Liability in a Wrongful Death Boating Accident

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Enjoying a day on a boat sounds like the perfect summer activity, but when something goes wrong, it can be deadly.

Boating accidents come with unique legal challenges that car accidents don’t because of the conditions, waves, liability, and more.

Unfortunately, just because the accident killed someone doesn’t mean you can sue for wrongful death. Your legal team will need to prove negligence, which is the failure to act with reasonable care.

How Can I Prove Negligence In Boating Accident That Resulted In A Wrongful Death?

Most boat accidents happen due to either a boat colliding with another ship, the vessel hitting another boat’s wake, a wave hitting the boat, or the boat hitting a submerged object, rock, or land.

Similar to car accidents, the boat operator owes a duty of care, and they can be held liable if they fail to practice this duty of care.

In a boat-on-boat accident, one of the boat operators can likely be held liable.

If the boat hits a wake or wave, a court will take some of the boat operator’s actions into account, such as if the ship was speeding, if they warned the passengers of the wake, or if they were operating the boat while under the influence. Depending on the wake’s size, the other boat operator could also be held liable in wake accidents.

If your loved one died due to the boat hitting a submerged object, the court would take the operator’s actions into account for liability. However, if the operator has nautical charts for the area, travels slowly and cautiously, and hits a rock, they will probably not be found negligent. But if they are speeding in dense fog, without charts or a GPS, and run into a jetty, that is negligence.

What Should I Do If A Loved One Died In A Boating Accident?

Contact The Knox Law Firm immediately if your loved one’s death during a boating accident was caused by negligence. We can help you navigate this trying time and the tricky legal circumstances surrounding wrongful deaths from boating accidents.

The defendant’s legal team will likely try to prove the weather conditions, such as waves, or storms, caused the accident. We’ll work to prove the other party’s negligence and get your family the monetary support you deserve to pay for the funeral of your loved one or to compensate for lost income.


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Mar 21, 2020
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