Boating and jet ski accidents are often costly and dangerous. According to the US Coast Guard, there were 4,168 recreational boating accidents in 2019. There were 2,559 injuries, 613 deaths, and about $55 million in property damage. The cost of a boat/jet ski accident might make a victim wonder how the average settlement looks.
It’s impossible to give a set number as an average settlement. Boating accidents can vary so much, depending on the details. It’s best to look at individual damages and circumstances.
If a boat or jet ski accident injured you, you might not know where to start. John Foy & Associates can point you in the right direction. To get a FREE consultation with a trusted lawyer, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.
Who Is at Fault for Boat/Jet Ski Accident Damages?
Depending on where you live, maritime or state laws could cover boating accidents. If injuries happen during a boating accident, the local courts handle personal injury cases. If someone owns or operates a boat, they’re responsible for the well-being of passengers.
If a boat or jet ski operator is careless, their actions can lead to injuries. The legal term for this is negligence. When someone is negligent in an accident, they are at fault for the damages.
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What Damages Does a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Settlement Involve?
After a boating accident, your potential settlement depends on your damages. If you did not cause the accident, you can seek compensation for your injury costs (Georgia Code Section 51-12-4).
Typical personal injury losses include:
- Doctor bills
- Hospital bills
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
- Property damage
- Pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
You’ll need to know the full extent of your damages. If you have severe injuries, it’s best to wait until you’ve received all the necessary treatment. Otherwise, you could end up paying for injury costs that you didn’t cause.
A boat/jet ski accident lawyer can help add up your damages. They’ll also know how to calculate pain and suffering, which is not straightforward. A lawyer can ensure you know what your settlement is worth.
What Insurance Covers Boating Accidents?
Many responsible boat owners carry boat liability insurance. Georgia’s state boating laws do not require boating insurance. However, it’s hazardous for someone to carry passengers without it.
Some homeowners’ insurance policies might cover boat-related injuries. However, this often only applies if the boat is on a property that the homeowners’ insurance policy covers.
After a boat or jet ski accident, ask the owner or operator about insurance. They should provide the name and policy number for any insurance. You’ll need this information to pursue a personal injury claim settlement.
How Can You Prove Fault in a Boat/Jet Ski Accident?
Before you can seek a settlement, you must prove the owner’s or operator’s fault. That includes showing that:
- The owner or operator owed you a duty of care.
- The owner or operator failed in their duty of care.
- The owner or operator’s negligence caused your accident.
- The accident injured you and caused damages.
Partial Fault in an Accident
If you were partially at fault for the accident, it can affect your settlement. In Georgia, you can still seek compensation if you were less than 50% at fault. The courts would reduce your settlement based on your responsibility.
Some states have different laws on partial fault. Talk to a lawyer about your situation if you think you contributed to an accident.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
How Can You Get the Highest Settlement From a Boat Accident Claim?
To get a fair settlement, you’ll need a strong case. A solid case involves gathering evidence to prove your claim. You can strengthen your boat/jet ski accident case through the following actions:
- Report the accident. Call the police, and tell officers about the crash. If the injuries are severe, the Coast Guard will send an officer to take a report. Ask how you can get a copy of that report.
- Take pictures of the accident scene, your injuries, and property damage. Snap photos of anything else that helps show what happened.
- Talk to witnesses. If you were on a boat with other passengers, talk to them. Ask if you can take down their names and contact information. Your lawyer will reach out to them for statements later.
- Make notes about the accident. Write down whatever you can remember about the incident. If the driver said anything about their own fault, write down the statement. You can go over these details with your attorney.
- Save records of your damages. Keep a folder with your medical bills, receipts, and other evidence of your losses. You will need to provide proof of your injuries when you file your claim.
- See a doctor. Do not delay getting medical treatment, even if you feel okay. See a doctor as soon as possible. If you wait too long, it will hurt your settlement options.
Also, speak with a boat/jet ski accident lawyer as soon as you can. Boating laws can be complicated, and you might need to sue if there is no insurance coverage. An experienced lawyer can discuss your options and what’s best for you.
Talk to a Boat/Jet Ski Accident Lawyer for Free Today
You don’t have to handle your case alone after a boat or jet ski accident. At John Foy & Associates, we bring 20-plus years of experience to the table. We’ll help you build a strong personal injury case for the settlement you deserve.
Contact us today for a FREE, no-risk consultation. There is no fee unless we win you a settlement. To get started for FREE, call (404) 400-4000, or contact us online.