Boat Accident Attorneys Serving Clients All Over Nevada
If you or someone you love was injured on the water in or around Las Vegas, a boating accident lawyer can help you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses. From Lake Mead to the Colorado River, the Las Vegas area offers multiple opportunities for boating. Unfortunately, negligence can lead to boat accidents with potentially devastating consequences.
Burg Simpson Law Firm is well-versed in Nevada personal injury law. We have the experience and resources to help you make a claim after a boating accident.
For a FREE and confidential case evaluation, call 702-668-2070 today. Whether you were operating the vessel or you were a passenger on the boat, a Las Vegas boating accident lawyer can review your case and determine what legal options you have.
What Is the Most Dangerous State for Boating?
Statistically speaking, Nevada is considered the most dangerous state in the country for boating. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, “Nevada averages nearly 130 boat crashes resulting in death, injury or property damage per 100,000 registered boat owners each year.”
It is important to note that this does not mean Nevada has the most boating accidents nationwide. The U.S. Coast Guard’s 2022 Recreational Boating Statistics report shows that states bordering the ocean have significantly more boat accidents than we do here.
From 2018–2022, the Coast Guard recorded a total of 216 boating accidents and 21 fatalities. This number might seem relatively small, but any preventable loss of life is too much.
What Do I Have to Prove to Win a Boating Accident Case?
In order to recover damages for a boating accident, you need to prove that the negligence of one or more defendants was the cause. The elements of negligence that need to be present for your case to succeed include:
- Duty of care: From boat operators to companies that rent out watercraft, multiple parties may have a duty to take reasonable precautions to avoid harming others.
- Breach of duty: The duty of care may be breached or violated if a defendant fails to exercise the necessary caution. A common example is operating a boat at an unsafe rate of speed.
- Causation of injury: It must be shown that the defendant’s negligence contributed to your injuries (e.g., the fact that the boat operator was speeding caused them to lose control, resulting in the crash).
- Damages: You must present evidence of the damages (i.e., economic and non-economic losses) you have suffered as a result of your injuries.
Proving each of these elements can be challenging. Strong evidence is required, and prompt investigation is needed to identify all of the parties at fault. Furthermore, insurance companies will fight efforts to obtain fair compensation every step of the way.
Our boating accident lawyers know what it takes to win. While you focus on recovering from your injuries, our team will handle all aspects of preparing your case and proving your right to compensation.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Boat Accidents?
Many different factors can lead to boating accidents. The most common causes include:
Boats are powerful machines. Catastrophic injuries and even fatalities may occur if they are operated improperly.
Negligence on the part of a boat’s operator can take a host of different forms. Common examples include:
- Distracted or inattentive operation
- Lack of training
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Going too fast for conditions
- Improper navigation
- Not keeping a proper lookout
- Failure to abide by state boating regulations
These and other errors generally constitute negligence on the part of the operator. Both amateur and professional boat operators may be held accountable for accidents arising from the unsafe operation of watercraft.
Boating Under the Influence
In Nevada, it is illegal to operate a boat “under the influence of intoxicating liquor” or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or higher (see Nevada Revised Statutes 488.410). Broadly, this is known as “boating under the influence.”
Boating under the influence poses many of the same dangers as drunk driving. Intoxication can lead to impaired judgment, decreased coordination, and slower reaction times—all of which increase the risk of boating accidents.
Regular maintenance and inspections are essential to ensure that boats are in good working order. Accidents are more likely to occur if the vessel is not properly maintained or repairs are not made in a timely fashion. Owners who fail to maintain their boats may be held liable for accidents caused by negligent maintenance.
Boats, jet skis, and other vessels must be manufactured in accordance with industry standards and product safety regulations. If a boat or one of its components is defective and an accident occurs, a product liability claim may be brought against the manufacturer.
Hazardous Weather & Water Conditions
Weather conditions can be unpredictable, and even serene bodies of water can become hazardous with little warning. Although these factors might be outside the control of boaters, operators are still responsible for safety. If the boating accident was caused by negligence in the face of adverse weather conditions, the operator may be held liable.
The risk of a vessel sinking or capsizing is greatly increased if the boat is overloaded or the weight is improperly distributed. Passengers are also more likely to fall overboard from an overloaded vessel.
Rocks, logs, and other objects present major risks to boats. A proper lookout is essential for spotting submerged and partially submerged hazards.
What Should I Do After a Boating Accident?
Time is of the essence immediately following a boat accident. By taking these steps, you can ensure everyone’s safety and preserve your right to compensation:
1. Assess the Situation
Prioritize your safety and the safety of others involved in the accident. Move to a safe location, administer first aid if necessary, and call for medical assistance if there are any injuries.
2. Call for Help
Contact the appropriate authorities to report the boating accident. This may include local law enforcement or the U.S. Coast Guard, depending on the jurisdiction and severity of the incident.
3. Seek Medical Attention
You may need to be taken to the emergency room from the scene of the accident or once you reach the shore. If your injuries are not deemed serious, you should still see a doctor as soon as possible for timely and accurate diagnosis.
