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Las Vegas Boating Accident Lawyer

A boating adventure makes a vacation more enjoyable – until the moment when things go terribly wrong. The term “boating accidents” refers to a variety of incidents that may occur on the water and include vessels that are motorized or nonmotorized as well as a range in size of watercraft. Many boat operators lack the experience to safely operate the watercraft. The lack of experience leads to negligent or reckless acts that can result in injuries or death. A Las Vegas injury attorney from J. Cogburn Law will help to gather clear evidence of negligent behavior on part of the boat operator that is necessary to take legal action and gain fair compensation.

Nevada Boating Accident Resources:

What to do After a Boating Accident in Nevada

A lively day at the lake can change in the blink of an eye. And the steps you take immediately following a boating accident could save lives. Follow these 6 steps to ensure your friends and family all make it back to the shore safely.

  1. Call for Help. Don’t let the panic overshadow your need for professional help. Radio to the authorities or send up a flare of distress as soon as possible.
  2. Find Your Lifejackets. It’s very common for passengers on a boat to forgo their lifejackets, but it’s always important to have them around. If your friends and family aren’t wearing their lifejackets, put them on. Especially for children and those who cannot swim.
  3. Assess Your Surroundings. Check for potential danger around your vessels like leasing fuel, smoke, or fire. Being on the water makes getting away from a dangerous vehicle more difficult. Always have another flotation device ready in case of an emergency.
  4. Get Immediate Medical Attention. As soon as you are rescued, it’s important for your entire group to seek medical care for any injuries that may have been caused during the accident.
  5. Report the Accident. Once you are safely back on solid ground, it’s important to report the accident to the authorities and detail the events of the day. This will help your boating accident attorney build your case after the accident.
  6.  Seek Legal Representation. Before speaking with your insurance company, seek out legal help from an experienced boating accident attorney. They will be able to help you get the legal advice and potential compensation you deserve.

Nevada Boating Regulations

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (DOW) is responsible for enforcing boating regulations on open water. They are also in charge of educating boaters on the safe operations of their watercraft. Nevada Statutes Chapter 488 describes the following regulations that all drivers and boat passengers must comply with during an outing on the lake.

  • Children under the age of 13 must wear a lifejacket at all times
  • Anyone 35 years of age or younger must complete a boating education course to be permitted to operate a boat with more than 15 horsepower
  • It is illegal to operate a boating vessel while under the influence
  • An orange flag must be used to indicate a person is down in the water and operation of a boat within 100 feet of a flag is prohibited

Popular Boating Areas in Nevada

Thousands of tourists come to the Las Vegas area to enjoy the casinos, restaurants, shows, and opportunities for recreation, including boating adventures. With many nearby locations that are perfect for outings on the water, boating is a popular pastime in the area. Some of the most visited lakes in the area include:

  • Lake Mohave
  • Lake Mead
  • Lake Havasu
  • Black Canyon
  • Lake Las Vegas
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Lake Topaz
  • Colorado River

Leading Causes of Boat Accidents

Most boating accidents are preventable accidents and occur in safe waters, during daylight hours, and in calm conditions. Nevada has regulations and rules in place to promote safety for everyone on its waters, but often these rules are neglected and accidents occur. Some of the contributing factors to boat accidents include:

  • Defective Products and Boating Equipment. When boat parts or equipment, such as motors or steering, are defective, it can lead to unpreventable accidents and injuries. In this case, the manufacturer could be held liable for the defects, which makes it imperative that you reach out to a boat accident lawyer as soon as possible.
  • Boating Under the Influence (BUI). As with driving any vehicle, under Nevada state law NRS 488.400, boat operators are prohibited from being under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Besides facing criminal penalties, including fines and jail time, boat operators convicted of boating under the influence can also be held responsible for the boating accidents and injuries they cause.
  • Careless, Reckless or Negligent Boat Operation. The most common boat accident comes at the negligence of the boat operator. In 2016 alone, 77% of deaths occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. The most common examples of negligence seen when boating is speeding, operating a boat in unauthorized areas, and operating a boat without the proper experience or training.

Boating Accident Statistics

In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard counted 4,463 accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries, and approximately $49 million dollars of damage to property as a result of recreational boating accidents. Statistics reported by the American Boating Association reveal the following national trends in boat accidents from 2015 to 2016:

  • The number of boating accidents increased by 7.3%
  • The number of deaths increased by 12%
  • The number of injuries increased by 11. 1%
  • In cases of fatality, 80% of the victims died by drowning
  • Alcohol consumption was the cause of 15% of fatal boat accidents

Common Types of Injuries in Nevada Boating Accidents

Whether you are out on the water in a motorboat, kayak, canoe, or paddleboat, accidents can easily happen. The injuries sustained in a boating accident are often life-threatening or fatal and recuperation from a boating accident injury is slow and painful. At J. Cogburn Law, our Las Vegas boat accident attorneys are dedicated to helping boat accident victims recover the compensation they deserve. The most common types of boat accident injuries include:

Who Is Liable For My Boat Accident Injuries?

Anyone who was remotely involved in causing your boat accident can be liable for any resulting injuries and damages. If anybody was careless or negligent, and their behavior caused your injuries, they may be held liable. This can include:

  • Operators of boats, canoes, jet skis, kayaks, etc.
  • Vessels for hire
  • Disruptive passengers
  • Boat rental companies
  • Employers
  • Companies that manufactured defective equipment

You deserve to know who caused your accident to make sure you’re demanding compensation from everyone responsible for putting you in this position.

What Types Of Damages Can I Recover In A Boating Accident?

In a boating accident, you will be able to recover all of the compensatory damages you would get in a personal injury case. These may include pain and suffering, property damage, medical expenses, lost wages, and lost earning capacity. You should consult with an experienced attorney as soon as you can to protect your rights.

How Can a Boating Accident Attorney Help With Your Case?

In a boating accident, it is necessary to have an initial investigation to preserve your rights and the legal options available to you. Usually, the Nevada Department of Wildlife investigates serious injuries and both crashes involving wrongful deaths, but your lawyer will need to evaluate the cause of the crash to figure out what the strategy will be. 

The boat operator is responsible after an accident to provide help to the people on board as needed and to provide information about the boat to any owner with damaged property or person injured. It is necessary to have someone on the scene to investigate the causes of the crash and collect critical evidence such as videos, photos, and statements from witnesses.

Why Hire Our Las Vegas Boating Accident Attorney?

Our Las Vegas personal injury attorneys at J. Cogburn Law have a reputation for excellence at trial and in negotiating fair settlements in a range of personal injury cases, including boating accidents. We are committed to pursuing full compensation for the injured or for families who have suffered the tragic loss of a loved one in a boating accident in which another party was negligent in the boat operation.

While an injured person may never again experience the quality of life he or she had prior to the accident, the compensation recovered can assist in ensuring they have the best medical care and quality of life possible, under very difficult circumstances. If a loved one was injured or died due to injuries sustained in a boating accident, contact a Las Vegas boating accident attorney at J. Cogburn Law for a free case consultation.

Attorney Jamie Cogburn was great to work with. He worked so hard to get the best possible outcome in my son’s case. This was my first experience working with a boating accident attorney, I never thought I would have to. My son’s injuries were severe and working with Jamie was a breeze after worrying for my son for so long. I would highly recommend J. Cogburn Law to anyone seeking legal representation.

Mike R.