A beautiful day on the water can take a grim turn in mere seconds, resulting in passenger injuries and watercraft damage. Washington features more boats per capita than any other state in the union, a fact that heightens the chances of accidents due to crowded waterways. Boating accidents can result in accidental drownings if passengers are thrown from the vessels or otherwise fall in.

If you or a loved one were injured in an accident on the water, contact a Tacoma boat accident lawyer. By working with a legal representative at The Ye Law Firm, you may be able to get the compensation you need for all of your damages.

Common Boat Crash Causes

Watercraft operators who drive recklessly or carelessly endanger themselves, their passengers, and other boaters, whether they speed through no-wake zones or violate other navigational rules. Inexperienced operators can also get in accidents, as can those who go on the water despite poor weather conditions. Distraction can cause accidents as well, such as operators who talk to their passengers and subsequently take upcoming turns too sharply.

Another main cause of boating accidents is alcohol. Libations slow reaction times and affect judgement, with alcohol use the main factor in many Washington-based watercraft incidents. The state penalizes operators under the influence, as it is considered a gross misdemeanor that can include up to $5,000 in fines and one year in jail. Operators who drink subsequently face punishments by the state in addition to legal claims filed by injured parties and their attorneys.

Neglecting whale warning flags often results in boat accidents from collisions with killer whales. Boaters on Washington waters must stay at least 400 yards in front or behind orcas, and at least 300 yards from “southern resident” whales.

Watercraft accidents can also occur because the boat is overloaded with passengers, which again makes the operator liable because they should have known what their vessel could handle. Equipment malfunctions also account for boating accidents and might result in operator liability. If the attorney can prove that that operator knew there was a problem but went on the water anyway, the individual faces legal charges.

Damages in Watercraft Collision Cases

Those injured in boating collisions may be eligible to recover compensation for a variety of damages. These can include:

  • Emergency medical care
  • Ongoing medical care
  • Physical therapy
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional trauma
  • Mental anguish

Washington does not cap damages, unlike some states that limit non-economic compensation regarding emotional and mental trauma. Damage caps remain a controversial topic, and Washington courts have labeled such caps unconstitutional. Plaintiffs filing boating accidents cases can subsequently request damages as they see fit.

Statute of Limitations

The state gives plaintiffs three years starting from the date of their accidents to file legal claims. Those who file after the deadline has passed lose their right to damages. Working with an attorney shortly after vessel accidents ensures timely filings that prevent case dismissals.

Schedule an Appointment With a Tacoma Boat Accident Attorney

Take charge after your watercraft incident by speaking with a Tacoma boat accident lawyer. Discuss case specifics, what you are looking for in terms of compensation, and anything else you wish to talk about. Let us help you seek the compensation you need. Call The Ye Law Firm today.