Do you need a Philadelphia boating accident lawyer?
Nestled between the Delaware and Schuylkill rivers, Philadelphia is a great place to be if you like boating. Of course, going out on the water involves a certain level of risk, and boating accidents are unfortunately relatively common in the city.
If you’ve suffered injuries or property damage due to someone else’s negligent conduct on a boat, our Philadelphia boat accident lawyers can help you make things right.
Why Choose a Philadelphia Boating Accident Lawyer From The Cochran Firm?
Boating accidents are a highly specific area of personal injury law. If you’re looking for lawyer to help you with a dispute in this area, you need a practitioner with ample experience in these types of claims. At The Cochran Firm in Philadelphia, we’ve worked on accident cases involving all kinds of boats, including:
- Personal watercraft (like jet skis)
- Fishing boats, both commercial and recreational
- Cabin cruisers
- Pontoon boats
- Kayaks and canoes
- Tour/charter boats
How Our Boat Accident Lawyer Can Help You
If you’ve suffered a physical injury, emotional trauma, property damage, or another type of loss because of a boating accident that was someone else’s fault, you should be entitled to compensation. In the majority of cases, though, you’re going to need a focused boating accident lawyer to help you pursue it.
When you come to us for a free initial consultation, we’ll be able to tell you right away whether you have a worthwhile case to pursue. If you do, we’ll get to work immediately. This process begins with a thorough investigation of the accident’s circumstances, including witness interviews and other forms of evidence gathering.
We’ll manage all communication with insurance companies on your behalf, ensuring your rights are protected. We work with these billion-dollar organizations every day, and we know all the strategies they use to attempt to unfairly minimize and deny claims.
In cases where we can’t reach a settlement with the at-fault party or their insurance company via negotiations, we won’t hesitate to go to court.
Common Boating Accidents
When you’re driving a boat along the open water, with nothing but clear skies and smooth sailing ahead, it can be difficult to imagine that you’re at risk of having an accident. However, the truth is that there are many ways things can go wrong when you’re out on the water, even when you’re not expecting it.
Collisions With Other Vessels
Collisions involving two or more vessels are among the most common types of accidents we see. Crashes can occur due to operator inattention, excessive speed, failure to observe right-of-way rules, or poor visibility.
Capsizing (a boat overturning in the water) can happen due to unfavorable weather conditions, overloading, or sudden maneuvers. This is particularly dangerous if it’s not possible for passengers to get out of the water following the accident, as there is a risk of hypothermia and drowning.
Grounding incidents occur when a boat strikes the seabed, often due to operator inexperience, inattention, or inaccurate navigation. Grounding can cause significant damage to the vessel and result in passenger injuries.
We also deal with clients who have had incidents related to waterskiing, tubing, or similar activities. Common causes include operator inattention, the skier’s lack of experience, or failure to use appropriate safety equipment.
Common Boating-Related Injuries
It’s no secret that the open water can be dangerous. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reportedly found that, on average, 332 people drowned each year between 2005-2014 in boating accidents in the United States. However, drowning is just one among many risks that you face when you go boating.
Head injuries, including concussions and other traumatic brain injuries, commonly affect boating accident victims. You might suffer one after colliding with another vessel or an obstacle or falling within your own boat.
The impact from a collision or grounding can easily lead to broken bones. These can require extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation.
Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations commonly result from boating accidents as there tends to be broken glass and damaged equipment on boats following crashes. Propeller accidents can also cause these injuries. Cuts can cause severe damage, particularly if you lose a lot of blood.
Hypothermia is a major risk where individuals are left in water for an extended period following an accident, particularly if the water is cold. Hypothermia can lead to a range of health complications, from confusion and fatigue to heart and respiratory failure.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can occur from high-speed impacts or falls within boats. In severe cases, they can cause permanent paralysis and other long-term disabilities.
Burns are common in cases involving fires or explosions on board vessels. Burns range from first degree to third degree, third degree being the most serious.
Wrongful Death Claims Arising From Philadelphia Boating Accidents
If you’ve lost a loved one in a Philadelphia boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may have the grounds for a wrongful death claim. These lawsuits provide compensation for the losses related to an accident victim’s untimely death, including:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Lost wages
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional distress.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long do I have to file a lawsuit after a boating accident in Pennsylvania?
In Pennsylvania, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases, including those related to boating accidents, is generally two years from the date of the accident. If you don’t file a lawsuit within this period, you may forfeit your right to seek compensation.
Will my boating accident case go to trial?
The majority of the boating accident claims we deal with are resolved through settlements, rather than in front of a judge and jury. Pre-trial outcomes are generally preferable for everyone, as they cost less money, take less time, and involve less stress. That said, though, we can and will go to court to secure the compensation you need if that becomes necessary. We’re committed to getting the best possible result for every client, and we’re never afraid to go to court in pursuit of it.
Do DUI laws apply to boat operators?
Yes, DUI laws do apply to boat operators. In Pennsylvania, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a serious offense. An impaired boat operator is much more likely to be held liable for any accidents that occur while they’re in control of the vessel.
Can I file a boating accident claim even if I wasn’t wearing a lifejacket?
Yes, you can. It’s not mandatory to wear a lifejacket on the water in Pennsylvania (though it is a legal requirement to have at least as many lifejackets as passengers on board a vessel at all times). You should note that the failure to wear a lifejacket may reduce your compensation entitlements in line with Pennsylvania’s comparative negligence laws.
Contact Our Philadelphia Boat Accident Lawyers Today
At The Cochran Firm, our Philadelphia boat accident attorneys will be by your side throughout your claim. Our attorneys are well-versed in Pennsylvania’s maritime and personal injury laws, and they’re prepared to do whatever they can to secure the largest possible settlement for you.
Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation. You can reach our Philadelphia boat accident lawyers via the contact form on our website or over the phone at 800-969-4400.