Hanover county citizens are fortunate to be close to recreational bodies of water, including rivers, estuaries, and the Chesapeake Bay. However, boating accidents can happen at any time, and leave people hurt or property damaged.
If you or a loved one were involved in an accident while on the water, a Hanover County boat accident lawyer can help you seek recovery for your injuries and damaged property. A skilled personal injury lawyer familiar with these kinds of cases can guide you through the difficulties of pursuing a lawsuit and help you recover compensation for your losses.
Boating accidents can involve boat operators, passengers, water sport recreants, bathers, as well as other boats and objects. Accidents are possible whether it is with wind-powered, man-powered, or motorized watercraft. Foul weather can also be an aggravating factor, catching boaters by surprise. Some of the most common causes of recreational boating accidents include:
Capsizing and swamping are also common causes of boat accidents. Capsizing is when a vessel turns upside down or on its side. This can be the result of imbalanced weight, uneven passenger distribution, and boat operator error. Swamping occurs when an upright craft, begins to fill with water, possibly forcing boaters out of the craft, thereby increasing the risk of other boats hitting stranded passengers.
A seasoned boat accident lawyer in Hanover County could investigate the cause of the collision and help the injured claimant hold the negligent party accountable for damages.
The scene of an accident is always chaotic. Following through with a few steps can help pave the way for an efficient resolution.
First and foremost, move out of the path of any imminent danger. Determine who needs medical attention, and call emergency medical services. Virginia law requires boat operators involved in incidents to assist those in need.
Next, notify local law enforcement, the U.S. Coast Guard, or officers from the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries that an incident has occurred. Officers may collect information to prepare an accident report. Giving accurate and detailed information about the event is important. This report may later become evidence used to prove fault in a Hanover County boat accident lawsuit.
Exchange information with other parties, including contact information and insurance details. If any third-party bystanders observe the incident, identify witnesses, and collect their contact information.
Virginia law requires a written boating accident report be filed when:
Taking photographs of the accident scene, injuries, and property damage may help preserve evidence. It is important to refrain from disposing of any damaged property or safety equipment involved in the incident.
In the wake of a boating accident, you or someone you know could be left seriously hurt or with considerable property damage. It can be hard to know how to proceed and whether to pursue an out-of-court settlement.
A claim must be filed within two years of the accident, barring a number of exceptions, so it is important to act quickly. An attorney could help you file a lawsuit to hold the faulty party accountable. Schedule an appointment with a Hanover County boat accident lawyer to get started on your case today.