Gloucester County boat accident attorneys
Are boating accidents common in Gloucester?
Boating is a great way to spend a day – fishing, water skiing, tubing, or just enjoying the natural beauty of Gloucester County. For many people in Gloucester, boating isn’t just a way to relax – it’s a way of life. But being a popular activity doesn’t make boating completely safe. In fact, boating accidents are more common than most people realize, and they can cause severe injuries.
Did you know that in Virginia in 2019, more boating accidents happened than in the previous four years combined? And the percent of fatal accidents increased from 17% to 21% last year. It seems that more boating accidents are happening, and they are becoming more serious.
Who can help me after a Gloucester boating accident?
At GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys, we live and work in Gloucester. We love to be on the water ourselves. More importantly, we know and care about our neighbors here. That’s why, if you were injured in a boating accident that wasn’t your fault, we urge you to call us at (804) 413-6777. We can help get you the compensation you deserve. Even better, we have a Zero Fee Guarantee, meaning we don’t get paid until you do.
How do boating accidents typically happen?
Gloucester has five rivers running through or bordering it: the York, Severn, Ware, North, and the Piankatank. These rivers have many branches, coves, and creeks off of them as well.
Many of us who live here love to be out on the water, as do countless visitors who come here each year to enjoy boating and the “rivah life.” However, boating can be dangerous, and some boat rides end tragically. Boating accidents happen in countless ways, but the most common ones include:
- Collisions with other boats
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Collisions with swimmers
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Falls on deck
- Falls overboard
- Running aground
- Fires and explosions
Almost every one of these situations has at least one negligent party. Often, boating accidents are caused by alcohol use, malfunctioning parts, an inexperienced operator, or a negligent owner.
What makes boating dangerous?
A boating accident is often more harmful than the average vehicle collision. Why? Because boats are naturally on the water. With a car accident, you can usually get out of the car and wait for help on the side of the road. But when you fall or are forced off a boat, there’s nowhere to wait safely. If you are injured far from shore, swimming to land may be difficult. Many boating accident victims drown.
On top of that, water makes it more difficult for rescue teams to arrive quickly. Rescue teams have to track you down before they can help. And it may take time before anyone even knows there was an accident, and can get to you. If you’ve been thrown overboard, staying afloat can be difficult. Staying on the boat may not be easy either, if the boat is sinking or is no longer safe. And finally, after a serious boating accident, you will likely be injured.
Keeping the boat as safe as possible is of paramount importance and the onus to do so falls on the boat’s owner. All properly maintained boats should be equipped with the following:
- First aid kits
- Working VHF radios (which is not required, but could be helpful)
- Ignition safety switches, audible signaling devices, and visual distress devices like flare guns
- Enough life jackets for everyone onboard
- Functioning fire extinguishers
- Throwable floatation devices
- Lights for navigation and anchor
What are common injuries from boating accidents?
Common injuries from boating accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury
- Severe burns
- Spine injuries
- Organ damage
- Loss of limb or amputation
If you are rescued, you can have high medical bills and be out of work for some time. The truth is that a boating accident can have a long-term impact on your life, even leaving you with disabilities. That’s why determining who is responsible for a boating accident and holding the party accountable in a personal injury claim is a key step in financial recovery.
How do you determine who’s responsible in a boating accident?
After you have suffered a serious boating accident that was not your fault, you are within your rights to file a claim to receive proper compensation. The first step is figuring out who is liable for your losses. When it comes to boating accidents, the parties most often responsible are:
- The operator: Just as a car driver must follow the rules of the road and drive responsibly, so must a boat operator. This includes remaining sober, following posted signs, and taking basic safety precautions. If the operator of your boat did not perform his duties properly or responsibly, he may be liable.
- The manufacturer or mechanic: Boats are complex machines, and they need upkeep and maintenance. If your accident was caused by a defective part, such as a fire engine, the boat manufacturer may be responsible for damages. The mechanic that last serviced the boat could also be potentially liable, especially if he overlooked a clear issue that needed to be fixed.
- The rental house owners: While many people in Gloucester County own their own boats, others prefer to rent them. In such cases, the rental place that offers the boat is responsible for its proper upkeep, as well as providing safety gear and information to all renters. If they fail in these duties, and an accident results, then the rental owners may be liable.
- The boat owner: A boat’s owner is responsible for keeping passengers and guests safe. If they fail to do this, perhaps by not providing proper safety gear, they may be responsible for any resulting damages or accidents.
Determining the liable party can be tricky. In the chaos of a boat accident, it may not be clear why it happened or who was responsible. That’s why you need to work with a skilled attorney who can help you piece together the puzzle and find the party responsible for your injuries.
Call GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys for the legal help you need
Boating accidents can be traumatic and even deadly. If you’ve been injured or have lost a loved one in a boating accident, you need help from attorneys who are experts in their field and who care. We at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys understand what you’re going through, and we can help. As experienced, local Gloucester County personal injury lawyers, we can get the compensation you deserve. For compassionate help, call us at (804) 413-6777 today.
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Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.
- Safety Education
GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
- Annual Coat Drive
During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
- Hands-on Service
John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
- Supporting Local Schools
The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.