claim could also arise out of defective products. After any waterway-related accident, it may be wise to consult with an attorney experienced in handling boat accident claims as because both state and federal laws regarding navigable bodies of water are complex.

Negligence

The number one cause of boating fatalities is drivers or skippers who are under the influence of alcohol. Just like with a vehicle, when someone operates a vessel while impaired, they are acting negligently and recklessly by willfully putting others in danger. An experienced St. Tammany Parish boat crash attorney could help determine if a defendant acted irresponsibly, causing harm to the plaintiff.

Other examples of negligence that might lead to a boating accident include:

  • Driver impairment by recreational or prescription drugs
  • Traveling at excessive or dangerous speeds for the conditions
  • Inattention, including disregarding no-wake zones
  • Lack of proper knowledge or training concerning the operation of a boat or personal watercraft
  • Failure to secure passengers’ safety, such as not storing life jackets onboard

Product Defects

Although not as common as recreational boating accidents caused by operators,  personal watercraft may be defective or parts used to manufacture that vessel are defective. If product defects are determined to be the cause of an injury, the manufacturers of the craft or parts may be liable for the ensuing damages. A St. Tammany Parish boating accident attorney could help explain how this unique process works and help hold these negligent companies accountable for their errors.

Elements to Consider After a Boating Accident in St. Tammany Parish

A person injured in a boating accident may have many questions concerning medical care, time away from work for recuperation, and what to expect if they are required to file a lawsuit. Two legal issues to consider are how long a person has for them to file a claim, and how much compensation they are entitled to recover if they are partially at fault for the accident.

Pure Comparative Fault

Louisiana allows victims of boating accidents to recover for injuries even if they bear some responsibility for the accident. However, the courts will reduce any damages awarded proportionally to the degree of the victim’s fault. Even victims who are more than 50 percent at fault for an accident may recover for their injuries in Louisiana. This is called pure comparative fault.

Statute of Limitations

Louisiana imposes a one-year time limit for injured parties to file a negligence claim in state court. Before a claim can be filed, the plaintiff’s attorney must have adequate time to diligently investigate the accident, as well as additional time to evaluate a settlement offer from the insurance company, review police reports, interview witnesses, interpret medical records, and deduce what percentage of fault might be allocated to the plaintiff. By consulting a waterways accident lawyer as soon as possible, plaintiffs could effectively preserve their right to compensation by meeting the necessary deadlines with all the required evidence.

Get Help from a St. Tammany Parish Boat Accident Lawyer

You have many choices to make after you are injured in a boating accident, whether you were a passenger in a motorboat, riding on a defective jet ski, or were hit by a reckless boater while kayaking. Call today to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced St. Tammany Parish boat accident lawyer. A dedicated attorney could help you make sense of the complicated state and federal laws to maximize your chance of financial recovery.