Pursuing compensation after a boating accident is often complicated. If there is no insurance coverage, you will have limited options. This article will look at what to expect if the at-fault party doesn’t carry boat/jet ski insurance.
Don’t assume you have no case without speaking to a lawyer. Boat/jet ski accidents are not always straightforward. A lawyer can examine your case and look at all the options.
To get a FREE consultation with an experienced lawyer, contact John Foy & Associates. We do not charge a fee unless we win your case. Call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started for FREE.
What Is Boat/Jet Ski Insurance?
Boat insurance protects the boat owner financially after an accident they caused. Boat insurance coverage can include compensation for:
- Property damage
Boat owners can choose to add on additional coverage options, too.
Boat/jet ski insurance works like auto insurance. If the boat owner causes an accident, their insurance company helps cover the damages. As the victim of a boat/jet ski accident, you can file a claim with the boat owner’s insurance claim to cover your costs.
Boat/Jet Ski Insurance Is Not Required
Most states, including Georgia, do not require boat liability insurance. If someone is making payments on their boat, they might have to carry coverage. However, most owners do not have to purchase coverage, which is a problem after an accident.
Some boat owners assume their homeowners’ insurance will cover an accident. But homeowners’ policies typically only cover an accident on home property. The policy might cover some damages, but likely not the majority.
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What Boat/Jet Ski Insurance Covers
Boat/jet ski insurance can cover injuries or damages in an accident. If the boat/jet ski owner caused an accident, their insurance would cover the damages.
A boat insurance policy might also cover:
- Boat damage after an accident, no matter who was at fault
- Boat damage from fire, weather, or theft
- Medical costs for injured passengers
- Injury costs if an uninsured boater caused the accident
Boaters can also purchase additional coverage for replacements, travel expenses if the boat breaks down, etc.
What if the Party Who Caused Your Boat/Jet Ski Accident Has No Insurance?
Boat/jet ski insurance claims are more complicated than other types of claims. Since the boat owner might not have insurance, you could have fewer options.
If the boat owner does not have insurance, you won’t be able to file an insurance claim. You could file a claim through homeowners’ insurance, but compensation is not a guarantee. Homeowners’ insurance policies typically don’t cover this type of accident.
Filing a Lawsuit
If you have severe damages, you might need to sue the boat owner for compensation. What you can recover will depend on the boater’s assets. They cannot pay you with money they don’t have. However, you might have more options than it seems.
It’s best to discuss your options with a boat/jet ski accident lawyer. Your lawyer will know what’s best for your compensation needs.
Your Own Boat Insurance Policy
If you own watercraft and have boat insurance, your insurance might cover damages. Uninsured/underinsured boater (UI/UIB) insurance is excellent coverage for this situation.
What Parties Are Responsible for Boat/Jet Ski Accidents?
If an accident leaves you injured, you’ll need to know who was at fault. The at-fault party is not always apparent after a boat or jet ski accident. The responsible party could be any of the following.
If a boat owner consented to someone else driving their boat, they are responsible (Georgia Code Section 51-1-22). The owner could be partially liable for your damages.
A boat owner is also responsible if they knowingly let an unqualified person drive their boat.
A boat operator has a legal responsibility to passengers and others on the water. They must drive in a way that does not cause harm. If the operator breaches their duty and causes an accident, they are liable.
A boat operator can be negligent by:
- Operating the boat or jet ski recklessly
- Disregarding state boating laws
- Operating the boat while under the influence
- Failing to exercise reasonable care for passengers
An operator could also be at fault if they did not stop a passenger’s reckless behavior that caused the accident.
Sometimes, manufacturing defects can lead to accidents. In that case, the boat’s manufacturing company could be at fault for an accident.
Boat rental companies must keep up with scheduled maintenance. They must also fix any dangerous boat issues. If a rental company fails to do either and it causes an accident, the company could be liable.
Most rental companies will carry liability insurance in case of accidents. If a company was responsible for your accident, you might have more compensation options. Talk to a boat/jet ski accident lawyer about what you can do.
Although it’s rare, boat passengers can sometimes cause accidents. If a passenger is acting recklessly, they could prevent the driver from operating the boat safely. If the recklessness leads to an accident, the passenger could be at fault.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Getting compensation after a boat or jet ski accident isn’t always straightforward. However, talk to a lawyer before assuming your options. They can evaluate your accident and what you can do.
At John Foy & Associates, we have 20-plus years of experience helping injury victims. Our boat/jet ski accident lawyers are not afraid to fight for your rights. Plus, we do not collect a fee unless we win your case.
To get a FREE, no-risk consultation, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.