Have You Been In A Louisiana Boating Accident?
The state of Louisiana has one of the highest totals of registered watercraft in the United States, and its residents enjoy boating all over the state, from Cross Lake to the Gulf of Mexico. However, the higher the number of registered vessels, the higher the likelihood of experiencing a boating collision.
If you have been injured in a collision between two boats in Louisiana waters, know that just like in a vehicle collision on land, you have the right to seek money damages if you believe you were injured due to another person’s negligence. A Shreveport boat accident attorney can handle every detail of your case while you focus on recovery.
Collision & Fatality Numbers Rising
The U.S. Coast Guard statistics from 2020 show that there were approximately 770 fatalities from boat crashes nationwide. This may not sound like very much, but it is worth noting that this constitutes a 25 percent rise in deaths from the previous year, with boat crashes being around 26 percent more frequent in general. The most common documented cause of Louisiana boating collisions was alcohol, which played a role in almost 20 percent of boating fatalities.
It has been documented that boat ownership and usage greatly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown (as a viable outdoor activity that generally posed minimal risk of COVID-19 exposure). However, even with the uptick in boat use and general boating hours, the increased frequency of fatalities and injuries is still a concern for boaters, as there is no guarantee that the number of fatalities will decrease just because lockdowns are a thing of the past in most states. It is sadly not uncommon to encounter boaters on the water who do not take standard safety precautions.
If you have been injured in a collision either with another boat, and you suspect that another person’s negligence was the direct cause of the harm you suffered, you have the right to seek damages. Depending on the specific facts of your case, determining who may be liable is not easy. Just like with a crash on land, there may be more than one defendant in a boat wreck case, and determining how best to proceed can be difficult.
Civil And Criminal Cases
The majority of Louisiana boat crash-related claims are civil claims, brought under a theory of negligence. To prevail in a negligence claim, you must be able to show that the defendant breached their duty to exercise reasonable care toward the plaintiff, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a result.
In addition to potential civil liability, certain types of behavior on a boat may lead to a person being charged with a crime. For example, if you are on a boat that is struck by another vessel whose captain is intoxicated, they would likely be charged with operating a vehicle under the influence, just as if the crash had occurred on land, in addition to any civil claim you might file to try and recover for your injuries.
After a boating collision, many people simply want to rest and recover, with no thought of trying to recover damages for what they have been through. However, you may be entitled to damages if your case is presented appropriately, and a knowledgeable attorney may be able to assist you. Rice & Kendig has experience with these types of cases, and we are ready to help you. Contact our office today via our website, or on the phone at 318-222-2772 for a free consultation.