4. Document the Details
Gather as much information about the accident as possible. This includes taking photographs or videos of the scene, noting the date, time, and location, and collecting the contact information of any witnesses present.
5. Exchange Information
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. This includes:
- The names of the operators and passengers
- Addresses and phone numbers for those involved
- Boat registration numbers for every vessel involved in the accident
- Insurance details
6. Report the Accident
In Nevada, boat operators are required to report an accident to the Nevada Department of Wildlife in the event of the following:
- The death or disappearance of one or more persons
- Injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid
- Loss of consciousness of one or more individuals
- Property damage in excess of $2,000
- One or more of the boats involved qualifies as a total loss
This report must be submitted within 48 hours of the boating accident. A knowledgeable Nevada boat accident attorney can help to ensure the report is filed properly and promptly.
7. Notify Your Insurance Provider
Contact your insurance company to report the accident and initiate the claims process. Provide them with all the relevant information and follow their instructions.
Insurance coverage may vary if you are not the owner of the boat. Review any documents you have in your possession (such as a rental agreement) and speak to a lawyer if you need assistance.
8. Seek Legal Advice
Consult a boating accident lawyer as soon as possible. A knowledgeable attorney can provide guidance on your rights and legal options, especially if there are significant damages, injuries, and/or disputes involved.
9. Preserve Evidence
Keep all documents, photographs, and other evidence related to the accident in a safe place. These may be useful if you need to file a claim, negotiate with insurance companies, and/or pursue legal action.
10. Follow Up on Medical Care
Follow the recommendations of any doctors, physical therapists, and other medical professionals you see for treatment of your injuries. You should also keep records of all medical expenses and reports, as these may be crucial for preparing your case.
What Are the Most Common Injuries in Boating Accidents?
Boating accidents can result in any number of serious injuries. Some of the most common injuries sustained by operators and passengers involved in boating accidents include:
- Brain damage, pneumonia, and other complications from drowning or near-drowning
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Broken bones, including fractures of the arms, legs, ribs, and collarbones
- Neck, back, and spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations
- Hypothermia—may occur if a victim has been in the water for a prolonged period of time
- Amputation injuries and loss of limbs
- Burn injuries
Tragically, it is not uncommon for boating accidents to result in fatalities. Death may occur as a result of drowning, traumatic injuries sustained in a collision, and more.
What Compensation Can I Get for a Boating Accident?
At Burg Simpson, our lawyers are committed to obtaining the maximum compensation you are entitled to for your injuries and losses. We recognize the serious impact boating accidents have on victims and their families. Our 65+ attorneys have the experience and history of success to fight for the outcome you deserve.
Ultimately, the compensation that may be obtained for a boating accident depends on the specifics of your case. At a FREE and confidential case evaluation, our lawyers will carefully review the details to calculate the damages you may be due. You may have a claim for:
- All current and future medical expenses
- Lost wages to-date
- Property damage
- Loss of earning capacity, if you are no longer able to work
- The cost of assistive devices, home and vehicle modifications, and home-based medical care
- Reimbursement of medical-related travel
- Household services expenses
- Mental and emotional anguish
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent disability
- Wrongful death, if someone you love died in the boating accident
Most boat accident claims settle without the need to file a lawsuit or go to trial. If the case is disputed by the defendant or the insurance company refuses to compensate you fairly, however, further legal action may be necessary.
Burg Simpson has a decades-long history of taking cases to trial—and winning. We regularly represent our clients in the courtroom, going up against major insurance companies and other large and powerful defendants. Our firm has unparalleled litigation skills, resources, and access to expert witnesses.
How Long Do I Have to Make a Boat Accident Claim?
You have a limited time to take legal action if you were injured or someone you love was killed in a boating accident. The statute of limitations for these claims in Nevada is 2 years.
Victims of boating accidents may encounter a number of challenges. You may be seriously hurt and facing significant financial losses. Legal authorities and insurance companies require timely reporting of the accident, creating additional pressure.
Initiating legal action might seem like just another task on a difficult and growing to-do list; however, the opportunity to pursue fair compensation should never be overlooked. Our boating accident lawyers can handle the legal matter while you focus on recovery, preparing a strong case on your behalf.
Contact a Las Vegas Boating Accident Lawyer Today
Founded in 1976, Burg Simpson has decades of experience serving those who have been seriously injured through no fault of their own. No matter the circumstances, our personal injury lawyers are committed to providing reliable legal representation and compassionate support to victims in their time of need.
With multiple offices throughout the country, we have built up significant clout in a number of communities. This local presence is amplified by our national strength, exemplified by the awards and accolades we have received from elite legal organizations.
If you have been injured or a loved one died as a result of a boating accident in and around Las Vegas, another area of Nevada, or elsewhere in the United States, Burg Simpson is here to help. Our team has the experience, resources, and knowledge to advocate for a fair settlement or trial award.
Call at 702-668-2070 today for a FREE and confidential case evaluation with a boating accident lawyer. You pay nothing until we achieve a positive result in your case.