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With numerous lakes dotting the Louisville and Jeffersonville areas and the Ohio river winding through the area, boating accidents happen fairly often in this region.

Many people don’t realize until they’ve been involved in a boat collision that these incidents can be just as life-altering and deadly as a car crash. And just like with a motor vehicle accident, you should never have to bear the costs alone if someone else’s negligence caused your injuries and losses.

However, boating accident claims can play out very differently from other kinds of personal injury claims, so handling a boat accident case requires experience. Figuring out jurisdictions and properly applying the law can get complicated when boats and waterways are involved. Depending on where the accident occurred, both state and federal regulations could apply. And figuring out who actually caused the accident can be incredibly difficult.

The best time to gather evidence and build a strong case is immediately after a boating collision. That’s why you should always contact a boating accident attorney as soon as possible after a crash. For a free review of your case, please call 502-222-2222 and talk with an experienced Louisville boating accident lawyer from the Karl Truman Law Office.

a man driving a yellow boat through the water with his two children on a sunny day

Common Boating Accident Claims

The experienced and compassionate lawyers at the Karl Truman Law Office handle a wide array of boating accident claims, from recreational boating accidents to collisions involving large commercial vessels. We also have extensive experience with maritime injuries and Jones Act cases.

Boat accident claims can involve just about any type of watercraft, including:

  • Jet Skis and other personal watercraft
  • Boats with water skiers
  • Sailboats
  • Pontoon boats
  • House boats
  • Yachts
  • Speed boats

Both commercial and recreational boating activities can lead to crashes and other dangerous situations. Injuries and death can result from a wide range of scenarios, including:

  • Boat collisions
  • Collisions involving commercial vessels
  • Boating under the influence (BUI)
  • Speeding
  • Reckless boating
  • Capsize accidents
  • Explosions
  • Fires
  • Passenger falls

Any of these boating accidents can create a life-altering impact on you and your family. You may be facing mounting medical bills along with injuries and pain that make it impossible to work. The lasting injuries from a boat crash can also make it difficult to get around, get your kids to school, and generally perform your daily routines. If this sounds like your situation, you deserve justice and compensation for how a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence has affected your life.

If you have been injured in an accident on the water, please call our team at 502-222-2222. We can determine what your options are for pursuing compensation for your injuries and injury related expenses. Our lawyers have extensive experience with maritime accidents and injuries caused on the water, and we are personally committed to fighting for what is in the best interest of you and your family.

A partially sunk boat after an accident and an infographic of six top causes of boating accidents.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating accidents occur for a wide variety of reasons. Some of the most common include:

  • Inattentive operator. Just like car and truck drivers, boat operators must follow the law and pay careful attention to the boat as well as water, weather, and other potential safety issues and risks. Lack of attention can mean details get missed or warning signs go ignored.
  • Inattentive lookout. Larger vessels often require one or more lookouts to stay alert for hazards that a boat operator might not be able to see or know about. If a lookout isn’t paying attention, the results can be catastrophic—especially on a large boat.
  • Operator inexperience. Boat operators must complete proper training, carry any mandatory certifications or licenses, remain aware of local laws and rules, and understand boating navigation and safety basics. An inexperienced operator who doesn’t understand local navigational rules or how to properly handle the vessel is much more likely to cause an accident.
  • Defective or malfunctioning machinery. Failure of the motor, steering, hull, or any other critical boating equipment can lead to serious danger on the water. Depending on how and why the failure occurred, liability could rest with a negligent manufacturer or a boat owner or operator who failed to perform necessary maintenance and safety checks.
  • Alcohol use. Whether you’re on the road, the trail, or the water, you should never operate any vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
  • Hazardous conditions. Bad weather, choppy water, or even disturbances from a passing vessel’s wake can easily capsize a boat or cause a collision, particularly for smaller vessels. Capsizing is a leading cause of recreational boating deaths and injuries.

Who Is at Fault for My Boating Accident?

Depending on the circumstances of the crash, one or more parties may be held responsible for your boating accident. Negligent parties who could be named in a claim or lawsuit might include:

  • A boating operator or lookout, if they acted in a reckless manner or failed to exercise reasonable care.
  • The owner of the boat, if the crash was a direct result of insufficient maintenance or other failures on the owner’s part (for example, not providing adequate safety equipment and floatation devices on board).
  • The manufacturer of the boat, if critical parts or equipment failed due to manufacturing defects.
  • Passengers on board the boat, if their negligent or reckless behavior contributed to the crash or injury (for example, if they caused a fire or knocked someone overboard).

Liability isn’t always clear or easy to prove in a boating accident claim, especially when there are few eyewitnesses or conflicting accounts of the collision. Often, it takes an experienced boating accident lawyer to uncover the negligence that caused the crash and figure out who can be held financially responsible.

If you’ve been injured or a loved one has died in a boating accident, it’s critical to contact an experienced boating accident lawyer as soon as possible for help with your case.

How Much Is My Boating Accident Claim Worth?

As with other types of personal injury cases, injured victims of boating crashes may seek compensation for:

  • Medical bills, including the cost of future care that you are likely to require based on your injuries
  • Past and future lost wages as well as compensation for any future lost earning capacity (including if you are still able to work, but for fewer hours or in a lower-wage occupation)
  • Non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life
  • Property damage

Accurately estimating fair compensation for a boat accident claim is rarely a simple process, and insurance companies will try to settle your case for much less than you deserve. An experienced attorney can help you figure out what your case is truly worth and then negotiate on your behalf for full and fair compensation.

Experienced Boating Accident Lawyers on Your Side

When you’re dealing with serious injuries or even the death of a loved one, you deserve to have a compassionate, exceptional advocate on your side. An experienced attorney can be this advocate, handling the legal details of your boating accident lawsuit while giving you the support you need to heal and put your life back together.

An experienced boat accident lawyer can help you in many ways, including:

  • Fully investigating the details of the boat accident, which will include collecting as much evidence as possible to show what caused the crash and who was responsible.
  • Accurately calculating a fair value for the damage you’ve suffered.
  • Identifying all potential sources of insurance coverage and assets that would apply to your situation (such as boating insurance coverage, a corporate insurance policy, a homeowner’s policy, or personal assets).
  • Filing your claim.
  • Negotiating with the insurance company on your behalf, which can help you get a better settlement and protect you from making accidental mistakes that could damage your claim.
  • Fighting as hard as possible to see that you get the high-quality medical care, attention, and testing you need to support your claim and ensure your long-term health.

Hurt in a Boating Accident? Count on the Colonel

As a second-generation merchant mariner and the holder of a Merchant Mariner Credential issued by the U.S. Coast guard, Karl Truman has been around boats and waterways his entire life. And that history translates to passionate advocacy when it comes to protecting the legal rights and wellbeing of those who live, work, and play on the water.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident in the areas of Louisville, KY or Jeffersonville, IN, please call the Karl Truman Law Office at (502) 222-2222 or contact us online for a free case evaluation. Our experienced Indiana and Kentucky boating accident attorneys are personally committed to fighting tirelessly for justice and compensation on your behalf.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.