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Lafayette Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating entails a certain amount of risk, and while it may rare that another boater might intentionally harm other individuals they encounter, accidents could happen. Much like whenever a person gets behind the wheel of a car, an individual piloting a boat could potentially injure other boaters, swimmers, or others in the water.

When an individual causes a boating accident, the injured party may have the right to demand compensation. A Lafayette boat accident lawyer could help injured parties deal with defendants’ insurance companies to pursue the compensation they deserve. A knowledgeable personal injury lawyer could pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf by researching and building your case.

Boaters’ Rights under Louisiana Negligence Law

While many boat collisions may be accidents, it does not mean that an at-fault boater does not assume responsibility for their actions. Boaters are obligated to protect the welfare of other people they may encounter while navigating waters, and they assume this duty whenever they take their boat from the dock. This duty extends to other boaters, swimmers, and even their own passengers, and forms the core of the legal cause of action known as negligence.

Negligence may allow injured people to hold at-fault parties in accidents legally liable for the damage they cause. When applied to boat accidents, common examples of evidence that indicate negligence include:

  • Speeding
  • Failure to follow navigation buoys
  • Not having proper lighting at night
  • Boating while intoxicated

Much like a car crash, any analysis of the evidence in a boat crash could examine the actions of both parties involved. However, if a plaintiff could introduce evidence that the defendant was breaking a boating law at the time of the incident, the defendant may be automatically be assumed as negligent. A Lafayette boat accident lawyer could help plaintiffs gather and frame evidence within the law to demonstrate the defendant’s negligence.

Pursuing Compensation in Lafayette

Louisiana is one of a few states that does not require boaters to obtain any form of insurance policy. As a result, people injured in boating accidents may need to pursue a boat operator directly for compensation. This will typically involve sending a demand letter directly to the defendant or their attorney for payment for injuries. These demands may include payment for medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.

In other cases, a defendant’s boat is covered by an insurance policy. When this applies, the plaintiff’s attorney will handle the claim through the insurance company and attempt to negotiate a settlement. In either scenario, plaintiffs may need to take their case to court to collect compensation.

Louisiana Civil Code §3492 limits when a plaintiff can file a case. This law is known as the prescriptive period and states that all claims for personal injury must be initiated in court no more than one year from the date of the injury. As such, potential plaintiffs may wish to get started on their case immediately by contacting a skilled boat accident attorney in Lafayette.

A Lafayette Boat Accident Attorney Could Help

Boat drivers have a duty to preserve the safety of other boaters, swimmers, and even their own passengers. If a boater causes an accident by acting recklessly or carelessly, that defendant may be legally liable for any injuries and losses sustained by the injured party.

In some instances, that boater may not be protected by insurance and could be personally responsible for the damage that they cause. In others, the plaintiff could make a claim through a boater’s insurance company. In either case, a Lafayette boat accident lawyer could help you build a comprehensive claim to demand compensation for medical costs, lost earnings, and mental anguish. There may be a limited time to file a claim, so let an attorney work for you today.