Boating is an enjoyable activity that can turn into a dangerous one if people are not paying attention. When somebody else’s actions cause a boating accident, they could be held liable for your injuries, and an experienced maritime attorney can help you fight for financial recovery. To increase the likelihood of holding the defendant responsible, contact Elissa Coombs of the Law Office of David E. Gordon, a Southaven boat accident lawyer, for help with proving the defendant responsible for your injuries.

Boating Accidents Caused by Negligence

Similar to car accidents, people must operate the boat in a manner that keeps others safe. A defendant is liable for causing a boating accident arising from the negligent or reckless operation of their boat. In order to establish negligence, a lawyer must prove that there was a duty to others, a breach of the duty, causation to injuries, and damages that resulted from those injuries.

Duty and Breach of the Duty

A boat operator has a legal duty to maneuver the boat in a manner that does not put others at risk for injury, and is considered reasonable, given the circumstances. When the operator unreasonably handles the boat, they have breached their duty, making them liable for any resulting injuries.

Whether the boat was operated reasonably or not requires an analysis of the circumstances surrounding the accident. The determination for whether the operator’s actions were reasonable or unreasonable is based on what an average person would do in similar circumstances.

Causation and Damages

For those injured in a boat accident to recover damages, they must establish that the boat accident was what caused the injuries and not some other traumatic event. To establish causation, they must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty caused their injuries. The defendant is liable for any foreseeable injuries arising from their breach of duty.

To make a financial recovery, the injured parties need to show they suffered damages from their injuries. Damages include the medical bills incurred to treat the injury and the wages they lost out on, as well as the more intangible losses such as pain and suffering, disability, and disfigurement. For help in properly establishing damages, it is wise to work with a local boat accident attorney.

Comparative Negligence in a Boating Accident

An injured person may also be partially at fault for therole they played in the accident. All boaters owe a duty to act in a manner that does not risk injury to others, and that duty applies to anyone operating a boat, even those who are injured. If the injured client breached this duty, they are comparatively negligent.

Under both the general maritime law and Mississippi Code Annotated § 11-7-15, the client’s recovery is reduced equal to the amount of their negligence. If they are deemed 20 percent liable, for example, then their final compensation award will be reduced by 20 percent. Some examples of how an injured party may have contributed to the accident are:

  • Failure to move the boat out of the way
  • Failure to keep a proper lookout for other boats
  • Failure to have proper safety equipment
  • Unreasonable operation of the boat
  • Lack of proper boating licenses

The same reasonable standard used to judge the defendant’s actions applies to the client as well. A Southaven boat collision lawyer could help someone minimize the amount of comparative negligence they hold in order to maximize the compensation awarded.

Talk to a Southaven Boat Accident Attorney About Your Case

A boating accident could end up injuring you in ways that change your lifestyle or your ability to work. As such, you should talk to the Law Office of David E. Gordon about your case. While your lawsuit may seem straightforward, a Southaven boat accident lawyer could help increase your chance of a successful resolution to your case. Do not lose out on financial compensation that you are entitled to.


The Law Offices of David E. Gordon

The Law Offices of David E. Gordon