Boating Accident Lawsuit In Maine

A fun day on the water can become life-threatening if you are involved in a boating accident. Nature causes some boating accidents. Others result from someone’s negligence. 

If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, you may wonder whether you can pursue a boating accident lawsuit. Our  Mann Law boating accident lawyer  will answer common questions about boat accident cases and liability.

Do I Have to Report a Boating Accident?

Federal and Maine laws require you to report boating accidents when:

  • There’s property damage over $2000,
  • Someone suffered injuries beyond first aid,
  • A person dies, or
  • A person lost in the water possibly to injury or wrongful death.

Plus, an insurance company may require you to report an accident under these and other circumstances. 

What Are the Common Causes of Boating Accidents?

Nature may sometimes cause a boating accident. However, according to a 2020 report by the U.S. Coast Guard, something within a boating operator’s control contributed to most boating accidents.

Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Boating operator distraction; 
  • Operator inexperience;
  • Failure to look out for other boats, objects, or people;
  • Speeding;
  • Operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol;
  • Failure to obey boating laws; or
  • A defective or unmaintained boat.

Weather, hazardous conditions, and waves also can contribute to boating accidents. However, a problematic operator can exacerbate these natural events.

Can I File a Lawsuit If I Was Injured in a Boating Accident?

You may be able to file a boating accident lawsuit. Most boating accident lawsuits use the same legal standard of negligence as car accident cases. To prove negligence, you must show the following:

  • Duty—the boating operator, for example, owes you the duty to obey Maine’s boating laws and to keep their passengers safe; 
  • Breach of duty—they breached the duty when they failed to do so;
  • Causation—the breach of duty caused you harm;
  • Damages—you sustained an injury or property damage as a result.

A commercial boating company has a higher duty of care, called the common carrier duty of care. They must take reasonable steps to keep their passengers safe and warn them of possible dangers. 

Who Can Be Liable in a Boating Accident Case?

Some people whose negligence may have led to your injury include:

  • Boating operators,
  • A commercial boating company’s crew,
  • The boating company,
  • Other passengers, and
  • Boat manufacturers.

Sometimes, more than one party is responsible. For example, if the boat was defective and the operator was distracted, you may be able to name both the boat manufacturer and operator in your lawsuit. 

The insurance company may also get involved if the operator or owner has insurance. These companies try to negotiate a quick insurance payout for a boating accident. It’s important to discuss your case with an attorney before taking an insurance company’s first offer.

What is an Insurance Payout for a Boating Accident Like?

Damages that you may recover in a boating accident lawsuit include:

  • Property damage,
  • Medical bills,
  • Lost wages,
  • Pain and suffering, and 
  • Wrongful death damages.

An insurance payout for a boating accident will compensate you for the damages listed above. The claims process for a boat accident is the same as a car accident.  Having a boating accident lawyer on your side will ensure you are receive the full compensation for your injuries. 

What If the Injured Person Is Partially Responsible?

A court will reduce your compensation if you are partially at fault. Plus, you will not recover anything if you are equally or mostly at fault.

Contact Mann Law for a Boating Accident Claim

Our female-led team at Mann Law has taken pride in our client-centered approach for nearly 20 years. Plus, our extensive knowledge of insurance companies allows us to help you navigate the claims process for a boat accident and fight for your best interests.

We enjoy being part of the unique Maine community and view our clients as part of our extended family to whom we extend our best service. Contact us today for help with your claim.

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Christiana E. Mann Christiana “Chrissy” Mann has specialized in civil litigation for 21+ years as a savvy and creative litigator, and she’s regarded as a fair, compassionate, and zealous advocate on behalf of her clients.