Boat accidents can be serious, causing significant injuries or even loss of life. They can be particularly catastrophic when they occur in open water, where there is no access to immediate help. If you or a loved one have been harmed in a boating accident, you may be eligible to recover compensation.
At Bernstein & Poisson, we have been representing victims of boat accidents and their families since 2007. We are here to fight for full compensation, holding individuals or companies responsible if their negligence or wrongdoing caused your injuries or loss. Our firm has recovered millions of dollars for our clients, including a $300,000 settlement for a victim who suffered a spinal injury in a boating accident.
An initial consultation comes at no cost or obligation to you. There is no risk in calling us to learn about your available legal options. We also charge nothing up front unless we help you obtain a recovery.
How Do I Know If I Have a Valid Case?
A Las Vegas boat accident lawyer will need to review your situation to make this determination. A free consultation will give you the chance to discuss what happened and get answers to your legal questions.
You may be able to pursue compensation if you can prove that another party’s negligence caused the boating accident and resulted in you being harmed. These four elements of negligence must be proven:
- The other party owed you a duty of care to prevent injury
- The other party breached this duty by acting unreasonably
- This breach was the legal cause of your injuries
- You suffered damages, such as medical expenses
If a viable claim exists, we are here to gather the evidence needed to establish negligence and build a strong case for compensation. No matter the type or cause of your boat accident, our firm has the skill and resources to help. We are well-versed in Nevada boating laws and how they may apply to your case.
Some types of boat accident cases we are prepared to handle include:
- Capsizing accidents
- Collisions with docks or other fixed objects
- Cruise ship accidents
- Drowning and near-drowning accidents
- Falls overboard
- Ferry accidents
- Fires or explosions on boats and other watercraft
- Jet ski accidents
- Open water collisions
- Privately-owned boat accidents
- Slip and fall accidents on deck
For a free legal consultation with a boat accidents lawyer serving Las Vegas, call (855) 605-2959
Liability for Damages After a Boat Accident
Determining liability for a boating accident is often difficult and requires detailed investigations. More than one party could be involved. Examples of parties that may be held liable for damages include:
- The operator of the boat – If the operator failed to provide reasonable safety for the passengers (i.e. life jackets), was intoxicated while operating the vessel or disregarded boating regulations
- The owner of the boat – If the owner knowingly loaned the boat to an unqualified operator
- A passenger of the boat – If the passenger acted recklessly or prevented the boat operator from doing his or her duty to keep everyone safe on board
- The manufacturer of the boat – If the boat accident was caused by a manufacturing defect
- The boat rental company – If the rental company failed to fix maintenance issues with the boat
Our Las Vegas boat accident attorneys know how to investigate watercraft collisions and all other water-related incidents to identify and prove fault. We also know that holding the appropriate party or parties accountable is important for negotiating just and fair compensation for boat accident victims.
Las Vegas Boat Accident Lawyer Near Me (855) 605-2959
Compensation for Boating Accident Victims
Boating accident victims injured due to another party’s negligence may be able to pursue compensation for economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages include verifiable losses such as:
- Medical bills for treatments and medications
- Transportation costs for doctor appointments
- Lost wages while not working and recovering
- Lost earning capacity if you can no longer work
- Rehabilitation and/or physical therapy
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are subjective and evaluating them is more complicated. Examples of these damages include:
- Pain and suffering experienced, physical and mental
- Mental anguish caused by the boating accident
- Loss of companionship, including emotional support
- Loss of enjoyment of life and ability to do activities
Your lawyer may use receipts to prove that medical services were rendered at a given date and time. Testimony from a medical expert can also be used to help prove the severity and extent of your injuries.
Contact our Las Vegas Boat Accident Attorneys today
What If I Am Partially At Fault for My Injury?
You may still be eligible for compensation even if you are partially to blame for your injuries. However, you cannot be found more than 50 percent liable for the boat accident. Under Nevada’s modified comparative negligence rule, any damages awarded will be reduced based on your percentage of fault.
Being assigned an unfair portion of fault will mean less compensation or being barred from compensation altogether. A boat accident lawyer in Las Vegas is ready to maximize your recovery.
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Time Limit to File a Boat Accident Claim
In most cases, you generally have two years from the date of the boat accident to file a claim. Waiting too long to take legal action will likely result in a court dismissal and an inability to obtain compensation.
Two years may seem long enough, but these cases take time. The accident needs to be investigated, evidence must be collected, copies of accident reports and medical records must be acquired and so on.
If you are unsure if your time to file has passed, we encourage that you reach out to our attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson for legal advice. There may be exceptions that shorten or extend the deadline.
Reasons Boat Accidents Often Happen
A boat accident on the waterways can happen for many different reasons:
- Alcohol or drug use
- Excessively speeding
- Inexperienced operators
- Lack of proper training
- Distracted operators
- Improper lookout
- Reckless maneuvers
- Operating in bad weather
- Overloading or overcrowding
- Violating boating regulations
- Improper maintenance
- Defective equipment
When a boat collides with another vessel or object it can result in serious, potentially life-threatening injuries. Victims can suffer broken bones, contusions, lacerations, whiplash and spinal injuries. If the victim falls overboard, he or she can sustain respiratory injuries, brain injuries or even drown. If an electrical or fuel fire breaks out on board the boat, victims may also get burns that can cause scarring and disfigurement.
Protect Your Safety and Rights After a Boat Accident
When a boating accident happens, the next steps you take can significantly impact your safety as well as your right to recover compensation for your losses.
Get Medical Care
Check if you or anyone else needs urgent medical care. Even if your injuries appear minor, it is best to get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. You may not realize that you are actually hurt. Symptoms from a boat accident may not manifest for days or weeks. A doctor can assess your injuries and provide a treatment plan. Your medical record can help link your injuries to the accident.
If you are physically capable, exchange information with all involved parties. You will want the names, addresses and phone numbers of each person on board and anyone who witnessed the accident. Be sure to obtain the boat’s name and registration number and insurance information from the operator.
Take photos of the accident scene, your injuries and damage to the boat or other property. This can be useful to reconstruct how the accident occurred and determine fault. If you were injured in a fall, photos of the location of the spill or tripping hazard can help establish that a dangerous condition was present.
The operator of the boat involved in an accident must file a Nevada Boating Accident and Casualty Report with the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) under the following circumstances:
- If a person dies or disappears, the NDOW must be notified immediately and the accident must be reported in writing within a 48-hour period
- If a person loses consciousness, requires medical care, or is disabled for more than 24 hours, the NDOW must be notified immediately and the accident must be reported within a 48-hour period
- If damage to a boat or other property exceeds $2,000 or if there is a total loss of a vessel, the accident must be reported in writing to NDOW within 10 days
Reach Out to Our Las Vegas Boat Accident Attorneys
Our Las Vegas boat accident attorneys at Bernstein & Poisson are ready to review your situation and discuss your available legal options during a risk-free, zero-obligation consultation. We understand the impact a serious injury can have on our clients’ lives.
If you have a valid case, we are ready to hold any negligent party accountable and pursue the maximum compensation possible for your damages. We charge zero upfront fees to retain our services. We only get paid at the end of the legal process if we help you obtain compensation.
Our office is located about 10 minutes from the Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Las Vegas.