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Oklahoma City Boat Accident Attorneys

How an Oklahoma City
Boat Accident Attorney Can Help You

Boating is a popular pastime in the area surrounding Oklahoma City. Whether it’s on Lake Hefner, Lake Stanley Draper, Lake Overholser, or the Oklahoma River, the fun you can enjoy on area waterways may come with the risk of serious injury, and even death, when boaters are negligent. If you’ve been injured in a boat accident through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

Our Oklahoma City boat accident lawyers have experience in accidents involving all types of watercraft—including motorboats, speedboats, sailboats, jet skis, personal watercraft, and yachts. No matter what type of watercraft was involved in your boating accident injury, we know how to protect your rights and fight for the money you deserve.

Common Reasons Boating Accidents Occur

  • Boating while intoxicated
  • Inexperienced operators
  • Driving too close to other watercraft or the shoreline
  • Speeding
  • Not paying attention to the surroundings

Hurt in a Boating Accident?

The first thing to do is seek immediate medical attention. The next step is to contact a boating accident attorney. Insurance companies will try to pay you as little as possible for your injuries. Our legal team can bring the fight to them and pursue the maximum value of your accident claim.

Five Common Types of Boat Accidents

  • Drowning
  • Collisions with other watercraft or individuals
  • Capsizing
  • Falling overboard
  • Propeller lacerations

Steps to Take After a Boating Accident

Boating accidents are traumatic events that can have significant financial and personal repercussions. Taking these steps after an accident can help protect your health and legal rights to compensation.

1. Get to Safety and Seek Medical Attention

First and foremost, ensure the safety of yourself and all other individuals involved. Check for injuries and administer first aid if necessary. Even if no immediate injuries are apparent, it’s crucial to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries, especially those related to water accidents, might not show symptoms immediately.

2. Document the Scene and Gather Evidence

If it’s safe to do so, document the accident scene comprehensively. Use your phone to take photos or videos of the damages to the boat, visible injuries, and any relevant environmental conditions (e.g., water conditions, obstacles in the water, and weather). This evidence will be invaluable for insurance claims and any legal proceedings.

3. Report the Accident

Report the accident to the relevant authorities within 48 hours, including the police and the Coast Guard. Reporting is not only a legal requirement but also ensures that an official record of the incident is made.

4. Gather Witness Information

If there were any witnesses to the accident, collect their contact information. Witness statements can provide critical third-party perspectives on the incident, which might be crucial for establishing what happened, especially in cases where the facts are disputed.

5. Document Your Injuries and Damages

Keep a detailed record of all injuries and property damage resulting from the accident. This includes medical reports, receipts related to medical treatment, repair bills for the boat, and any other expenses incurred due to the accident. This documentation will be essential when seeking compensation.

6. Notify Your Insurance Company

Inform your insurance company about the accident as soon as possible. Be cautious in your communications and avoid admitting fault or giving detailed statements before consulting with a lawyer. Insurance companies often seek to minimize payouts, and premature statements can be used against you.

7. Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer

Consulting with a lawyer experienced in boating accidents and personal injury claims is crucial. They can provide guidance on the legal implications of the accident, negotiate with insurance companies involved on your behalf, and fight for you in any legal proceedings. An attorney can also assess the full extent of your damages to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.

Understanding Compensation in Boating Accident Claims

Here’s a breakdown of the types of compensation available after a boating accident and how they vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the specifics of the accident.

  • Medical Expenses: This forms the cornerstone of most boating accident claims. Compensation for medical expenses includes not just immediate medical treatments but also ongoing care costs, such as surgeries, hospital stays, physical therapy, and any required medical equipment. It’s crucial to keep detailed records of all medical treatments related to your injuries to ensure comprehensive compensation.
  • Lost Wages: If your injuries prevent you from returning to work, either temporarily or permanently, you can claim compensation for lost wages. This compensation aims to cover the income you’ve lost while recovering. For more severe injuries that impact your ability to work in the long term, you might also be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity.
  • Pain and Suffering: Unlike medical expenses and lost wages, pain and suffering compensation addresses the non-economic impact of your injuries. This includes physical pain and emotional distress resulting from the accident. Calculating pain and suffering compensation is more complex, as it involves assessing the severity of your injuries and their effect on your quality of life.
  • Property Damage: Many boating accidents result in significant damage to the boat itself and other personal property aboard. Compensation for property damage seeks to cover the costs of repairs or replacement, ensuring that victims are not left paying out of pocket for losses incurred during the accident.
  • Punitive Damages: In cases where the boating accident was caused by particularly reckless or intentional acts, punitive damages might be awarded if the case goes to court. These are meant to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar behavior in the future.

The specific compensation available to boating accident victims can vary widely, influenced by factors like the injuries sustained and the victim’s own percentage of fault. Given the complexities involved in assessing compensation for boating accident injuries, consulting with a lawyer who specializes in such cases is essential to ensure that you receive the full compensation you’re entitled to.

What to Expect During the Legal Process

Embarking on the legal process following a boating accident can seem daunting, but understanding what to expect can ease some of that anxiety. Your journey begins with an initial free consultation at Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers, where our experts can review the details of your case with you, offering personalized advice and outlining your legal options.

When you sign with our firm, our lawyers can gather evidence, document your injuries and losses, and build a strong case on your behalf. Throughout the negotiation phase with insurance companies, our priority is to secure the best possible settlement for you, helping ensure that your compensation reflects the full extent of your damages and suffering. Should your case go to trial, you can also count on our experienced legal team to passionately advocate for the maximum compensation possible in front of a judge or jury.

Have You Lost a Loved One in a Boating Accident?

If you’ve lost a loved one in a boating-related accident, please contact us. You are not alone. We understand how difficult a time this is, and we’ll review the facts of your situation in a free case evaluation to determine whether you have a valid wrongful death claim.

Do You Need an Experienced Boat Accident Lawyer?

If you or a family member were injured in a boating accident as the result of another person’s negligent behavior, you need an Oklahoma City boat accident lawyer to explain your rights. Contact Parrish DeVaughn Injury Lawyers today to find out if you have a case. The initial consultation is always free and you don’t owe a thing unless we win!

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