When boat and watercraft operators, passengers and other parties are negligent, the injuries can be catastrophic. If you have been injured in a boating accident that could have been prevented, you may be able to file a claim for compensation.
The experienced boat accident attorneys at TSR Injury Law have a proven track record of obtaining fair compensation, with $300 million recovered over 20 plus years. Firm co-founder Steven Terry has been chosen as a Rising Star and Super Lawyer in Minnesota and is a member of the Top 100 National Trial Lawyer’s Association.
Schedule a free consultation with our attorneys to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There is no obligation to hire our firm, and we do not get paid unless you do.
Do I Have a Valid Claim for Compensation?
Boat accidents resulting in serious injuries can happen numerous ways, including:
- Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding, particularly in dangerous conditions
- Poor maintenance of the vessel, including failure to repair known problems
- Failing to store safety gear on the boat (life jackets, fire extinguishers, visual distress signals, etc.)
- Failing to pay attention when operating a boat, resulting in a collision with another vessel, fixed object or person in the water
Some accidents are caused by mechanical defects that result in fires or explosions. The defect could be because of a design flaw or a problem during the manufacturing process.
However, you not only need to prove someone else was careless, you need to provide evidence that directly links careless conduct to the accident. You must also show the accident directly caused you or your loved one to suffer an injury. Victims and their attorneys also must provide evidence of damages suffered (medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, etc.)
This is a complex issue you can discuss with a St. Paul boat accident lawyer from TSR Injury Law.
Call today at (612) TSR-TIME.
Who Could be at Fault for My Boat Accident?
Boat operators are often the ones responsible for boating accidents. Sometimes more than one operator is at fault, particularly in a crash involving two or more vessels.
However, there could be other parties that hold liability for the accident, including:
- Manufacturers – Either the manufacturer of individual components on the boat, or of the boat itself, may be liable, if they are linked to the accident.
- Passengers on the boat – Sometimes other passengers are drunk or simply acting carelessly, and they can cause others on the boat to suffer injuries, such as slip and fall injuries or drowning because they fall overboard.
- Owner of the boat – The person operating the boat may have been borrowing it from someone else. If that individual lacks experience and this contributes to the crash, the owner may have some amount of liability. The owner may also have failed to properly maintain the boat to ensure its safe operation.
- Rental company – Did the boat company rent the vessel to a minor without a proper license? Did the rental company fail to maintain the boat? These are all questions your attorney may need to consider if the boat was rented at the time of your accident.
Our firm is available to answer your legal questions after a boat accident.
Can I Still Pursue Compensation if I am Partially at Fault?
The answer is yes, but it depends on your percentage of fault. If you hold more fault than another party, state law prohibits you from pursuing compensation from that individual. You can pursue compensation from any parties that hold less fault than you.
If you recover compensation, that total amount will be reduced based on your percentage of fault for the accident. That means an award of $30,000 would become $27,000 if you were 10 percent at fault.
Our Saint Paul boat accident attorneys can answer your questions about Minnesota’s comparative fault law.
What is a Boat Accident Case Worth?
There are many factors that go into determining the value of a case, from the type of injury and its severity to the length of your recovery.
Some of the damages your attorney may be able to pursue include:
- Medical bills, both now and in the future as treatment continues
- Pain and suffering experienced
- Permanent disability
- Lost wages
- Loss earning capacity
- Damage to personal property
- Physical therapy
- Loss of companionship
The damages that may be available depend on the specific details of your case, which you can discuss with a licensed attorney from our firm. The consultation is free of charge.
What is the Deadline for Taking Legal Action?
The deadline for Minnesota personal injury claims is usually two years from the date of the accident that caused the injury and resulting damages. This is set by Minnesota’s statute of limitations.
If your loved one died in the accident, you have three years from the date of death to file a claim for compensation.
There are certain exceptions to this deadline. For example, there is a different deadline for claims filed by minors and another deadline for claims filed against government entities.
Unsure of how much time you have left to take legal action? Call a St. Paul boat accident attorney to discuss your situation. No upfront fees. (612) TSR-TIME
Steps to Take After a Boating Accident
The most important step after an accident is to get medical treatment. You need qualified medical professionals to diagnose your injuries, stabilize them and begin appropriate treatment.
Seeking medical care usually begins with calling 9-1-1 at the scene. This is particularly important if your life or someone else’s could be in danger.
Minnesota law requires you to stay at the scene to help others who are in trouble, provided you can do so safely. You should never risk your life or someone else’s to try to save equipment or personal items.
Another important priority in a boat accident, after ensuring your health and safety, is gathering information at the scene, including:
- Names of boat operators, passengers and witnesses
- Statements from witnesses
- Contact information
- Identifying information for the vessels involved in the accident
This information can help you to begin building a case against the at-fault party. Talking to witnesses is particularly important, as they may have seen things you did not. You should also take pictures of the scene, if possible.
Under state law, you are required to report a boat accident to the county sheriff if there is an injury, death or more than $2,000 in property damage.
How a Boat Accident Attorney May be Able to Assist You
Insurance companies often become involved soon after an accident occurs. They are looking out for their best interest, which is making money and paying out the least possible amount of compensation to accident victims.
Victims are often unaware of the tricks and other tactics insurers may use to discredit victims and reduce the value of their claims. Adjusters may even discourage victims from contacting lawyers, claiming it will cost too much money and drag the process out.
The attorneys at TSR Injury Law are experienced at protecting claims from insurance companies. We charge no upfront fees, and we do not get paid unless you do. The initial consultation is also free of charge.
We are prepared to manage the entire process on your behalf, if you have a valid case. This includes investigating the accident, evaluating damages, reviewing medical records, negotiating for fair compensation and preparing for trial if necessary.
Claims handled by experienced attorneys often result in more compensation for victims.
Common Examples of Boating Accidents
Boat accidents can happen during many activities on the water, from swimming and kayaking to jet skiing and wake boarding.
If you were injured on the water in an accident involving some type of watercraft, you may have grounds for pursuing compensation. Treating your injuries can be very expensive, particularly if the injury requires a long period of medical care.
Some of the injuries from boating accidents may include:
- Near drowning
- Broken bones
- Paralysis from a spinal cord injury
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Call a Saint Paul Boat Accident Lawyer to Discuss Your Accident
Talking to an experienced attorney is an important step to take after suffering an injury in a boating accident. The attorneys at TSR Injury Law know how to determine if your accident may have been caused by negligence. We are also prepared to pursue maximum compensation for your damages.
The consultation with our lawyers is free and comes with no obligation. There are also no upfront fees for our services, so there is no risk to you in contacting us.
Our partners have received numerous awards and accolades. Rich Ruohonen has been selected to Super Lawyers each year from 2003 to 2018. Partner Chuck Slane is on the Minnesota Association for Justice’s Board of Governors.
TSR Injury Law: (612) TSR-TIME. We are here to help and answer your questions.