Even though many people do it, drinking while operating a boat is not allowed. Passengers are free to drink while riding in a boat but must be sober before taking the helm.
One special aspect of boating is that all boaters have an obligation to avoid collisions. While it’s theoretically possible for a drunk car driver to be hit and have no fault in an accident, this may not be the case on the water, because an impaired operator has reduced their ability to avoid an accident.
Who Pays In A Boating Accident?
The first step is establishing who was at fault. This can be done by proving that the boater was operating unsafely such as by speeding or failing to yield when required to. Even though both boats involved usually share part of the blame, Idaho is a comparative negligence state. If the other boater had the majority of the fault for the accident, you can still recover damages from that boater.
The next step is figuring out where the compensation will come from. If the at-fault boater is uninsured, you may be able to sue them for their personal assets. Judgments and wage garnishments can help if they don’t have enough liquid assets to pay for your damages.
How Do You Bring A Boat Accident Claim?
You can consider yourself lucky if law enforcement was able to quickly respond, make a report, and collect insurance information as happens after an auto accident. The isolation of the water and often generally remote location of lakes and rivers means that you will likely have to either be rescued by civilians or simply idle into shore.
It is critical that you document the damages to both vessels, because this can help prove how the accident happened. Be sure to get contact information for any potential witnesses. You should also get the registration number of the other boat.
Our firm can help you gather the information you need and identify who the responsible party is. This includes identifying if there is insurance coverage and making the appropriate claims. Our skilled trial attorneys also have experience piecing together what happened in an accident with little evidence to help you prove your version of events. Instead of trying to figure things out on your own, give us a call now to schedule a free consultation.