Rhode Island Boat Accident Lawyers
Auto accidents are not the only accident types that those in the state of Rhode Island have to worry about; with 384 miles of tidal shoreline, boating accidents are a real threat. Often causing near-death and fatal injuries, a Providence personal injury attorney can guide you through the process of recovering damages after a negligence-based boating accident in Rhode Island.
Types of injuries from boating accidents
The injures that a victim may sustain from a boating accident depend greatly on the severity of the accident. However, some of the most common injuries include:
- Head injuries;
- Traumatic brain injuries;
- Drowning and near-drowning;
- Broken bones;
- Cardiac arrest;
- Spinal cord injuries; and
- External and internal injuries.
Of the above, head injuries, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and near-drowning experiences are often the most severe. These injury types can result in the permanent impairment of an individual, often causing loss of physical or cognitive function. When drowning is not fatal, it can cause significant brain damage that is irreversible.
Why do boating accidents occur?
Sometimes, uncontrollable storms wreak havoc on boats and their passengers. But most of the time, boating accidents occur because of negligence. Common causes of boat accidents include:
- Operating a boat while intoxicated;
- Operating a boat at an unsafe speed;
- Operator inexperience or inattention;
- Equipment failure;
- Improper lookout
- Overloading of boat; and
- Unsafe behavior of boat passengers.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top five causes of boat accidents are operator inexperience, excessive speed, alcohol use, improper lookout, and operator inattention.
Compensation available to boating accident victims
When negligence causes a boat accident that results in injuries, a victim has the right to take legal action against the at-fault party. Because liability insurance is not mandatory in Rhode Island for boat owners, a victim may bypass the insurance system and file a civil action directly against the negligent person.
The types of damages that are available in a negligence-based boat accident lawsuit are the same as those available in all other types of personal injury actions. These include damages for medical expenses, lost wages, future expenses related to the accident, mental anguish, and physical pain and suffering. Unless the accident results in death, punitive damages are not allowed.
When a victim’s own negligence contributes to the occurrence of an accident, the victim’s damages amount may be reduced proportionately in relation to his or her degree of fault.
How a Dana and Dana attorney can help if you have suffered from a boating accident in Rhode Island
While boat accidents are less common than are motor vehicle accidents, they can be equally as—if not more so—tragic. And, financial damages incurred can total hundreds, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars. While nothing can change the fact that you’ve been injured, filing a civil claim can help you recover the money you need to pay for medical care, living expenses, and more.
A boat accident attorney is an essential component in understanding negligence laws, filing a claim in time (within three years according to Rhode Island General Laws Section 9-1-14), and recovering your full damages amount. To schedule a consultation today, reach out to the skilled Providence boat accident lawyers at the office of Dana & Dana Attorneys at Law. You can reach us by phone today at 401-490-0220.