Boat & Boating Accidents
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West Virginia Boating Accidents
A boating accident can happen to anyone. Even if you follow the safety rules, someone else might not. If you have had an accident on one of West Virginia's wonderful waterways, you need to know what to do next.
What Should You Do After a Boat Accident?
Every operator's first responsibility after an accident is to help anyone who is hurt. It does not matter who was at fault. You also need to give your contact and boat information to anyone who was injured or had property damaged. Every operator must also file a written report with the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources. File this report within 48 hours if someone died within 24 hours of the accident. The Division will give you a form to fill out with all the required information.
File it within five days when:
- Someone was badly injured and needed medical treatment.
- Total damage to property was more than $500.
If you were injured in the accident, make sure you get proper medical attention. The seriousness of an injury is not always obvious right away. Medical records will help if you decide to sue.
Do You Have an Injury Case?
If someone else was to blame for the accident, you can sue for compensation for losses such as medical bills and wages. You will need to show that someone was guilty of negligence, recklessness, or some other inappropriate behavior. A lawyer can help you investigate and uncover facts to support your case, such as:
- There was no lookout.
- The driver was drinking.
- The other boat created a hazardous wake.
- Both drivers were racing.
- The driver was not paying attention.
Placing blame can get complicated, because more than one factor could have contributed to the accident and more than one driver could be at fault. Another possibility is that neither operator did anything wrong. The problem could have been a defective engine or other faulty equipment. In that case, the manufacturer of the defective part could be liable.
Locate a Local West Virginia Boating Accident Lawyer Today
An accident is scary and confusing enough without trying to understand boating laws, too. You need clear advice about your legal options. Call now to speak with a boat accident attorney in West Virginia at 877-913-7222.