Boating Accidents and Injuries
Federal, state, and international maritime laws each have their own regulations regarding boating accidents. Because of the different sources of applicable law, building a compensation claim can be complicated. We help clients who suffer injuries in boating accidents in Washington State recover compensation for their losses. This includes medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, we have attorneys who handle boating accident and injury claims who are experienced boaters and have the background to understand the complexities of maritime claims.
We understand local boating laws, injuries, diagnosis and treatment, insurance companies, and we know the little details that might complicate a case. We are a local firm, committed to helping the members of our community with compassion and with our superior litigation skills. We are fighters and have the knowledge and skills to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
Injuries cause by other boaters are one of our several practice areas, and our specific set of skills and knowledge of boating may help you get the compensation you deserve. If you have been injured by the negligence of another boater or operator of another type of watercraft, feel free to call us for your free consultation. We care and we are here to help.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How Can an Attorney Help Me if I Have Been Injured on the Water?
Our attorneys handle both personal injury and maritime claims, including boating and other accidents with watercraft. We use our knowledge and experience in the law to evaluate your potential claim and understand how different jurisdictions, applicable statutes, laws, and regulations might affect your recovery. We also do our best to help connect our clients with resources to help you find the medical attention you need to get well and make sure you focus on healing first. When you focus on getting well, not only does it likely improve your health after suffering from your injuries, but it will insure that you don’t hurt your chances of obtaining the best recovery possible – so you can put your life back together.
We take a detail oriented approach in determining how your injuries occurred, what other parties were involved or may have financial responsibility, and depending on the body of water, which laws and statutes of limitations may apply. If you fail to file your claim within the applicable statute of limitations, you could end up losing the right to recover compensation from the negligence of others.
Don’t delay in contacting an attorney with the knowledge and skill to help you navigate a confusing legal process and to help you recover fair compensation.
What Types of Water or Boating Accident Claims Do We Handle?
The Dalton Law Office, PLLC, accepts claims involving:
Negligence: A watercraft or boat operator may be considered negligent for many different reasons. Some of the bad choices that might lead to liability for that operator include: deciding to navigate in heavy weather, causing individuals to fall overboard; hitting a big wave or wake at an excessive speed; contact with propellers; operating at unsafe, high speeds; failing to carry proper safety equipment on board; failing to obey applicable boating laws and regulations; failing to keep a proper lookout and causing collisions with other watercraft, boaters, or objects; overcrowding or overloading the vessel.
Violating Washington Boating laws can give rise to claims and may include:
Boating Under the Influence of alcohol, marijuana or other drugs: In Washington, boaters who operate their vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol may be held liable for the injuries they cause to others. Many boaters carry insurance and insurance may be required cover those injuries. In Washington, boating under the influence standards regarding the amount of drugs or alcohol in a person’s system are currently the same as driving under the influence: .08 for alcohol or THC level of 5 or higher. A boater may also be held liable for being under the influence of any drug, including prescription medications, or being under the combined influence of or affected by intoxicating liquor, marijuana, and any drug. See RCW 79A.60.040
Operating a Vessel in a Reckless Manner: Washington law also prohibits operating a vessel in a reckless manner. Under Washington law, “reckless” or “recklessly” means acting carelessly and heedlessly in a willful and wanton disregard of the rights, safety, or property of another. See RCW 79A.60.040
Assault by watercraft: In Washington State, a person is guilty of assault by watercraft if he or she operates any vessel: in a reckless manner, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another; or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug, as defined by RCW 79A.60.040, and this conduct is the proximate cause of serious bodily injury to another; when the injury is caused by a skier towed by a vessel, the operator of the vessel is not guilty of assault by watercraft.
When the operator of a vessel has injured another under these circumstances, a conviction serves as strong evidence that the operator was negligent or reckless and legally liable for damages caused to other people or property.
Accidents Caused by Jet Skis and Other Water Toys
In Washington State, the same laws that apply to boaters apply to operators of jet skis. Vessels are defined as including “every description of watercraft on the water, other than a seaplane, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on the water” but it doesn’t include “inner tubes, air mattresses, sailboards, and small rafts or flotation devices or toys customarily used by swimmers.”
Injuries sustained during jet ski accidents can be far more severe than those suffered in larger boating accidents, since the rider is directly exposed to outside forces and objects. While jet ski accidents can result from the negligence of the operator, defective equipment can also occasionally contribute to the cause of the accident. Parties who may be liable for damages include negligent vessel operators, jet ski rental companies who supplied the equipment, or the manufacturer for selling a defective and/or poorly designed product. Even if an accident is caused by a flotation device that is not defined as a vessel, Washington State’s laws may provide relief if a person has cause a foreseeable injury through their negligent or reckless actions.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a boating collision, accident or an incident involving a watercraft, getting caring and compassionate help right away can make all the difference.
Don’t let insurance companies bully you into settling for less than your fair share. We are here to help. Call us anytime at 360-213-0013. For after hours or weekends, our cell phone number is on our answering machine and we do our best to respond right away to urgent calls.
No Fee Unless We Win
In matters of personal injury and loss of life, we are usually willing to take cases on a contingency basis. This means you only have to pay us attorney’s fees if we obtain compensation for your injuries or loss. We don’t get paid unless we get results!
At the Dalton Law Office, PLLC, we have been there – we have years of experience helping people who have been hurt and fighting for great results. Call us to find out more about your rights and your options. We are here to help.
To speak with Nicole Dalton or Shellie Dalton by phone or schedule an appointment, call 360-213-0013.