Louisiana has access to lakes, rivers, bayous, and the sea where, every year, thousands of people enjoy time on boats. Law requires safe boating practices, but still, accidents happen.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Recreational Boating Safety Statistics, Louisiana had nearly one hundred boating accidents resulting in injuries and fatalities in just a single year. These accidents resulted in roughly $500,000 of property damage.
If you have been involved in a boat accident, an Opelousas boat accident lawyer could help you seek damages. A qualified injury attorney could help you recover compensation for medical expenses stemming from personal injuries, lost wages, physical and emotional trauma, and property damage.
A range of issues from a human error to mechanical malfunction can cause accidents that result in bodily injuries and property damage. The United States Coast Guard’s statistics cite the following as main causes of recreational boating accidents.
After an accident, victims should strive to preserve evidence that may become important in insurance negotiations or court. In addition to identifying witnesses, evidence could include boat components that malfunctioned, photographs of injuries, property damage, and the scene of the incident. An Opelousas boat accident attorney could help victims identify what evidence could be particularly crucial to a successful claim.
Opelousas boat accident lawsuits generally rely on the principle of legal negligence or carelessness. Negligence occurs when a person acts carelessly and injures another. An example would be if a boat operator acts recklessly or fails to follow safety rules and needlessly endangers the lives of their passengers. Another example of negligence would be if a boat manufacturer fails to perform proper safety checks, resulting in a malfunctioning watercraft.
A plaintiff must prove that the defendant breached a duty of care that directly resulted in their injuries. An Opelousas attorney could help a boat accident victim collect the necessary evidence to prove the defendant is liable.
Louisiana Civil Code Art. 2323 states that comparative fault applies in injury cases brought under a theory of negligence. The doctrine of comparative fault states that if an injured plaintiff was partly responsible for their injuries, they are not barred from recovering compensation. However, their damages will be reduced by their percentage of fault.
Under La. Code Art. 3492, the statute of limitations for bringing an injury case is one year. An Opelousas attorney could help a boating accident victim organize, prepare, and file a lawsuit to meet this deadline.
Boating accidents can be traumatic and confusing, mainly because they often occur when people are enjoying vacation or at leisure. Hiring legal counsel could help you fight for your rights, either in settlement negotiations, litigation, or both. Reach out to an Opelousas boat accident lawyer today to begin learning about your legal options.