Seattle’s waterways are a beautiful place to spend an afternoon—unless you’re injured in a boating accident. If your boat accident was someone else’s fault, reach out to a Seattle boating accident attorney.

Because of the carelessness of others and the sheer number of boats traveling Seattle’s waterways, accidents happen frequently, often leaving tremendous damage in their wake. Unfortunately, most victims know very little about what a boating accident entails, inhibiting them from taking appropriate action after they have been injured.

If you were the victim of a boat crash, it’s important to know your rights and responsibilities in your particular situation. To take the next step toward resolving your accident and obtaining the compensation you’re entitled to, contact a Seattle boating accident lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates.

Legal Requirements for Those Involved in Boating Accidents

In Washington state, any parties involved in a boating accident must file a Washington Boat Accident Report if any of the following events occur:

  • Loss of life
  • Injury in which first aid is deemed necessary
  • A disappearance (under circumstances that indicate injury or death)
  • Property damage that completely demolishes a vessel or exceeds $2,000

Whenever there has been an injury, disappearance, or death, a report must be filed within forty-eight hours. All other accidents require a report be filed within ten days.

Keep in mind that, while all boats must be registered in the state of Washington, owners are not required to carry insurance policies for their watercraft.

How Liability Is Determined

Because no one wants to be implicated with legal liability, rarely will a party readily admit to any wrongdoing in a Seattle boating accident. Nevertheless, there are a few ways to determine liability in a serious boating collision.

One way to show liability is by proving the other boat operator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident. Seattle residents can be charged with BUI (boating under the influence), which not only carries steep penalties, but can be used to prove fault. The legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit for boaters in Washington state is .08.

In general, the judge or jury deciding your case will be looking for signs of negligence, which can take a variety of forms.

Your boating accident lawyer in Seattle may look for the following forms of negligence on the part of the boater who injured you:

  • Letting a minor maneuver the vessel
  • Keeping the boat in poor condition
  • Not paying attention to weather conditions
  • Not following posted signs or directions

Common Injuries Suffered in Seattle Boating Accidents

While boating accidents can result in a wide variety of outcomes, we have noticed that a few common types of injury tend to occur. These include the following:

  • Brain injuries (e.g., concussions, contusions, and similar)
  • Spine injuries
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Face or eye injuries
  • Scrapes, cuts, and bruises
  • Drowning

Calculating Your Compensation

To receive compensation for your injuries, you and your Seattle boat accident attorney will need to examine all the ways in which your injuries have affected your life. Identifying and placing a value on these damages will lay the foundation for the value of your personal injury claim.

Common damages listed in Seattle boat accident claims include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Damage to your boat
  • Emotional trauma
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced quality of life

Allow a Seattle Boating Accident Attorney to Help

Whether your vessel of choice is a sailboat or kayak, a boating accident can be among the scarier events you’ll ever experience. Fortunately, boating accident victims are often entitled to compensation for their injuries.

Contact a Seattle boating accident lawyer at Craig Swapp & Associates to get started on your claim for compensation. Give us a call at 1-800-404-9000 or complete the online contact form at the bottom of the page to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.