Boats may not number among the first modes of transportation that folks associate with Nevada. We are in Western desert country, after all, and Nevada ranks as the driest state in the country every year. If you or a loved one suffers injuries or death as a result of a boat accident in Nevada, call the experienced Nevada Boat Accident attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC. Obtaining compensation for boat accident victims is complex. Let us use our experience in recovering compensation for injury victims to help you.
Despite our dry weather, Nevada does boast Lake Tahoe, Lake Mead, and Pyramid Lake, among other waterways. Given the nearness of Lake Tahoe to Reno and Sparks and of Lake Mead to Las Vegas, many people like to go boating, but unfortunately, that results in boat accidents every year.
Causes of Nevada Boat Accidents
Boat accidents are a category of vehicle accidents, so nearly every factor that can cause a car wreck also poses such a risk in a boat, jet ski, wave runner, or any other type of watercraft. These factors include unsafe and imprudent driving, lack of appropriate vehicle maintenance and repair, or problems in the manufacture of the boat.
Boat drivers, for example, may not achieve sufficient education about driving a boat before taking the wheel, drive a boat carelessly and imprudently, become distracted, drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or even have health problems that result in incapacity while driving.
Boat owners should take care to perform adequate maintenance, inspection, and repair of their boats regularly. Problems and unaddressed issues with the boat itself can cause accidents.
Manufacturers and boat component manufacturers bear responsibility for manufacturing safe equipment. If defects or recalls occur, they may cause accidents as well.
In addition, environmental factors and weather conditions can contribute to boating accidents. Fog and inclement weather on a lake can cause both visibility and navigation problems. Such conditions can cause issues for cars and trucks as well, but more people may exhibit reluctance to curtail a vacation day or planned weekend outing on the lake than drivers of land vehicles do when they adjust their driving or stay home.
The Common Issue: Responsibility and Negligence in Nevada Boat Accidents
The common issue in boating accidents is assessing who or what bears responsibility for an accident. Responsibility centers around negligence, which the law defines as a violation of a duty of care owed to the public. Negligent parties become financially responsible for the injuries and other damage that result from the accident.
The duty of care for drivers is clear. They need to possess qualifications to operate the boat and operate it safely.
In addition, they need to obey all applicable laws and regulations, including:
In Nevada, you must complete a boating education course to legally operate a boat with horsepower over 15 if your birthday falls on January 1, 1983, or after. The course must receive approval from the Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW). NDOW recommends that all boaters take such a course, regardless of age.
Operating a water vessel if you are intoxicated is illegal.
Speeding in a motorboat is illegal.
Creating a wake in a no-wake zone is illegal.
Operating a watercraft in conditions officially termed “dangerous” is illegal.
Boat owners owe a duty of care to prudently maintain their boats, including regular inspection, maintenance duties, and repairs. Boat owners should also never allow an unauthorized person or potentially unqualified person to operate their boats.
Boat and component manufacturers owe a duty of care to produce safe equipment and provide information promptly to owners of record in the event of a recall.
If violations of the duty of care occur, the negligent party is potentially financially responsible for injuries and other damages stemming from the violations.
Common Injuries in a Nevada Boat Accident
Victims of boat accidents can suffer the following injuries, from impact, falling in the body of water, complications of the accident, and more:
Water inhalation and loss of oxygen
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
Spinal cord injuries
Loss of limb or body components
Burns from gasoline or chemicals, or severe sunburn
Damage Compensation in Nevada Boat Accident Cases
Victims of boating accidents caused by a negligent party can either approach the relevant insurance company or file a Nevada boat accident suit in civil court.
Victims can seek damage compensation in the following areas:
Medical bills, both current and expected in the future – For treatment, including emergency treatment, surgery, hospitalization, diagnostic tests, doctor’s office visits, prescription medication, and more
Wages lost from work – If the accident and recovery necessitated time off from work
The lifetime value of earnings – If the accident victim is disabled and can’t work at a former occupation
Property damage – For damage to and loss of personal property in the accident
Pain and suffering – For physical, emotional, and mental pain and suffering
Investigating Nevada Boat Accidents
In the immediate aftermath of an accident, victims may not fully understand what caused it. Conflicting or no testimony may exist about what happened and who or what bore responsibility. This is especially true in cases where the operator claims no fault, but a problem with the boat may indicate responsibility.
Experienced lawyers work with investigators, including those skilled at the forensic analysis of a boat accident. Any marks on the boat, as well as their locations, can serve as evidence.
Evidence can also stem from the nature and extent of a victim’s injuries. As a result, keep all evidence of visits to medical professionals, tests, treatments, and diagnoses. Additionally, there may be outside witness testimony and even video evidence with respect to the accident, so covering all the investigative bases is a matter of greatest importance.
Call Us if You or a Loved One Suffers Injuries in a Nevada Boat Accident
If you or a loved one is injured or otherwise harmed in a Nevada boat accident, contact the personal injury attorneys at Benson & Bingham Accident Injury Lawyers, LLC by calling us at (702) 600-6000. Any meeting to discuss the accident is free of charge since we work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that our fees come from the settlement, claim, or award, rather than from your pocket.
In all of our cases, we fight to see that justice is done.
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“Michelle and Lina are spectacular and they are great to work with. The office is very professional and you will not be disappointed with the service. Benson & Bingham will fight for every penny and they will do everything possible to make sure you are satisfied. It is without hesitation or reservation that I recommend them for your case.” -Hearly S.