Rhode Island is called the “Ocean State” for good reason, with so many large bays and inlets, water accounts for about 14% of the total area of the state. With such an abundance of open water, our local community has earned a reputation as a seafarer’s paradise. Unfortunately, due to the sheer number of recreational boats out on the water at any given time within our waters and offshore, boating accidents in Rhode Island happen frequently - often leaving severe injuries in their wake. Often, those injured on the water will need the help of an experienced Rhode Island Boat Accident Lawyer and turn to the personal injury attorneys at Marin and Barrett, Inc. for legal representation.
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Whether you are injured from a boat crash while on a private vessel, injured due to a collision or ejection from a personal watercraft, suffered a slip and fall on a dock at a marina, or injured on board a ferry or charter boat, it is very important to contact a skilled local Rhode Island boating accident lawyer to help you recover full and maximum compensation for your injuries. If you are ready to move forward with your boat accident case call us at 401-298-9116. We offer a completely free consultation to discuss the specifics of your injuries and case.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT AFTER HIRING A BOATING ACCIDENT ATTORNEY?
If you have been injured in a boating or jet ski accident, you need an attorney that will fight for you. Here is what you should expect:
- Your lawyer should see you in person, whether at the office, your home, or the hospital
- Gather evidence about the boat or jet ski accident, how it happened, and who may be responsible
- Determine the party or parties who may be liable
- Figure out what your case is worth by assessing your injuries and gathering your medical records and medical bills
- Negotiate with the other parties, their insurance company or their attorneys
- File a lawsuit if need be
- Build a case for settlement or trial, depending on your needs
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BOATING ACCIDENTS: COMMON INJURIES
Drowning is by far the greatest risk to a person involved in a boating accident, particularly if they are not wearing a life jacket. While those that survive accidents on the water face other serious medical issues such as cardiac arrest, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning, traumatic physical injuries are the most common and include:
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Abdominal Injuries
- Closed Head Injuries
- Spinal Fractures
- Appendicular Skeletal Fractures
- Neurological Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Catastrophic Injuries
If the accident was the result of a person, company, or government organization, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Call the Rhode Island boating accident attorneys at Marin and Barrett, Inc. at 401-298-9116 today, there is no obligation and we don’t get paid unless you get paid.
WHAT DAMAGES ARE AVAILABLE TO VICTIMS OF BOATING ACCIDENTS?
If you have been injured in a boating or jet ski accident you may be entitled to damages through a lawsuit or settlement. Rhode Island law will allow you to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses, including past, present medical bills, and future medical bills
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation costs
- Lost wages, both from missed work and missed future earning potential
- Property damage
- Household bills
- Transportation costs
- Pain and suffering
- Anxiety and post-traumatic stress (emotional distress)
- Loss of companionship or consortium
- Lifestyle impairment
- Punitive damages can be awarded when the party responsible was motivated by malice or by ill will or their conduct demonstrated a reckless indifference to the protected rights of the victim
In the most tragic cases, boating injuries can result in death. Of course there is no amount of money that can bring a loved one back or fill the void left by their absence. Nevertheless, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim to recover funeral expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of consortium.
At Marin and Barrett, Inc., our RI boating accident injury attorneys will fight to ensure you get the medical attention you require and that you recover adequate compensation for your personal injury claims. On these types of cases it is often helpful to work closely with expert witnesses to ensure that your injuries and damages are valued fully. This extra effort makes sure that you recover all you are entitled to for your injuries.
WHO IS LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE IN FOR BOATING ACCIDENT INJURIES?
Unlike driving a car or truck on marked roads with signs, traffic signals, and clear rules of the road, watercraft operators are faced with a whole host of issues unique to boating. While the freedom that the open water provides is part of the allure of boating, it can also make it more dangerous. Waves and currents can be unpredictable, sudden shifts in the weather can make visibility difficult, and the spaciousness can make it difficult to determine rights of way. Combine those factors with the inherent difficulty of stopping or turning a boat quickly, and accidents can seem almost inevitable. Some accidents may be unavoidable, but more often than not accidents on the water are caused by operator negligence or a defect in the vessel or its equipment.
According to the Coast Guard’s 2017 annual boating accident statistics report, the top five primary accident types were:
MOST COMMON TYPES OF BOATING ACCIDENTS
- Collision With Recreational Vessel – 1145 accidents and 721 injuries
- Collision With Fixed Object – 470 accidents and 327 injuries
- Flooding/Swamping – 435 accidents and 132 injuries
- Grounding – 368 accidents and 224 injuries
- Falling Overboard – 306 accidents and 126 injuries
Not surprisingly, these statistics indicate that operator negligence accounts for 60% of reported boating and jet ski accidents with the top contributing factors being operator inexperience or inattention, improper lookout, alcohol use, excessive speed and machine failure.
BOATING ACCIDENTS: MOST COMMON SCENARIOS
- Being on a boat involved in a collision caused by another boat, ferry, or personal watercraft.
- Being the passenger on a boat operated by a person who failed to obey local navigation rules, or boat operator who was intoxicated, or operator inattention, or boat operators who failed to act with reasonable care under the circumstances of the situation.
- A defective product due to a production defect or a safety design defect. Additionally, the boat manufacture may be liable for failure to warn of unknown dangers to the boat operators or passengers during the operation of the boat.
- A trusted service company failed to perform maintenance on the boat, which led to equipment failure and a resulting accident.
To recover damages in a boating injury claim a plaintiff will need to prove several elements. First, that the negligent party owed the injured party a duty of care. Second, that they breached that duty of care. Third, that an accident occurred as a result of the breach and that the injuries resulted from the accident. These elements must be proven by a preponderance of the evidence; which means by at least 51%.
Generally, a claim for damages for your injuries will be made to the negligent party’s insurance provider. Insurance companies are concerned with their own bottom line and will attempt to delay your claim, downplay the seriousness of the accident and your injuries, turn the blame to you, or deny the claim entirely.
HOW MANY PEOPLE ARE INJURED IN BOATING ACCIDENTS?
The United States Coast Guard publishes annual statistics on boating accidents and resulting fatalities or injuries for individual states and the nation as a whole. Of note, the 2018 USCG Recreational Boating Statistics revealed that 2,511 people were injured that year in accidents on the water. Alcohol was a significant contributor in fatal (19 percent of all boat accident fatalities) and non-fatal boating accidents.
In Rhode Island, there were 26 watercraft accidents resulting in injuries in 2018, down from 31 in 2017. There was one boating accident fatality, down from 3 fatalities in 2017.
RHODE ISLAND PERSONAL INJURY ATTORNEY
Accidents on the water are never planned, it is not a part of everyday that someone else’s negligence or carelessness causes you serious injury or possibly death on the water. Unfortunately, recreational boating accidents can and does happen all too often. You need the legal assistance of a skilled personal injury lawyer to navigate these hazardous waters.
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating or jet ski accident in Rhode Island, contact the Providence boat accident law firm Marin and Barrett, Inc.. Our personal injury law firm understands that serious injuries from a boat or jet ski accident can have serious and long-lasting consequences and require extensive medical care. You have the legal right to seek compensation from the responsible parties and we can help to make sure that you are fully compensated for your injuries. Call our office at 401-298-9116 to schedule your free, no obligation boating injury case evaluation today with a local Rhode Island boat accident lawyer.
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RI Boat Accident Lawyers, Contact us 24/7 at 401-298-9116
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