If you’ve been injured due to another boat pilot’s negligence, call Sabbeth Law. Our Vermont boat accident lawyers will meet to go over what happened and listen as you explain the extent of your injuries. Based on what we find out, we might file a claim for compensation with the boat owner and their insurance company, or the person operating the vessel that hurt you.

Types of Boating Accidents

People can be injured in all sorts of accidents involving boats, such as:

  • Collisions. A boat could collide with another vessel or hit a stationary object, like a dock. Other boats run ashore. Those on the boat can be tossed around and collide with each other.
  • Falls overboard. Many people fall overboard after a collision or even when the boat hits a wake wave.
  • Capsizing incidents. A person could drown because there are not adequate life vests or boats when a boat capsizes.
  • Fires. Electrical fires can send people scrambling overboard or else cause smoke inhalation and burns.
  • Propeller incidents. It is too common that boat operators will turn on their engines while other passengers (or other swimmers, generally) are in the vicinity of the boat. Incidents involving boat propellers are almost always heartbreakingly severe and can quickly result in death if the injured swimmer isn’t given immediate first aid, such as applying tourniquets. 

Boats should have sufficient safety equipment, including vests, boats, and fire extinguishers to help accident survivors as they wait for rescue. Sadly, some boats are lacking this equipment, and injuries result.

Why Do Boats Get into Accidents?

Our legal team always investigates accidents to understand how they happened. Some of the most common reasons for accidents include:

  • Poor weather. Low visibility, choppy water, and high winds can cause an operator to lose control of a vessel or capsize. Many collisions also happen in fog or storms.
  • Intoxication. Boating under the influence is a crime in Vermont and a serious problem. Someone under the influence of alcohol or drugs can make poor decisions, process information slowly, and even fall asleep at the wheel.
  • Distraction. Boat operators get distracted by many of the same things that distract drivers of motor vehicles. Cell phones are a big source of distraction. Someone looking at a phone is not looking at the water and might not see they are headed toward a collision.
  • Boat defects. A poorly maintained or manufactured boat could fail to operate as expected, leading to injury.
  • Lack of experience. The operator might not have the experience or knowledge to operate the vessel properly. Consequently, they could make a mistake that leads to a crash.
  • Not knowing the “rules of the road” or “lake” to be more specific. It is concerning just how many boat captains or pilots don’t understand right of way and passing rules, or ignore hazards (shoals, shallow water, and more) on navigation charts. 
  • Driving too fast for the boat and water conditions. A safe boat captain knows what their boat can handle, and how to handle bad weather and conditions like swells. Lake Champlaign, for example, can get as rough as the ocean on a  bad day. Just because it’s a “lake,” doesn’t mean that the conditions can’t become severe. They often do.  

Based on our experience, these are the most common reasons for boating accidents, but there are others. Reach out to Sabbeth Law to begin your claim.

Suing for Compensation

In many ways, boating accidents are like car accidents. The person operating a boat should use reasonable care, much like motorists on the highway. When they don’t, then anyone injured as a result of the negligence should sue for compensation.

With boat accidents, other parties might share fault. For example, your vessel could have been hit by another vessel, in which case you could sue the person operating that boat. Alternatively, your vessel could be defective and cause a fire or capsize as a result. The boat might be owned by someone other than the person operating it, in which case you can sue the owner. It could also be a result of negligence on behalf of the marine mechanic. 

A full investigation of the accident is sometimes needed, especially if you don’t know what happened. Many victims report enjoying the sun only to find themselves tossed overboard in the next instant. We can figure out what caused your injuries and who is to blame.

We will seek monetary damages for:

  • Your medical treatment, such as surgery, diagnostic testing, rehabilitation, prescription medication, and more.
  • Lost income or wages if you can’t immediately return to work.
  • Diminished earning capacity when permanent injuries prevent your return to your old job.
  • Pain and suffering for physical pain and discomfort, emotional distress, inconvenience, and other suffering.

A common question is how much a victim can receive. We will explain the different factors in a consultation. Generally, those with more serious injuries usually receive more to cover their financial losses and pain.

Call Our Vermont Boat Accident Lawyer

At Sabbeth Law, we have the tools needed to investigate a case and negotiate a settlement for compensation. Do not settle for an inexperienced lawyer who hasn’t handled an accident claim before. Give us a call to schedule a meeting.