Las Vegas Boating Accident Attorneys
Boating accidents can happen any time people gather together at a body of water for recreation. If you’ve been hurt in a boating accident, the law gives you special rights to make sure you are financially protected. It’s vitally important that you speak with a boat accident attorney in Las Vegas today.
Here’s everything you need to know about boating accidents:
Nevada’s Natural Treasures
Living in a region with a hospitable climate can be a blessing for those who enjoy an active, outdoor lifestyle. In spite of the arid, desert climate, water resources are abundant enough to support a thriving number of aquatic recreation enthusiasts.
The region is ideal for boating, fishing, diving, tubing, water-skiing, parasailing, and jet-skiing, but there is hefty, and often fatal, cost associated with these carefree, leisure activities.
With so many months of accommodating boating weather, a significant number of boating accidents can be expected. These accidents are not only limited to boating, but to any type of water recreation that makes use of floating devices and/or vehicles, and it is important to recognize that these water-based recreational activities are regulated by government agencies, just as the roadways are.
In Nevada, the state’s public water bodies and recreation areas fall under the jurisdiction of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, and it’s own law enforcement agency.
The Nevada Department of Wildlife’s Division of Law Enforcement is tasked with upholding the preservation of the state’s wildlife resources, and ensuring the safety of the boating public. Education and safety are NDOW’s goals, but when a boating accident, the best resource for victims is the counsel of an attorney who specializes in boating accidents.
The 3 most common injuries, accidents and fatalities to occur on the water are:
- • Boating Accidents
- • DWI/DUI
- • Drowning
The phrase ‘Boating Accidents’ is used as a catch-all for classifying any number of accidents that take place on the water. Varying types of floating vessels and watercraft, be they motorized, or not, can fall under this umbrella term.
- • Fatalities – 610
- • Injuries – 2678
- • Accidents – 4064
Boating Accidents occur most frequently in the following vessels:
- • Open Motorboats
- • Personal Watercrafts
- • Cabin Motorboats
- • Canoes or Kayaks
- • Pontoon Boats
It should come as no surprise that motorized boats without a cabin or roof account for the majority of aquatic collisions, injuries and fatalities.
Another popular vehicle involved in high number of aquatic accidents is the Personal Watercraft.
Personal Watercraft Accidents
The U.S. Coast Guard designates a personal watercraft as “a Class A inboard vessel, under 13 feet in length, powered by an inboard motor and a jet pump, that is designed to be operated by a person or persons standing, sitting, or kneeling on the craft rather than within the confines of a hull.”
Personal Watercraft are also known as PWCs, Jet-skis and Waverunners. Our accident attorneys know that these personal watercraft are involved in a large number of Lake Mead personal injuries and accident claims, and they know how to handle your personal watercraft accident.
What Makes Them So Dangerous?
PWCs are especially dangerous, in that they are small, quick and very powerful, while leaving the rider, or riders exposed.
Due to their size, they are not as visible as a boat, and because of their speed and maneuverability, they are often ridden recklessly, in an attempt to demonstrate the power of the watercraft.
Additionally, many personal watercrafts are equipped with a mechanism which can lead to accidents by inexperienced riders. This mechanism makes steering and maneuverability increasingly difficult when the throttle is not engaged.
Alcohol and drug use is a part of the experience for many outdoor recreationalists, which inevitably leads to problems for everyone. Greater instances of impaired judgement, distraction, reckless driving, and excessive speed go hand in hand with substance use in recreational settings.
Common Sense Safety & Precautions
Careful planning, taking precautions and exercising good judgement cannot be emphasized enough. You may be able to minimize, or completely prevent an injury or accident by doing the following:
- • Always wear life jackets and clothing that is appropriate for your activities. Boots, shoes and clothing made of absorbent fabrics are a contributing factor in many drownings.
- • Do not drink or use drugs.
- • Pay attention to any changes in your surroundings, and the weather. Take steps to prevention excessive sun exposure, keep plenty of drinking water on hand.
However, even if you are injured and weren’t able to do any of the things above, you still have legal rights. Never assume your case is worthless. Always speak with a legal expert about your boating accident.
The Jones Act
Also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, this law was written to formalize the establishment of the United States Merchant Marine, and to outline it’s role.
Even though Nevada is landlocked, it is important to note that The Jones Act established Seamen’s Rights, which provides:
“Any sailor who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right to trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply…”
If you have sustained a personal injury while employed as a sailor on a private merchant vessel, you may entitled to damages, and/or Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Nevada Boating Regulations: NRS Chapter 488
The Nevada Department of Wildlife oversees the enforcement of boating regulations, and provides education on Nevada’s boating laws, which can be found here.
Boat Accident Attorneys
When a boating accident or injury occurs at Lake Mead, or any Nevada recreation area, you will need the counsel of an Attorney well versed in personal injury suits and wrongful death cases, and especially with experience in the field of Boat Accidents.
The Attorneys of Bighorn Law are experts in investigating these specialized cases, establishing liability, and building a bulletproof lawsuit to get you the fair compensation you deserve.