A fun and relaxing day on the water can easily turn into a disaster if an accident occurs. If you or a loved one has suffered a boat accident injury, speak to one of our highly qualified lawyers at Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP. We have more than 38 years of experience representing accident victims. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced Washington, D.C. boat accident attorneys. We can help you.
Why Hire Our Firm?
- Our top priority is helping you, for this reason we will only charge a fee when we win.
- Over the past 38 years we have successfully obtained over $1 billion in compensation.
- We understand local boating laws and know how to maximize your recovery.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents
The top five contributing factors in 2017 boat accidents were:
- Operator Inattention – There are many possible distractions while operating a boat, such as passengers, the weather, the water, and the boat itself.
- Improper Lookout – The lack of a designated lookout to watch out for danger or hazards that the boat operator might miss.
- Operator Inexperience – Operator inexperience was the third leading cause of accidents.
- Machinery Failure – Caused by improper maintenance and failing to perform routine checks, which is the responsibility of the owner. Defective parts can also cause an accident.
- Alcohol Use – Although alcohol impairment was the fifth leading cause of all boat accidents, it caused the most fatalities.
Washington, D.C. Boat Accident Statistics
These nationwide boating statistics were reported by the United States Coast Guard for the year 2017:
- There was a total of 658 boat accident fatalities.
- The leading cause of death was drowning (76%).
- In nearly 85 percent of drowning deaths, victims were not wearing a life jacket.
- The leading cause of fatal boat accidents was alcohol impairment (19% of deaths).
- There were 31 deaths as a result of being struck by a propeller and 162 injuries.
- Over 80% of fatal accidents took place on boats with operators that had not received boating safety education.
- The highest number of deaths were on open motorboats (47%), followed by kayaks (15%), and lastly personal watercraft (7%).
Determining Liability in a Washington, D.C. Boat Accident
Determining liability in boating accidents can be a difficult task, requiring the use of investigation experts. Depending on what caused the accident, some examples of potentially responsible parties include:
- Boat Operator for failing to provide reasonable safety for passengers, if was impaired by substances, or if they acted in a reckless or negligent manner.
- Passenger if a passenger acted recklessly or contributed to distracting the operator from their duty of operating the vessel safely.
- Boat’s owner if they knowingly let an inexperienced operator borrow it.
- Boat’s manufacturer if the accident was caused by a manufacturing defect.
- Rental company failing to fix and properly maintain the boat.
Why You Need a Washington, D.C. Boat Accident Lawyer
An attorney with experience in boat accidents will tend to all of your legal matters for you, so that you may focus your attention on healing. While representing you, they will focus their vast resources on determining the liable parties by investigating the scene of the incident and hiring boat accident reconstruction experts. Evidence will also be obtained on your behalf, including interviewing witnesses, collecting medical records, and documenting your injuries as well as bills or related expenses. By investigating and gathering evidence, your boat accident lawyer will build a powerful case to effectively negotiate with insurance companies, ensuring you receive the settlement you deserve.
Contact Our Washington, D.C. Firm Today
If you or someone you love has been injured in a boat accident, contact Koonz, McKenney, Johnson, DePaolis & Lightfoot, LLP to discuss your legal rights. We will build a strong case for you and navigate you through the complex legal system. To learn more about how we will help you, contact our office today to schedule a free consultation.