There are few activities more gratifying than taking your boat out on the water. Maybe it is a pontoon boat you have on a lake. Maybe it is a speedboat that you take out on the bay or a yacht that can take you pretty much anywhere. Whatever your destination and purpose, boating is an exceptional time for peace, relaxation, recreation, and fellowship with friends and family. It should not be a time of anxiety and injury. Unfortunately, some trips end in disaster. There are many reasons why this may occur. If you experienced an accident that caused harm in some way, and you believe that harm was caused due to another party’s negligence, then you may be entitled to compensation. Keep reading this blog to learn more about what options you have moving forward in your pursuit of justice.
At the heart of any boating accident case, there must be harm caused due to someone’s negligence, or in some cases, malice. The most obvious example of negligent behavior that could lead to a lawsuit is an operator’s error to navigate the waters safely. There are, however, other forms of negligence that could come into play during a lawsuit. Some of those include:
- Defective parts of a boat
- Drug or alcohol impairment while operating a water vehicle
As you can see, “negligence” can apply to more than just an individual operator’s actions at the time of the accident. If a company, for instance, knowingly used defective parts when assembling a product, then that company may be held liable for the damages you have suffered. In extreme cases, boating accidents can lead catastrophic injury or wrongful death suits. In those cases, civil suits may be sought in addition to criminal charges.
Criminal Versus Civil Cases
Let’s say that a boat operator was under the influence of alcohol and caused a crash with another vehicle that resulted in the death of someone on board. That would almost certainly lead to some type of criminal case. We are all familiar with what those look like from popular media. There would be a prosecutor who would either accept a plea deal or try that individual in court. The defendant would likely serve time in jail and/or have to pay a fine. In addition to criminal charges, families of the lost loved one may choose to pursue a civil case, as well, in this case, a wrongful death lawsuit.
The purpose of civil cases is to provide the surviving family monetary compensation for:
- Medical expenses
- Funeral expenses
- Lost wages
- The loss of intangible benefits, like emotional support
Civil cases, just like criminal ones, usually involve juries. Because these lawsuits do not involve potentially sending someone to jail, some attorneys believe that juries assigned to these cases are more likely to find defendants liable. Also, if you believe the cost of bringing a lawsuit may be prohibitive, keep in mind that many law firms charge “contingency fees” for their services. This means that they will only receive compensation if your case has a successful outcome, whether by settlement or trial.
At Schneider Hammers, that is the compensation model that we employ. In our view, that is the fairest system for our clients.We believe that those who have already suffered should not expect to assume additional risk while navigating the legal system. Also, in my experience, I believe that families and individuals who pursue civil cases for injuries suffered appreciate that decision later in life. The pursuit of justice is a desirable end in itself, in addition to the monetary compensation that will help make up for the pain and suffering you have experienced.
Contact an Experienced Legal Team Today
At Schneider Hammers, we have the experience, expertise, and tenacity to bring your case through the legal system to a successful conclusion where you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have been in a boating accident as the result of someone else’s negligence, then you have experienced horror when you should have enjoyed relaxation. You have suffered injuries when you should have had peace-of-mind. Those experiences are unfair, plain and simple. But, there is a way to make up for those experiences, and that is by pursuing justice. If you are ready to speak with a legal team that will fight tooth-and-nail on your behalf, then contact us today.