The summer is a popular time for water activities. This doesn’t just include cooling off at swimming pools. It also includes a range of recreational boating activities, especially along the rivers and lakes throughout Pennsylvania and the surrounding areas. Whether it’s fishing, water sports, power boating, or a simple way to enjoy the water, however, recreational boating poses numerous risks to all involved. What’s more, those risks can be substantially elevated when negligence is involved.
At Shrager & Sachs, our Philadelphia personal injury lawyers represent injured victims and families throughout Pennsylvania, and are aware of the many situations and circumstances that can lead to preventable boating accidents. Given the fact that Pennsylvania is consistently ranked among the top U.S. states when it comes to boating-related injuries and deaths, our legal team is prepared to help victims and their loved ones understand their rights and who can be held liable for their damages.
Personal Injury Law: Your Rights After a Preventable Injury
When it comes to the preventable accidents, including boating accidents, injured victims may have the right to seek justice and compensation for their losses by pursuing a personal injury case. While the facts of each case are always unique, these matters focus on holding individuals or entities accountable for negligent acts that caused or contributed to preventable accidents. In addition to seeking accountability, personal injury claims and lawsuits are also essential to helping victims and families recover financial compensation for the damages they incurred – including their medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and more.
As a law firm that has focused our practice on fighting for the injured, we know how to conduct the investigations and perform the necessary legal work to help victims protect their rights. Generally, this requires proving a few critical elements:
- A defendant owed a “duty of care” to a victim;
- The defendant failed to uphold that duty (often due to their negligence);
- The defendant’s breach of duty more likely than not caused the accident and injuries in question; and
- Victims suffered preventable harm and damages as a result.
Proving these essential elements is a matter that varies from case to case. In terms of boating accidents, it can also involve a focus on parties commonly held liable for damages suffered by boating accident victims. These parties may include:
- Negligent Boaters – Statistics show that most recreational accidents are preventable if not for the negligence of boat operators. This is especially true in cases involving inexperienced boaters, operators who boat under the influence (BUI), excessive speeds, reckless boating, and other negligent behavior behind the wheel of a boat. If a negligent boater caused your accident and injuries, you may have the right to hold them responsible by pursuing a personal injury case.
- Rental Companies – Boating can be an expensive hobby, which is why the industry is filled with many types of rental services that provide consumers with rental items for a free, including motorized and non-motorized boats, jet skis and other personal watercraft, safety equipment, water sports gear, and more. By law, these rental companies owe their consumers a duty of care, and can be held accountable for accidents caused by the negligence, such as renting unsafe or unfit watercraft.
- Commercial Businesses – There are also many types of commercial businesses that stake their claim in boating, whether they provide services for fishing expeditions, boat tours, water sports and activities, and more. Should these businesses fail to take reasonable steps in keeping their customers safe (such as when they fail to employ qualified and trained workers or fail to maintain vessels and products), victims harmed as a result may have options for holding them accountable.
- Product Manufacturers – Under product liability laws, product manufacturers can be held liable for accidents, injuries, and damages caused by defective products (including defectively marketed, manufactured, and designed products). As such, defective boats that malfunction and lead to crashes, as well as defective boating or water sports products, may provide the basis for a product liability claim.
Protecting your rights after a preventable boating accident begins with finding the legal support and representation that can help you navigate the legal journey ahead. At Shrager & Sachs, our personal injury attorneys leverage decades of collective experience to help victims of preventable accidents – including all types of boating accidents – understand their legal rights, whether they may be able to hold another party liable for their damages, and what we can do to help.
To discuss the facts of your recent accident and learn more about our services, contact us for a FREE consultation. Shrager & Sachs handles cases throughout Pennsylvania and beyond.