Many Dayton residents enjoy paddling canoes on the Ohio River, venturing north to Lake Erie for some water skiing, or boating out on one of the many small lakes in the area. Relaxing on the water is a popular weekend pastime, especially in the warmer months.
Unfortunately, irresponsible boaters can ruin a pleasant day by causing dangerous collisions. If you sustained injuries while on the water, speak with an experienced attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy as soon as possible. A Dayton boat accident lawyer could help you pursue compensation from any negligent parties and advocate for your best interests.
Causes of Watercraft Mishaps in Dayton
Sadly, some recreational boaters might not have much experience handling their watercraft in challenging conditions. Additionally, operators who use their boats for leisure activities might consume alcohol or other substances while sailing their vessels.
These factors could lead to reckless behavior like speeding, ignoring navigation rules, approaching other vehicles too closely, generating too large a wake, or missing navigation markers. In turn, this could cause collisions, swamping, and passengers falling overboard.
Besides negligent boaters, a watercraft accident could also be caused by poor vessel maintenance, loose equipment, or defective boat parts. A seasoned attorney at our local firm could investigate the circumstances of a boating accident to determine how and why it occurred.
Injuries Sustained on the Water Could Be Severe
Boating accidents often lead to severe and sometimes fatal injuries. Medical help is not always readily available on the water, increasing the danger and the likelihood of complications.
People in boating accidents might experience the following types of injuries:
- Brain damage due to near-drowning
- Traumatic head injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Soft tissue damage
- Crushing injuries
- Fractures and amputations
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Exposure to toxins
Any of these injuries might require extensive medical care. Some might leave a person permanently disabled. A dedicated attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy could assure that the negligent boater pays adequate damages to compensate an injured person for all their losses.
Who Is Liable for a Boat Accident?
Any negligent party could be liable for a watercraft accident. Negligence is when someone does not exercise reasonable caution to protect others from predictable dangers. Failure to abide by safety rules and boat laws are evidence of negligence, but any careless behavior that results in injury could also lead to liability for an ensuing collision.
There are multiple parties that could be found negligent. For one, boat operators could be liable if they handled their watercraft in an unsafe manner. If shoddy maintenance contributed to the incident, the boat’s owner could be at fault. A manufacturer could be responsible if a defective part contributed to the accident. A diligent Dayton lawyer could identify all incidents of negligence that led to the accident and work to hold all the responsible parties accountable.
Partial Negligence in Boating Crashes
Sometimes, an injured person’s behavior also played a role in the accident or severity of the injuries they suffered. Ohio Revised Code §2315.33 allows a negligent plaintiff to collect damages, but only when they are less than 50 percent responsible for their injuries. If they are less than 50 percent responsible, the plaintiff’s damages will be reduced by an amount that reflects their degree of blame.
Call a Dayton Boat Accident Attorney for Legal Guidance
Boat accident cases can be complicated, and successfully claiming damages from a negligent party requires legal knowledge and persistence. It is not something an injured person should try to handle on their own.
At O’Connor, Acciani & Levy, our Dayton boat accident attorneys have the skills to negotiate a favorable settlement for you or take the case to court if necessary. To preserve all of your rights and pursue the compensation you deserve, call and schedule a case review today.