Boat Accident Lawyers in Las Vegas
The waterways around Las Vegas offer a pleasant and relaxing getaway from the hustle and bustle of Sin City. Unfortunately, activities on the water also create a significant risk for serious injuries. Whether you’re the captain of a vessel, a passenger, or simply someone enjoying a swim in Lake Mead, the potential for catastrophe is always present, thanks to the negligent or reckless actions of others. If you or a loved one have sustained injuries on Nevada waterways, there’s a good chance they’re serious. Even worse, you may be confused about what to do next. A boat accident lawyer in Las Vegas may be able to help.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we’ve witnessed just how disastrous mishaps on the water can be. Sadly, it’s something we see far too often. It was reported in 2020 that Nevada was the most dangerous state for boaters in America. Just one year later, statistics showed that boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities had increased by about 25% over the year. This is disheartening in many ways, and something certainly should be done to bring these numbers down. If you’ve already suffered boating accident injuries, however, even the best changes can’t help you now. That’s why you should reach out to a Las Vegas personal injury attorney. Schedule a free consultation at Bernstein & Poisson today.
Is Your Boating Accident Case Eligible for Compensation?
There are many cases when on-the-water accidents could be considered just a part of life. It’s possible that there’s no one to blame for a boating accident. For instance, a hidden log in the water could prove catastrophic for a boat operator, even if they’re doing everything by the book. However, there are many other instances where it’s possible to assign liability. In such cases, accident victims and those who suffered injuries due to reckless actions may be entitled to compensation. While it’s important to note that every case has its own unique set of circumstances, victims typically have a valid case if the following elements are present:
- Duty of care: We all have duties of care in our daily lives. The term simply means we’re expected to avoid actions that could harm others. For instance, boat operators have a duty to avoid sharp turns, which could potentially throw passengers overboard.
- Violation of duty: Any successful boat accident claim will show that a duty of care was violated. If the operator from the previous example ignores their duty to protect their passengers by taking a sharp turn, they have violated that duty.
- Injury or damages causation: People frequently engage in unsafe actions on the water. In many instances, their actions constitute a violation of their duty. Such actions usually only result in a successful lawsuit, however, if some form of damages are caused by their violation.
These are the basic components of any successful lawsuit brought forward by boat accident victims. However, it’s important to realize that Nevada law is complex when it comes to any personal injury case. Each of these elements could be present and still not result in a successful legal claim, thanks to liability rules and other nuances in the law. This is why it’s so important to seek legal representation prior to making any major decisions. Not only do the Las Vegas boating accident attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson offer free consultations, but we also work on a contingency-fee basis. This means you’ll pay nothing if we don’t recover compensation on your behalf.
Is the Boat Operator Always At Fault?
When someone is involved in an accident on a vessel, they often quickly conclude that negligent boat operation was the underlying cause. After all, it’s the boat’s operator that controls what happens, right? If an accident occurred, wouldn’t the buck have stopped with them? In reality, this isn’t always the case. While reckless actions by a vessel’s captain certainly are behind many of these unfortunate tragedies, there are various other parties who could share liability. Thanks to Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rules, though, all liable parties can be held responsible for their share of fault.
Under our state’s negligence rules, liability is assigned by each party’s level of fault. For instance, envision a boating accident that occurs when the operator crashes into a jetski after a passenger distracts them. A jury may decide that the distracting passenger was 30% at fault, the operator was 50% at fault, and the jetski operator shared 20% fault because they were traveling at an unsafe speed. Each individual would be responsible for damages equal to their own level of fault. In a situation where the jetski operator was suing for damages, they’d still be able to collect 80% of their court award since they were only 20% at fault.
Of course, anyone who had no liability in such an accident could receive maximum compensation. In the previous example, this could be a passenger on the boat who was simply relaxing. If this victim was granted $1 million for their boating accident injuries, each of the three liable parties would have to pay their share of that court award. However, Nevada’s negligence rules also mean that an injury victim may be entitled to nothing if they were over 50% at fault for the accident. This is obviously a complex issue, so speaking with a boating accident lawyer in Las Vegas may be in your best interest.
