Boating Accidents

Accidents can happen everywhere, including out on the water. If you are hurt while in a boat in Maine, there are some things you should know about your legal rights. Consider working with a Maine boating accident lawyer to fully explore your legal options. A personal injury attorney would be familiar with cases like your and could offer qualified insight and guidance throughout your case.

Negligence Leading to Boating Accidents

If you are injured while out on a motorboat or a sailboat, you must be able to prove that your injury resulted from someone else’s negligence in order to recover damages from that person. The mere fact that you were hurt does not mean that anyone was negligent. Negligence means that someone failed to act with reasonable care.

For example, the majority of boating accidents in Maine can be attributed to a boating operator’s inattentiveness, inexperience, or distractedness. Alcohol and speeding are often found to be contributing factors in water vessel collisions. These are all examples of how an operator of a boat could be negligent. As a result of the boat driver’s negligence, the following accidents can occur:

  • Your boat hits another boat

  • Your boat hits another boat’s wake, and the operator is unable to maintain control

  • Your boat hits another object, such as a submerged rock.

Colliding with another Boat

It is sometimes difficult to determine who is at fault in cases involving multiple boaters. Each of the operators may be partially at fault. If you are an injured passenger on one of the boats, you may have a legal case against the operators of both boats. In this sense, it is similar to being a passenger in a car accident case.

If you are the operator of one of the boats, you would only have a claim against the other operator if you were less than 50 percent responsible for the collision. If you are found to be equally at fault as the other operator, you will not be able to recover under Maine’s comparative negligence law. Whether you are the operator or a passenger that is injured in a boating accident, you should consult an attorney right away to determine your legal rights.

Hitting another Boat’s Wake or another Object

When a boat hits a big wake, a wave, or another object, it can often cause the passengers on the boat to become injured. Liability in these instances is not always clear-cut and will generally depend on the circumstances. But if the collision is found to be the result of an inexperienced, inattentive, or inebriated operator, that person will likely be found responsible for the injuries they cause.

State Boating Laws

Boats do not have clear “right of way” rules as cars or pedestrians do, however, Maine has implemented rules that every boat operator should follow when encountering other watercrafts. Both operators must do everything they reasonably can to avoid a collision. This includes keeping a lookout for other boats, objects, and significant waves. It is also important for the operator of a boat to maintain a safe speed and distance from other boats, objects, or potentially harmful situations.

When operating a motorboat in Maine, you must give way to:

  • Any watercraft anchored or disabled

  • Any watercraft restricted in its ability to maneuver

  • Any watercraft engaged in commercial fishing

  • A sailboat under sail unless it is overtaking

Read complete information regarding Maine’s boating laws.

Insurance Coverage for Boating Injuries

While Maine does not require individuals to carry boat insurance, it is highly recommended that you have insurance on any watercraft, and hopefully the operator of your boat has chosen to do so.

While coverages can vary, the three kinds of coverage in a basic boat insurance policy include:

  • Bodily injury liability for expenses related to the injury of another person

  • Property damage liability for expenses related to harming another person’s property

  • Physical damage for damage to your own property, including your boat and trailer.

If you are injured as a result of a boating collision, you should find out if the operator of your boat has bodily injury liability coverage. To help you determine the compensation that you are entitled to, you should contact a boat crash attorney in Maine right away. Mann Law has years of experience handling all types of boating accident cases involving very serious injuries.

Damages Available for a Maine Boating Collision

Just like in a car accident, if a boater was negligent and you were injured as a result, you are entitled to recover damages. Your damages may include the reasonable value of your:

  • Medical bills

  • Pain and suffering

  • Loss of enjoyment of life

  • Lost wages/earning capacity

  • Damages to relationships

  • Loved one’s wrongful death

Our goal at Mann Law is to help you get what you deserve. It can be difficult to quantify the cost of a concussion or broken bone beyond the medical bills, but we navigate that process every day for our clients. Our local attorneys can determine what your boat crash case is worth and can help you receive that compensation. Navigating the system, the insurance adjusters, and lawyers is our service to you. The medical bills are only a fraction of the compensation that is needed from the insurance company to make you whole again.

Contact a Maine Boating Accident Attorney Today

Christiana Mann and the entire Mann Law team work tirelessly to reduce your stress and get you just compensation. We work regularly with insurance companies and adjusters so you don’t have to. With over 18 years of experience, our Maine boat accident lawyers have valuable insight into the personal injury process and know how to navigate the confusing path.

We also work with your healthcare providers to ensure bills are taken care of and help them understand the legal process as we work toward a settlement or lawsuit. You need an aggressive advocate, and Mann Law performs that aggressive work with insurance companies who may claim you were somehow at fault for your boating accident. We consult with experts and perform thorough and exhaustive investigations into your boat collision claim so we can best determine the full impact of the accident while working with everyone involved.

 The experience and relationships cultivated by Mann Law will be invaluable to you. You work on your health while we take care of the rest.