Boating and other watersports are a staple of Northern Virginia culture, but when people set sail, the potential for a devastating boat accident follows closely behind. One lapse in judgment could leave you and your loved ones with debilitating, painful injuries. Therefore, boaters must understand the significant harm that can come to themselves or others through negligent boat operation.
Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP will vigorously represent you and your loved ones’ legal interests should you find yourself injured in a Northern Virginia boat accident. Speak with our professional and caring team today, and schedule a free consultation.
Causes of Boat Accidents in Northern Virginia
Boating accidents are often the result of negligence, such as:
- Operating a boat while intoxicated or otherwise impaired
- Failing to take a boating safety course before operating a boat
- Disregarding posted safety signs
- Ignoring state laws and regulations governing watercraft
- Not having sufficient protective equipment on board
Due to a lack of concrete evidence, it’s not always clear whether a boat owner or operator acted negligently. Therefore, a thorough investigation carried out by an experienced personal injury lawyer is often helpful after a boating accident. Your attorney can then help hold negligent individuals accountable for their careless acts.
Common Injuries in Boat Accidents
Northern Virginia boat accident victims can suffer injuries that require significant medical care and treatment. Some victims may drown, especially if the accident tosses them overboard in rough waters or when they do not know how to swim. This risk of death by drowning increases exponentially if alcohol or drugs are involved.
Near-drowning incidents typically deprive the brain of oxygen and can lead to permanent brain damage. Even with prompt treatment, the victim may still have persistent limitations and disabilities. These can include trouble remembering tasks, difficulty with fine motor movements, and respiratory infections. Ongoing medical treatment and assistance are often needed to help them complete basic living tasks.
Concussions are also common in boating accidents. The sudden jolt that accompanies many boat wrecks can cause a person to lose their balance and hit their head on the boat or another object. As a result, dizziness, memory loss, or frequent headaches can follow. These can disrupt the person’s ability to work and enjoy time with their family.
Because many of these circumstances can leave you with hefty medical bills, it’s important that you seek legal counsel so that you can receive damages to help you recover. Our team of lawyers can help ensure you and your family receive all the financial compensation you need for your injuries.
Evidence to Collect in a Boat Accident Claim
A thorough investigation into a boating wreck typically requires the collection of significant evidence. After all, collecting evidence is necessary to identify anyone who may be responsible for your injuries. Evidence also helps document the nature of your injuries.
For example, photographs of the boat and its equipment may be needed, or statements of witnesses and any involved parties. The boat’s maintenance records and the license of the operator will likely also be needed to examine for manufacturer defects or fault of a mechanic.
Finally, your hospitalization records and notes from your medical providers are often necessary to establish the severity of your injuries, the course of treatment you received, and your prognosis.
How to Recover Compensation After a Boating Wreck
Just because you suffered injuries in a boating accident does not mean you will automatically receive compensation. Even if you are certain that such a claim will succeed, the path to obtaining a financial award in your favor can be long and arduous.
First, it’s important to note that you must pursue your legal claim for damages within two years of the accident. Waiting too long or failing to abide by other similar restrictions can preclude you from receiving any compensation at all.
Even if you do everything right, it’s still possible that you and the negligent party cannot settle your claim. At this point, it may be necessary to pursue compensation through litigation. To win, your attorney will have to prove that the negligent party owed you a legal duty of care and violated that obligation by acting unreasonably careless. You will also have to prove that this negligent behavior was the cause of your injuries.
The technical requirements for filing and presenting a Northern Virginia boating accident lawsuit can be complex. At Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis, we have over four decades of experience helping injury victims recover the compensation they need.
Contact Our Northern Virginia Boat Accident Attorneys Today
Time is of the essence if you or a loved one have suffered injuries in a boat accident. Speak with the experienced and compassionate personal injury team from Koonz McKenney Johnson & DePaolis LLP today so we can help you get the compensation you deserve.