This state offers over 100 lakes for families and friends to enjoy. Boating can offer a sense of freedom and a full day of fun. However, if the boat operator is negligent, a fun day in the sun can quickly turn tragic.
Every year, people suffer serious injuries in boating accidents. If a negligent boat operator caused your injuries, contact a skilled South Bend boat accident lawyer to go over the details of the accident. A knowledgeable attorney could review your case and determine if you are eligible for financial compensation.
What Causes Accidents on the Water?
After a boat accident, the watercraft operator has certain duties if there are injuries or property damages. Under Indiana Code § 14-15-4-1, the vessel operator must come to an immediate stop and remain there until they provide all of their identifying information.
If another person is responsible for the watercraft accident, a South Bend lawyer could help the injured boater hold them accountable. Examples of boater conduct that could be grounds for civil action include:
Boat operator negligence or inattention is the leading cause of boat crashes. The operator must stay fully vigilant throughout the boating trip to avoid any mishaps or potential hazards.
Boat operator experience is essential for safety. The experience allows them to watch for changing weather, problems with the vessel, and it helps them with handling emergencies.
Operating any boat, vessel, or watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is extremely dangerous. It is hazardous to the passengers aboard the vessel and all other boaters in the waters. This is because it slows reaction times and runs the risk of drowning should they fall overboard.
Operating a boat at high speeds is hazardous. The rate increases the risk of capsizing, striking obstacles in the way, and will require a longer stopping time.
Common Boater Injuries
Common injuries people sustain in boat crashes include:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries are among the most common injuries our South Bend attorneys see people sustain in severe boat crashes. If people fall overboard and do not receive enough oxygen for long periods, this can lead to severe brain injuries. Should the impact of the collision throw passengers overboard, they could also sustain traumatic brain injuries when their heads make contact with the water or other objects.
If boat passengers fall overboard and contact the boat’s propellers, they will likely receive deep lacerations. The propellers are sharp and rotate at high speed. They are extremely dangerous to anyone that comes in close contact with them.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Boat accidents also commonly produce soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash. Whiplash is an extremely painful neck injury that occurs when the head and body make sudden movements that cause a strain on the neck. Passengers could suffer from whiplash if the boat makes an abrupt stop, turns, or collides with an object.
Spinal Cord Injuries
When the watercraft collides with another vessel or object, the impact can cause the spine to compress. The compression can result in spinal cord injuries or even paralysis.
Recoverable Compensation for Watercraft Accidents
Catastrophic injuries caused by watercraft collisions can debilitate and change the course of a person’s entire life. Potential compensation after a boat crash could include:
- Current and future medical bills
- Current and future lost wages and earnings
- Loss of earning capacity
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Losing enjoyment of life
A South Bend boat crash attorney could help calculate total losses for recoverable compensation for a person’s injuries and other losses.
Schedule a Meeting with an Experienced Boat Accident Attorney in South Bend
Boat operators have a duty to keep others on or in the water safe. If they fail to operate the watercraft reasonably and cause injuries to others, a court could hold them liable for the damages. If you suffered injuries in a boating or other watercraft accident, the boat operator or their insurance company might try to deny liability.
However, a skilled legal professional could work tirelessly to defend your rights and get the compensation you deserve. If a careless vessel operator caused your injuries, contact an experienced South Bend boat accident lawyer to schedule a consultation, our best personal injury lawyers based in South Bend, IN will help you!