What Are Common Causes of Boating Accidents?
The cause of a boating accident can be a clue as to who was at fault. While there may certainly be other liable parties involved — including individuals, organizations, and agencies you may not expect — the primary cause of an incident is most revealing. To better identify all potentially liable parties, it’s best to speak with a boating accident lawyer in Las Vegas. However, the following list reveals the most common issues that lead to injurious incidents on the water:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Excessively speeding
- Inexperienced operator
- Lack of proper training
- Distracted operator
- Improper lookout
- Reckless maneuvers
- Operating in bad weather
- Overloading or overcrowding
- Underwater hazards
- Violating boating regulations
- Improper maintenance
- Defective equipment
As discussed in the previous section, these causes show that negligent boat operation isn’t always the underlying cause of such accidents. A manufacturer could sell defective products that make a vessel dangerous to be on. A company might overload its tourism boat. A mechanic may have failed to fix an issue they charged for. There are numerous instances that could make parties who aren’t even present liable for damages. Even if the cause of an accident seems clear, there’s always a chance that other third parties may be at fault. Don’t make guesses as to who owes you compensation. Speak with a Las Vegas personal injury lawyer today.
Is There a Deadline to File a Boating Accident Lawsuit?
When boat accidents occur, it may not feel like time is on your side. You could be out of work and losing wages at a time when medical bills are stacking up. The most important deadline you should be concerned with, however, is the Las Vegas personal injury case statute of limitations. This effectively sets a time limit on how long an injured person has to file a lawsuit. In Nevada, the statute of limitations on boating accidents is two years. This is also true for the loved ones of deceased individuals who want to file a wrongful death case. In most instances, failure to file within this timeframe forfeits your right to compensation.
However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For instance, the inquiry notice doctrine extends the statute of limitations if information was hidden from the plaintiff. You may also have more time to file if your major injuries were sustained at the hospital after an accident due to medical negligence. That’s because medical malpractice cases have up to a maximum three-year statute of limitations in Nevada — although they must be filed within a year of the injury’s discovery. Having a complete understanding of your case is the only way to ensure you file in a timely manner, and this is the only way to ensure damages related to medical care, property damage, and other losses are covered. Schedule a free consultation with Bernstein & Poisson to learn more.
Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer in Las Vegas Today
Living in a desert makes day trips to nearby waterways an exciting venture. However, one act of negligence can ruin more than just the day. A single act could destroy a person’s entire life. If you or a loved one have suffered serious injuries in a boating accident, the time to take action is now. While the statute of limitations may seem extensive for personal injury cases, the fact is that these claims become more difficult to prove over time. Investigations into what happened must be conducted, and all types of evidence have a way of deteriorating or even vanishing over time. Don’t let this ruin your chance at monetary compensation.At Bernstein & Poisson, we’ve served both residents and visitors of Las Vegas for four decades. Our dedicated legal team works hard for every client, and our goal is to secure maximum compensation for their cases. Whether this means getting a fair settlement from an insurance company or suing liable parties in a court of law, we’re dedicated to doing whatever it takes. Contact us today by calling (702) 707-5934 to schedule a free case review with one of our boating accident lawyers in Las Vegas. You need a legal professional on your side who will advocate for your rights. That’s exactly what you’ll find at Bernstein & Poisson.
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“After being in an accident my friend told me to call Bernstein and Poisson. A lawyer named Brian came to my home to meet with me and started my claim immediately. The legal team was extremely efficient, responded back to me quickly, listened to my concerns, and handled everything with speed and accuracy. Every step of the way was communicated. I received my settlement in 10 months’ time. I highly recommend using Berstein and Poisson. Thank you for helping get my life back on track.”
I Was Injured In An Accident.
What Do I Do Now?
By Scott L. Poisson
Do I Have A Case?
Dealing With The Insurance Company
When a Lawsuit Is Filed
Overcoming Common Defense Themes
Special Considerations in Specific Types of Cases