As summer heatwaves begin, Arizona’s lakes and waterways become congested with boats, jet skis, and swimmers looking to cool off. While the time on the water should be fun and help cool you off, the inexperienced or inebriated drivers put everyone at risk of being injured.
Sadly, as more and more people head to the lake, the likelihood of being involved in a boating accident increases. The injuries sustained can be much more catastrophic than a car accident. If you have been injured in a boat accident in Arizona, contact JacksonWhite Law today to schedule an appointment with an experienced personal injury attorney.
Common Types of Boat Accidents in Arizona
The following are the most common types of boating accidents that occur in Arizona:
- OUI (Operating Under the Influence): It is illegal to consume alcohol either before or while you are operating a boat. Alcohol severely impacts judgment and fine motor skills, and under the influence, drivers are much more likely to cause an accident or hit an innocent swimmer.
- Collisions: When two vessels collide, the impact is similar to that of a car accident; however, boats and jet skis lack seatbelts. When a collision occurs, both vessels’ occupants are likely to be thrown around, and the at-fault driver is liable for all the injuries sustained.
- Poor Operating Condition: All boats and vessels on the water must meet strict state guidelines that ensure that they have the required safety equipment such as required markings or lights and the boat/vessel is in working order. If for any reason, the owner or driver does not have the safety equipment and causes an accident, they are at fault and liable for any injuries sustained.
- Fire: Fuel leaks, damaged engines, or faulty wiring may cause a fire on a vessel.
- Drowning: All occupants on a boat are required to wear a lifejacket in the event they fall from the boat. A boat owner may be liable if a passenger did not have a lifejacket on and drowned.
- Wake-related Accidents: The wake created by a vessel is the wave created as the vessel is propelled forward. The faster a vessel goes, the larger the wake. Certain areas of lakes and rivers are designated “no-wake zones,” and if too much wake is created, other boats, as well as swimmers, can be injured.
Steps to Take After A Boating Accident
Here’s what to do after you have been in a boating accident:
- Look for and make sure everyone who was on your boat is safe and accounted for
- Check to make sure the individuals in the other boat or vessel are also safe and accounted for
- Administer first aid to anyone in need
- Contact the authorities
- Seek medical attention for any injured parties
- Document the event with photographs and videos
- Clean up any debris that is blocking the waterway
- If you or your family members were injured, or if your property was damaged, call a personal injury lawyer to assist you in obtaining compensation.
Medical Care After a Boating Accident
After you have been injured in a boating accident, it is crucial that you seek medical care for any of the injuries you sustained and that you obtain medical care as soon as possible. Many individuals who are injured in a boating accident avoid going to the emergency room to save money, and doing so is dangerous.
Even though the medical bills may seem astronomical following your accident, if you were the victim of the accident, the at-fault driver is liable for your medical costs. This means that any of the medical bills and expenses associated with your accident will be paid for by the at-fault driver and their insurance company.
Compensation After a Boat Accident
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you are eligible for compensation to cover the damages stemming from the accident. In personal injury law, damages are simply the money awarded for things such as medical expenses, loss of income, property damage, and so forth.
Insurance companies are notorious for low-ball offers and payouts. Suppose you do not have an experienced personal injury attorney representing you. It is easier for insurance companies to take advantage of you, which leads to you paying for expenses that you shouldn’t be.
Personal injury attorney Jared Everton has spent the last 20 years representing personal injury victims in Arizona, and he has helped his clients obtain the best financial settlements possible. Jared fights for his clients and ensures they receive the money they need to cover the exorbitant costs of medical bills and other personal damages.
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