boating accident lawyer

Lakes and rivers in Nevada attract friends and families seeking a fun break from the world on land. Boating is genuinely pleasurable, but accidents remain possible. Injuries can be severe, including brain trauma, amputation, and burns. A personal injury lawyer is in a position to help victims recover financial damages. Due to the possibility of high medical expenses, individuals can protect their legal interests after a boating accident by following the law and reporting certain accidents to authorities.

How to Report a Boat Accident
A boat accident that produces apparent injuries should prompt a boat owner or operator to call 911. Local authorities, such as the sheriff’s department or U.S. Coast Guard, will respond and provide aid.

Furthermore, owners or operators must send a written report to the Nevada Department of Wildlife.

When You Must Report a Boat Accident in Nevada

  • Total loss of vessel (10-day reporting deadline)
  • Damage to a vessel in excess of $2,000 (10-day reporting deadline)
  • Death or disappearance of a person (immediate report to NDOW followed by a written report within 48 hours)
  • Accident victim loses consciousness, needs medical care, or suffers disability (immediate report to NDOW followed by a written report within 48 hours)

Failure to meet these boat accident reporting regulations could complicate any insurance claims or accident lawsuits that may result. Injury lawyers may encounter difficulty defending claims for damages if boat owners are perceived as trying to hide information or avoid contact with authorities. It is a criminal offense not to file a boat accident report when required.

An investigation of a boat accident will also check if the person operating the boat was compliant with Nevada regulations. Specifically, boat operators on interstate waters born on or after January 1, 1983, must prove completion of an NDOW-approved boater education course.

Exchange Information and Record Evidence
A boating accident attorney will need to know all parties involved in the incident. The best opportunity to collect this information is in the accident’s immediate aftermath. Boat owners or operators need to exchange their contact information just as drivers do in car accidents.

Boat operators should share:

boating accident lawyer

  • Personal contact information
  • Boat ID
  • Insurance information, if any

Nevada does not require boat owners to have insurance coverage, but people do have the option to buy policies. An accident involving a commercial vessel, like a tour operator, may have an insurance policy. Therefore, asking about insurance is appropriate.

If possible, the boat operator or passengers should take pictures of the accident scene. Visual information to collect:

  • Boat damage
  • Injuries
  • Signs posted in the area, such as “No Wake”
  • Boat deck area and seating

Pictures could reveal important information, such as the presence of alcohol or missing safety equipment.

Additionally, contact information from witnesses will aid a follow-up investigation conducted by a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. A smartphone video may record short statements from witnesses at the accident scene.

Identification of the Responsible Party
A boating accident lawyer sorts through the facts of an accident to determine whose action or inaction caused harm. Possible defendants in these types of cases are:

  • Person operating the boat
  • U.S. National Park Service
  • Boat manufacturer
  • Boat maintenance company
  • Person guiding or helping the boat operator

Examples of negligence that can take place on the water are:

boating accident lawyer

  • Operator intoxication
  • Failure to maintain signage or warn people of water hazards
  • Defective boat or boat part manufacturing
  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Operator inattention
  • Operator recklessness

To recover compensation for medical expenses, lost income, and other damages, a boating accident attorney must find evidence of negligence. It is important to note that one or more parties may share the blame for a boat accident. Nevada personal injury law recognizes the concept of comparative negligence. This grants a victim the right to pursue compensation as long as that person was not more than 50% responsible for what happened. However, should a settlement result, the monetary damages will be reduced by the percentage of fault assigned to the victim.

Get Legal Advice Before Signing Any Documents
A person or organization potentially facing liability for boat accident injuries or property damage may be eager to resolve the situation. Accident victims may be asked to sign a statement about what happened or even accept an initial settlement offer.

Legal advice is critical if you are being blamed for the accident. You might only be partially to blame and, therefore, still have a chance to collect partial damages or avoid paying full damages.

Talk to a Boating Accident Lawyer
Darren J. Lach of Lach Injury Law uses the full force of the law to track down every dollar possible for people after accidents upend their lives. The attention of a personal injury lawyer capable of managing complex cases and engaging in tough negotiations or litigation will help you collect the settlement that you deserve. Do not make a decision without full knowledge of your rights. Contact Lach Injury Law to schedule a free consultation today.

boating accident lawyer

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