Louisiana Boating Accidents

Louisiana Boating Accident

Louisiana Boating Accidents: Why Hiring a Louisiana Boating Accident Lawyer is Essential to Safeguard Your Rights

Approximately 11% of the total surface area of Louisiana is composed of water bodies. The state has over 400 miles of coastline. Not only is water Louisiana’s most abundant resource, but it is also the most important.

A fun outing on the water can quickly become a tragedy when a boating accident occurs. 

Boating accidents in Louisiana often result in catastrophic injuries that require emergency care. 

What Qualifies As A Boating Accident?

A boating accident occurs when a boat (motorboat, canoe/kayak, pirogue, airboat, pontoon boat, sailboat, or jet ski) is involved in an incident or series of incidents that cause harm, such as property damage, total vessel loss, the missing person(s), injury, or death. 

According to the US Coast Guard, most boating accidents result from human error and negligence.

Common boating accidents in Louisiana include:

· Collision with another vessel,

· Collision with a fixed, sometimes submerged object,

· Collision with a floating object (e.g., log, swimmer),

· Mishaps involving a jet skier or person on a towable object,

· Mishaps involving a person falling overboard, 

· Capsizing of vessels,

· Grounding, sinking, flooding, or swamping of vessels, 

· Fires or explosions, or

· Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Boating accidents due to negligence are among Louisiana’s leading causes of deaths and severe injuries.

Injured victims have a legal right to file personal injury claims against responsible parties and recover compensation for damages suffered. To prove harm done, injuries must be directly linked to the boat accident. These injuries may include:

· Broken bones,

· Spinal cord injuries,

· Amputations,

· Drownings,

· Hypothermia,

· Abrasions, contusions, and lacerations,

· Trauma,

· Burns,

· Electrocution, and/or

· Carbon monoxide poisoning.

Factors Contributing To Boating Accidents In Louisiana

The majority of boating accidents in Louisiana fall into the following categories:

· Operator/Owner Errors,

· Manufacturing Defects And Machinery Or Equipment Failure, and

· Environment

Operator/Owner Errors

Boat owners and operators in Louisiana have a legal duty to ensure the safety of their crew members, passengers, and people in other boats nearby. 

When they fail in this duty of care, they can be held liable for ensuing injuries, loss of property, and even loss of life.

Common operator/owner errors include:

·      Inexperienced Or Unlicensed Operators 

To cut costs, boating companies or boat owners are known to hire inexperienced or unlicensed operators. Boat operators are expected to see the boating regulations and maritime laws prevailing in Louisiana. Amateur operators may need more knowledge and technical skill to maneuver a boat in dangerous conditions. 

·      Distractions

Boat operators should equally manage the weather, the waters, and passengers. The boat operator must avoid being distracted. Looking at mobile phones, chatting with passengers, eating and drinking while operating the boat can lead to an accident.

·      Improper Lookout

Maintaining clear visibility is critical for the boat operator. An experienced crew member should be designated to assist the boat operator by looking out for other boats, swimmers, and floating debris. Improper lookouts are often cited as an additional cause of boating accidents.

·      Speeding

Louisiana waterways have enforceable speed limits to ensure boats’ safety. Boat operators are responsible for operating within speed limits to avoid any chances of roll-overs and collisions.

·      Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption among operators and passengers can lead to reckless behavior and boating accidents.

·      Failure To Maintain And Repair Boats

Boating companies and boat owners should regularly maintain and repair their boats. Mechanical and safety equipment failure often results in boating accidents. Flo maintenance protocols should include routine inspection of engines and safety equipment.

Manufacturing Defects And Machinery Or Equipment Failure

Flaws in boat design, manufacturing, or installation can contribute to boat accidents. When such defects are proven, strict liability laws in Louisiana may apply. Under strict liability laws, negligence may not need to be confirmed. The fact that the component in question is defective and caused harm is sufficient to establish liability.

Some Louisiana boat accidents are caused by equipment or machinery failure. Boat equipment includes masts, rigging, seats, fire extinguishers, lights, communication systems, and other equipment. The machinery consists of the boat engine, electrical system, fuel system, ventilation system, and steering system. The boat owner, the technician, or the boat repair facility can be held responsible for not performing quality maintenance on the boat.

Poor Weather Conditions Or Environment

Congested waters, lousy weather, and big waves or wakes can contribute to boating accidents. Sometimes, these situations are further worsened by another party’s negligence.

Failure by the operator to evaluate the weather forecast before embarking on a voyage can endanger the lives of crew members and passengers. Government negligence may be present when warnings are not issued or if danger or speed zone signs warning of congested waters or speed limits are not put up or go missing for an extended period.

To know all about boating regulations in Louisiana, click on the link below

https://www.wlf.louisiana.gov/page/boating-regulations

Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers – Proud Louisiana Law firm That Goes The Extra Mile To Obtain Compensation For Clients

When a boating accident occurs, it is vital to determine how the accident happened to ascertain which party or parties are liable for the unfortunate incident.

Proving a party was negligent and liable for your injury can be complicated. A Louisiana personal injury lawyer at Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to collect evidence and, if necessary, enlist the services of an expert to reconstruct the accident to identify all liable parties.

As water tends to sweep away all the accident traces, it becomes challenging even for experts to reconstruct the accident. 

Our Louisiana personal injury law firm will walk you through the process of filing the claim, identify liable parties, and determine the claim’s value.

The at-fault party will typically carry liability insurance, which means you will file a claim, and their insurance company will decide who is liable. After the facts are investigated, the insurer may agree that their policyholder is responsible and may offer you a settlement. If the insurance company disputes liability, you may file a personal injury lawsuit so the court may decide. 

Our office staff will help you keep track of the paperwork, ensuring everything is filed on time. The Louisiana Statute of Limitations for filing a boating injury lawsuit is only one year after your boating accident. We advise clients to file it as early as possible. Our lawyers will act as your representatives, fielding calls from opposing lawyers and insurance companies. Our firm will strive for a fair settlement on your behalf.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in Louisiana due to the careless actions of someone else. In that case, an experienced Louisiana boating accident attorney at our firm can assist you in recovering compensation for the injuries and pain and anguish you have endured.

Discover the difference Bart Bernard Injury Lawyers can make in your boating accident claim and recovery by contacting us today for a free case evaluation.

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