Taking a boat out on the water is a fun way to relax and have a little adventure. But sometimes, boat operators get carried away and can cause serious accidents with their reckless behavior. If you were injured in a boat accident caused by another person’s reckless operation, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
A boat accident attorney with experience litigating reckless operation cases could be helpful. Boat operators can cause many accidents through reckless behavior, and proving a reckless operation lawsuit is not as easy as one might think. However, a lawsuit will likely be your best option to recover compensation for your damages to help get you through treatment.
If the reckless operation of a boat caused your injuries, our boat accident attorneys at Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. can help you hold the responsible party accountable. Call us at (305) 204-5369 for a free case evaluation.
Examples of the Reckless Operation of a Boat
There are many dangers involved with the operation of a boat, and an operator’s reckless behavior can easily cause a serious accident. Maritime laws are in place to regulate the behavior of boat operators, and they can be held liable for violating these regulations. While state definitions might differ, the reckless operation of a boat is generally considered the wanton disregard for the safety of others or behavior that is likely to injure another person or property.
Speeding boats are probably the most common instance of the reckless operation of a boat. Speed limits will be posted on many waterways, but boat operators are expected to use reasonable judgment when determining what speed to go when no signs are posted. Speeding boats are also more likely to cause collisions. A boat operator going at a reckless speed will have less time to react if they fail to see another vessel or an object in time.
Taking a boat into an area marked as restricted is also considered reckless behavior. Areas are marked restricted for a reason and can be there to protect swimmers or warn a boat operator of dangers nearby. The boat operator is responsible for looking for signs restricting an area.
Many narrow waterways or homes with boats docked nearby will be marked as “no-wake” zones. A boat operator that fails to reduce their speed in a no-wake zone can create a powerful wake behind them that causes serious injury to swimmers or property damage to docked vessels. Also, boat operators can cause serious injuries if they jump the wake created by another vessel.
Recreation is usually the reason many go out on a boat, and a boat operator trying to have too much fun can recklessly cause an accident. Passengers could get thrown on purpose by a joking boat operator or encircle a swimmer in an attempt to tease them. Injuries from this kind of reckless behavior can be severe and sometimes fatal. A boat operator is also responsible for rowdy passengers and should keep them away from parts of the boat where the danger of falling overboard is greater, like the bow or the seat backs.
Further, a boat operator might not have a designated driver if they decide to partake in a few alcoholic beverages. One of the more obvious examples of reckless behavior is operating a boat while intoxicated. Even if they remain sober, a boat operator is still responsible for the safety of their passengers and must be aware of intoxicated passengers who might present a danger. Our boat accident attorneys are ready to discuss the reckless behavior that caused your boat accident injuries.
Common Types of Boat Accidents Caused by Reckless Operation
Operating a boat requires constant attention to objects on the water and dangers below the surface. An operator can cause numerous types of boat accidents with their reckless behavior. The following are some of the most common types of boat accidents caused by an operator’s reckless operation:
- Collision with another vessel
- Grounding on the waterway’s bed
- Operator or passenger thrown overboard
- Propeller contact
- Crashing into beach or dock
- Running over a swimmer
These accidents are all too common and can result in catastrophic injuries to those involved. Our boat accident attorneys can help you determine if your boat accident resulted from a reckless operator’s behavior.
Damages Available in a Reckless Operation Accident Case
The injuries from a boat accident caused by reckless operation can require expensive, long-term treatment to recover. If the boat operator carries insurance for their vessel, you could file a claim for damages. However, insurance benefits might only cover economic damages and provide no compensation for non-economic damages. Economic damages include compensation for time spent away from work, medical expenses, and property damage from the accident. Unfortunately, boat insurance is not a requirement in every state like car insurance is.
If a boat operator does not carry insurance or the benefits provided are insufficient to cover your damages, you will need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for your injuries. In addition to economic damages, you could also be awarded non-economic damages, like pain and the emotional suffering you have experienced due to your injuries. Proving pain and suffering is difficult because it is a subjective analysis, but your testimony regarding how the accident has impacted your life can help establish your damages. The court will likely consider several factors when determining if your injuries caused you pain and suffering, including the type of injury, length of recovery, medications prescribed, and whether there is a permanent impact from the injury. Our boat accident attorneys can discuss what damages could be recoverable in your reckless operation case.
Our Attorneys for Boat Accidents Caused by Reckless Operation Can Help
If you were injured in a boat accident caused by a reckless operator, our boat accident attorneys will fight for the compensation that you are owed. For a free case assessment, call Rivkind Margulies & Rivkind, P.A. at (305) 204-5369.