According to the U.S. Coast Guard, alcohol consumption is the primary known factor that contributes to fatal boating accidents. Alcohol was determined to be the leading factor in 19% of boating accident deaths in 2018.
It is just as illegal to drink while operating a boat as it is to drink while operating a car. If you or someone you love was hurt or killed because of someone who was negligently operating a boat under the influence of alcohol, you have the right to hold them responsible for their actions.
The team at Morris Bart is here to help. We offer a free consultation for the victims of boating accidents. We work on a contingency fee basis only, which means if you retain our services, we ask for nothing upfront or out of pocket. We are only paid if we succeed in your case. In other words, you have nothing to lose. Contact the Morris Bart law firm today at (504) 613-4771.
Facts and Statistics About Boating Under the Influence
The U.S. Coast Guard reports that BUI, boating under the influence, is just as risky as drinking and driving. In fact, they report that alcohol consumption on the water can be even more dangerous than on land. The sun, vibration, motion, engine noise, and environment all create stress that increases the driver’s fatigue, further impacting their coordination and ability to react quickly to avoid a boat accident.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08%, the legal limit in the U.S., creates short-term memory loss, impairs the driver’s perception, and makes it difficult to control their speed. Going fast on the water may sound safe, but it can make it difficult to avoid wrecks with other boats or react appropriately if a large wave is heading your way. Boats can capsize all too easily, leaving the driver and any occupants in harm’s way.
For a free legal consultation with a Boating Under the Influence Accident lawyer serving New Orleans, call 800-537-8185
Common Types of Injuries Caused by Boating Accidents
Many injuries can occur if a boat driver is operating the boat under the influence of alcohol. Some of these possible injuries include:
- Drowning: Drowning is one of the more common boating accidents that can occur. If the water conditions are dangerous or if the person is not a strong swimmer or is injured, a fatal drowning can quickly occur.
- Internal bleeding: Propeller accidents or even just being thrown about the boat because of high waves can cause internal bleeding of the organs or brain. If these injuries go untreated, they can lead to external bleeding, and eventually, death.
- Traumatic brain injuries: If a boat operator fails to see someone in the water because they are drinking and drives over them or hits them with the boat, it can easily cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Slip and fall accidents on a boat can also lead to TBIs. TBIs are a major cause of death and disability in the U.S. and can impair the person’s cognitive abilities or change their personality.
- Spinal cord injuries: Propeller accidents or being hit or run over by a boat can cause spinal cord injuries. Because the spinal cord is responsible for delivering messages from the brain to other parts of the body, people with a spinal cord injury often have difficulty walking. Most people with these injuries require assistive devices like walkers or wheelchairs.
- Lacerations: Getting too close to a moving propeller can cause lacerations. If the laceration is deep, the bleeding is often extensive and potentially life-threatening.
If you or someone you love experienced an injury as a result of a drunk boat driver, you have the right to hold them responsible for their actions. Contact a boat accident lawyer from the Morris Bart law firm today at (504) 613-4771.
Potential Recoverable Awards from Boat Accident Injuries
Every boat accident is different, so we cannot estimate your damages without first examining the details of your injury case. That said, some possible types of recoverable awards include:
- Medical costs
- Pain and suffering
- Dismemberment or disfigurement
- Lost wages
- Future wages if your earning potential is diminished or lost
- Property damage
- Out-of-pocket expenses
If your loved one died because of someone’s decision to drink alcohol while boating, you might be entitled to awards, including, but not limited to:
- Funeral and burial costs
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of support and protection
How the Louisiana Statute of Limitations May Impact Your Claim
Most states have a statute of limitations between three and five years, giving accident victims and their families plenty of time to heal before they move forward to pursue damages. Louisiana is different. In the state of Louisiana, you must pursue your personal injury or wrongful death claim within one year of the date of the accident or the victim’s death, according to the Louisiana Civil Code section 3492. If you do not file your claim within one year, you may be barred from recovering any compensation.
Contact a New Orleans Boating Under the Influence Lawyer for Help
A New Orleans boating under the influence lawyer can help you gather evidence to build an injury case for compensation. At the Morris Bart law firm, we can gather evidence like police reports, eyewitness statements, and medical records. We can also evaluate your bills, receipts, and talk to medical experts to calculate the full value of your claim, including the cost of your pain and suffering. Finally, we will negotiate for a settlement to the fullest extent of your boat injuries. For a free review of your boat accident claim, contact Morris Bart, LLC today at (504) 613-4771.
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