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Boating Accident Attorneys Representing Injured People in and around Spokane and Throughout Washington

Washington’s beautiful waterways, framed by majestic mountains, make boating especially enjoyable. Depending on your point of view, a fun day on the water’s surface can be simultaneously relaxing, active, adventurous, and calming. Unfortunately, due this outdoor activity’s inherent risks, boat accidents often occur, inflicting serious injury on everyone onboard.

Have you been injured in a boating accident in and around Spokane or anywhere in Washington? Our knowledgeable and experienced boating accident attorneys at Albrecht Law are ready to help. Let us provide loyal, individualized service while we employ cutting-edge technology to help you pursue compensation. We are here to serve you, and we begin with a free consultation to help you understand your case and determine the right strategy going forward — even if we don’t take on your case.

Common Boating Accident Injuries in Washington

Boating accidents can inflict tragic, life-changing injuries, and even death. Depending on the cause of the boating accident, injuries might include:

  • Traumatic brain injuries: occur from hitting one’s head — and these may also involve deprivation of oxygen (leading to anoxic brain injury or acquired brain injury), including injuries related to near-drowning.
  • Amputation injuries: common if a person’s limbs hit a boat motor or propeller.
  • Bone fractures: may occur from the impact of hitting the water or another object.
  • Hypothermia: can occur if a person remains in cold water for too long.
  • Lacerations: may occur if a sharp object hits a person.
  • Back and neck injuries: including soft tissue injuries from being thrown overboard or suddenly jerked.
  • Spinal cord injuries: tragically, spinal cord injuries can permanently paralyze an individual, from the site of the injury downward.
  • Death: in many serious accidents, boating injuries are fatal.

Common Causes of Washington Boating Accidents

Boating accidents are usually preventable and occur due to avoidable factors, including:

  • Bad Weather: Boaters often ignore the risk of operating a vessel in bad weather.
  • Boating Under the Influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol: Boaters who operate their vessels under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol increase the chances of an accident.
  • An Inexperienced Operator: Boat operators ought to take courses in the basics of boating to prepare themselves to handle emergencies and reduce the risk of crashes with other boats or other types of accidents.
  • Lookout Negligence: A boat operator’s failure to stay alert to impending threats or hazards.
  • Speeding: For the safety of boaters, the majority of waterways impose speed limits. Ignoring them can lead to crashes with other boaters. Excessive speed can also reduce the operator’s and the boat passengers’ ability to respond appropriately to a hazard.
  • Operating the Boat Recklessly or Aggressively: An operator who engages in daredevil behavior with or without passengers on board puts everyone in the vicinity at risk of an accident.
  • Mechanical Failure: If the vessel experiences a mechanical failure, it can cause a serious accident — which is why proper maintenance is critical.

Some accidents involving boats occur due to unforeseeable circumstances; however, the majority of accidents happen directly due to negligence. Were you involved in a boating accident because of someone else’s carelessness? A knowledgeable and experienced Spokane boat accident attorney can assess the details of your case and guide you through the process of seeking compensation.

Types of Boating Accidents in Washington

A boating accident can take many forms and have many causes, such as:

Slipping and Falling

Due to their slippery surfaces, it’s easy for a person to slip and become injured. Broken bones, head injuries, and back trauma are common consequences of slipping and falling while boating.

Getting Intertwined in the Ropes

Sailboats tend to feature many ropes, which, if not fastened properly, can lead to a person getting their legs, hands or fingers stuck in a line. These dangerous errors can lead to cuts, rope burns, fractures, and amputations.

Collisions

If someone is operating a boat under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol or is reckless, inattentive or inexperienced, a boating accident in the form of a collision with another boat or a fixed object can occur.

Accidental Grounding

There are times when rocks, sand bars, coral reefs may not be so visible to the boat operators. And if a boat were to meet any of them, the boat can become grounded or stuck.

Drowning

If a boat capsizes or someone falls overboard, a near or actual drowning can take place.

Proving that any of these types of accidents led to an injury or casualty requires evidence in the form of pictures, statements of witnesses, police records of the accident, or medical records.

Liability for a Boat Accident

Liability for a boating accident is usually based on negligence — the failure to exercise the required degree of care. Generally, the person harmed in the accident submits a claim against the at-fault party’s liability insurance policy. However, the process of determining fault and identifying who should pay for your accident can be complicated.

In a boating accident claim, the injured person must prove:

  • The person operating the boat or vessel had a duty to drive with safety in mind, taking reasonable care
  • The operator of the boat or vessel breached that duty
  • A person was injured or harmed
  • The operator’s breach of duty caused the person’s injuries or damages

If you’ve been injured in a boat accident, seek the assistance of an experienced attorney, who can protect your rights and fight for compensation while you focus on your recovery.

Legal Requirements Following a Washington Boating Accident

Washington law imposes requirements on boat operators when their recreational vessels have accidents. A vessel operator must file a Washington Boating Accident Report in the following circumstances:

  • The accident caused a loss of life
  • The accident inflicted injury that could not be treated with first-aid only, but professional medical treatment
  • A person vanishes from a vessel under circumstances that point toward death or injury
  • Property damage exceeds $2,000, or a vessel is completely lost

Whoever was operating the boat during the accident has 48 hours to submit a Boating Accident Report if it led to an injury, disappearance, or death. A Boating Accident Report for other types of accidents must be submitted within ten days. If the operator cannot submit the report, the vessel owner assumes the responsibility.

Types of Compensation You Can Pursue After a Boating Accident in Washington

If you were injured in a boating accident, you could potentially seek compensation for the following, depending on the details of your case:

  • Previous or future medical expenses
  • Permanent disability
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Inability to continue working
  • Loss of wages or future earnings
  • Pain and suffering
  • Wrongful death

Have You Sustained an Injury in a Boating Accident? Consult the Experienced Boating Accident Attorneys at Albrecht Law PLLC, Where You are Known

Boating should be a safe, enjoyable activity. Unfortunately, accidents do happen—and when they are directly caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s appropriate to seek compensation. You have suffered bodily harm with its ensuing medical bills, lost wages from missing work, and pain and suffering. These damages should be accounted for.

Let us handle the details of your case with loyal, personalized attention while you focus on your recovery. Contact us at (509) 495-1246(509) 495-1246 or complete our online form today to schedule your free consultation. We are here to serve you.

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