Louisiana has a strong history of commercial and recreational boating, and recreational boating continues to be a popular pastime here. Data from the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) show that as of 2019, there were more than 300,000 recreational boats registered in the state.
Unfortunately, sometimes a boat outing can turn into a tragedy. The USGS reports that there were 105 recreational boating accidents in Louisiana in 2019. Of these accidents, 18 were fatal.
If you were hurt or if your loved one was killed in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the responsible party. A Lake Charles boating accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers might be able to assist you with the legal process. Our firm handles both personal injury and wrongful death cases.
To discuss your accident and your legal options in a free case review with a member of our team, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777.
Negligence and Liability in a Boating Accident
A negligent boat operator can cause an accident in many ways, including alcohol use, excessive speed, operator inattention, improper lookout, and navigation rule violations. If another boat operator’s negligence caused your accident, Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers might be able to help you build a case against them.
Your lawyer can collect evidence of the responsible party’s liability, such as accident reports, eyewitness testimony, and personal statements.
This evidence may include the results of post-accident drug testing that is required after certain boating accidents. The Louisiana Revised Statutes (RS) §32:681 states that if a boating accident results in a fatality or suspected serious injury, the operator of the boat may be administered chemical tests of his or her blood, urine, or other bodily fluids to determine the presence of any abused substances or controlled dangerous substance.
For a free legal consultation with a boating accident lawyer serving Lake Charles, call (337) 777-7777
Comparative Fault and Boat Accident Cases
Louisiana’s comparative fault law is outlined in the Louisiana Civil Code (CC) §2323. This law establishes that if you were partly responsible for the boating accident, the value of the damages you can claim might be reduced in proportion to your contribution to the accident.
If you were partially at fault for the accident, the comparative fault system might work in your favor by potentially allowing you to recover a portion of your damages.
Lake Charles Boating Accident Lawyer Near Me (337) 777-7777
Determining the Value of Your Damages from a Boating Accident
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The potentially recoverable damages in a personal injury case may include:
- Current and future medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Reduced earning capability
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
If you lost a loved one in a boating accident, the potentially recoverable damages in your personal injury case might include:
- Funeral costs
- Pre-death medical expenses
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of guidance
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can help you identify and determine the value of your damages when we represent you.
If you think you may have a valid claim, call (337) 777-7777 today to reach a representative of Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers. We can discuss your accident and your legal options during your free, no-obligation case review.
How Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers Can Help You
A Lake Charles boating accident lawyer from Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can assist you throughout the legal process. Here are some of the services that your lawyer may be able to provide:
- Answering your questions and giving you legal advice
- Handling all communications with the insurance company
- Collecting evidence to establish negligence and liability
- Collecting evidence to support the value of your damages, such as medical records, receipts, and bills for related expenses
- Filing your insurance claim and/or lawsuit
- Representing you on trial, if necessary
The insurance company of the at-fault party may try to rush a settlement to close your case. Keep in mind that you are not obligated to accept their offer and that any settlement offer you do accept may be final and binding.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can handle all written and verbal communication with the insurance companies in your case and will work hard to negotiate for a fair settlement. If we cannot come to an agreement with the insurance company, your lawyer can follow through with your lawsuit and take your case to trial.
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The Statute of Limitations in Louisiana
There is only a short window of time for legal action after a boating accident. Per CC §3492, you generally must file a personal injury lawsuit within one year of the date of the accident. The same law establishes that you generally must file a wrongful death lawsuit within one year of the date of your loved one’s death.
If you do not take legal action before the deadline in your case passes, you may be unable to recover compensation for your damages. For information on what specific deadlines apply to you, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today.
Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help You
Pursuing legal action after a boating accident can feel overwhelming, but Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers may be able to help. A Lake Charles boating accident lawyer from our firm may be able to coordinate all aspects of your case while you focus on your recovery.
For a free case review with a member of our client intake team, call Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers today at (337) 777-7777. If you qualify, we may be able to represent you on a contingency-fee-basis where we only collect attorney fees if and when you win your case.