Colonial Heights Boat Accident Attorney

Boat Accident Attorney in Colonial Heights

Colonial Heights (and the greater Richmond area) is a great place for boating enthusiasts to live. With its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay and location along the James River, Colonial Heights boasts plenty of beautiful places to fish, water ski, or just cruise along the water with friends. 

However, there are also plenty of sites for boating accidents between the Bay, the river, and the many lakes in the Colonial Heights area.

Preventing boating accidents is similar to preventing car accidents. Learn the rules of the waterways in Virginia and ensure that only people who know how to drive the boat are in charge of steering it along the water. 

Finally, ensure that no one operates the boat or other water toys, like jet skis, while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When boaters fail to follow these safety tips, their chances of getting into a boat accident rise significantly. 

If you or a loved one were injured in a water accident, then you may be able to seek damages against the party that caused the accident. Contact a Colonial Heights boat accident law firm, Commonwealth Law Group, at (804) 999-9999, to discuss your case.

Common Causes and Injuries in Colonial Heights Boat Accidents

Knowing how boat accidents happen can help you take measures to operate your boat defensively and be more careful in high-risk situations. All boat operators are legally required to follow the state rules and regulations for the water

When two boats approach each other, there are rules that govern the right-of-way, just as when two cars approach each other on the road. However, the specific rules vary depending on:

  • The type of watercraft involved
  • The wind patterns at the time of intersection
  • The speed of each boat

A local boat accident lawyer in Colonial Heights may be able to help a boating accident victim by analyzing the evidence to prove a personal injury claim. The operator of any watercraft — including sailboats, motorboats, kayaks, canoes, or jet skis — may be responsible for an accident and therefore liable for damages suffered by the victim.

Did you know that the U.S. Coast Guard responds to over 700 boating accident fatalities each year? Drinking while boating and speeding are the chief causes of boat accident fatalities. Boat operators driving the boat irresponsibly or under the influence are often held responsible for the damages suffered by the victims.

After a boating accident, the vessel’s operator must follow certain legal steps, including moving the boat and passengers out of harm’s way and contacting the legal authorities. If someone is injured, they should also call for emergency medical assistance, usually from the Coast Guard. 

If the boating captain follows the right legal procedures as best they can, then they may not be responsible for additional damages that occur after the initial incident, as per Virginia Code § 29.1-739, which can protect boat operators who act in good faith to prevent further injuries or property damages.

However, after a boating accident, determining who is responsible for damages and injuries can be complicated, which is why it’s always best to hire a boating accident attorney to protect your interests.

Common injuries after a boat accident can include:

  • Brain injuries from oxygen deprivation
  • Lacerations and deep cuts
  • Spinal cord injuries from impact with another boat or the water
  • Electrocution from faulty electrical systems on the boat
  • Drowning

The party that caused the accident would be responsible for the medical care and treatment of the victims, compensation for any property damage (like repairing or replacing their boat), and in the case of drowning, compensation to the family after the death of their loved one in a wrongful death claim

A boat injury lawyer can help you understand what damages you’re entitled to.

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How Are Boating Accidents Reported in Virginia?

Boat accidents can occur in remote areas, far away from local law enforcement or Coast Guard stations or patrols. Unlike car accidents, the emergency response isn’t immediate; therefore, boaters are expected to report accidents as soon as possible.

Virginia law requires all boaters or watercraft operators to report their name, address, and details about their watercraft for a police investigation. All boaters involved in the accident must exchange this same contact information, including insurance info, with the other parties. 

The law also permits accident investigators to conduct in-depth investigations into the cause of the accident and to subpoena all involved parties to court for testimony. The police report of the investigation is a vital piece of the case that your boating accident lawyer will use to prove your case for damages.

How Can a Boat Accident Attorney Help Me?

A boat accident lawyer builds a case for damages on your behalf. If you’ve been hurt in a boating accident, you likely have high medical bills, and you may even be unable to work, either short-term or permanently. If your watercraft was damaged in an accident, you’ll be able to seek compensation for fixing or replacing it.

The other party’s insurance company may approach you with a settlement, but it will likely be as low as they can get away with. Your boating accident attorney can negotiate on your behalf with the insurance company so you don’t have to. They may be able to get you a higher settlement than you’d get on your own.

Sometimes, the other party’s insurance company may even deny your claim. If this happens, hiring a boat injury lawyer can give you a better chance of winning your claim in mediation or a court of law.

How Much Is My Colonial Heights Boat Accident Claim Worth?

Each boating accident’s circumstances are different, and the extent of the injuries or damages suffered by the victims varies. The value of your case (economic damages) is determined by the extent of the injuries you suffered. 

The worse your injuries, the higher your compensation will be. If you’ve been hurt badly enough to affect your quality of life, ability to earn a living, or even mobility or capability to care for yourself, then you may have damages that include compensation for loss of earning power or modifications to your home to accommodate your injury.

It’s not uncommon for boating accident victims to experience mental anguish, emotional trauma, PTSD, and other pain and suffering. Your claim for damages will also include compensation for pain and suffering (non-economic damages). 

There is no way to put a dollar amount on the emotional trauma accident victims suffer, although the settlement may help ease some of the financial strain for you and your family as you work through the trauma. Your boating accident lawyer will seek the highest amount possible on your behalf.

How Much Does a Boat Accident Attorney Cost?

Boat accident lawyers, like many personal injury law firms, typically work on a contingency basis. This means they don’t get paid unless they win your case. At Commonwealth Law Group, our legal fees come out of the settlement we negotiate for you. If we lose your case, you don’t pay a cent.

Colonial Heights Boat Accident Law Firm

If you’ve been involved in a boat accident in Colonial Heights or the greater Richmond area, the legal team at Commonwealth Law Group can help. 

We are experienced personal injury and boating accident attorneys who work with victims and surviving family members of drowning victims. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case. 

“Great law group. Everyone was kind and down to earth. Made me feel like I was their only client. Very attentive to me and my case.”

Karen Jacobs

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at (804) 999-9999 or or use the form below to connect with our legal team. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.