Helping All Boat Accident Victims In Little Rock
Boating is enjoyed in the beautiful waters of Arkansas by many. With over 600,000 acres of lakes and 90,000 miles of rivers, it is a popular pastime for those who live and visit the state.
Although no one expects to be in an accident while enjoying the water, you may become a victim in a boat accident. According to the Arkansas Game and Fishing Commission, or AGFS, there was an unprecedented spike in boating accidents in 2020. What can you do if you are a victim of a boating accident?
If you or a loved one is a victim of a boating accident, the boating accident attorneys of Minton Law Firm can help you. Call 855-Xadjuster today to schedule your free consultation or contact us online to get started now.
Common Types of Boating accidents in Arkansas
The risk is real. It has been reported that Arkansas boating accidents doubled in 2020.
Such accidents can cause serious injuries, property damage, emotional distress, and even death. The types of boating accidents have been categorized in the following ways.
Collision with a recreational vehicle
You may not be the only one in the water and could be sharing the space with others who are on a kayak, motorboat, boat, or jet ski, among other vessels.
Collision with a fixed object
Vessels may collide with a fixed object, whether above or under the water such as a pier or bridge support.
Flooding or swamping
A boat may capsize or fill up with water, leaving passengers stranded in the water. This can happen even after a minor collision or may be a result of a defective part.
Accidents can occur when a boat leaves the water and hits the shore. When a boat strikes land, it may create a forceful impact that can cause injuries.
Without the constriction of a seatbelt as in an automobile, passengers on a boat can fall or even be ejected out of the boat upon impact. This may cause drowning or make a person susceptible to being struck by another vessel.
Common Causes of Boat Accidents
As with traffic accidents, boat accidents are often the result of errors made by the boat operator and could be avoided. According to the year-end report by the AGFS, in 2021, the leading causes of boating accidents were the following.
The Arkansas handbook for boaters states that it is recommended and required for many under a certain age to have completed a boater education course before operating a boat. There is an increased risk for someone new to boating to make a mistake that leads to an accident.
Accidents caused by distracted driving are preventable, but are all too common due to a common problem: phone usage. Using a cell or smart phone can distract an operator and distract the operator from noticing dangers.
Alcohol and drugs
It is prohibited to be boating while being under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The USCG reports that alcohol use is the leading contributing factor of fatal boat accidents. Use of alcohol and substances can slow reflexes and impairs judgment which increases the chances and the severity of an accident.
Unforeseen water hazards
Weather can be hard to predict. That is why it is imperative to be prepared for emergencies and to make wise decisions when you face an unexpected problem.
It is important to maintain proper speed and use reasonable speed suitable for the existing circumstances in the water. Excessive speed causes dangerous conditions on water and can prevent the operator from reacting in time to avoid a crash.
Machinery and Equipment failure
Improper design and maintenance of a vessel can also be a contributing factor to a boating accident. Before you even step foot on the vessel, an accident may have already been in the making if the vessel was maintained improperly or equipped with the proper tools.
Boat Accident Prevention
Prevention and preparedness are key factors in avoiding a boating accident. Follow these steps for your days on the water:
- Make sure that you have enough life vests on your vessel for the number of passengers
- Never drink alcohol or use drugs while operating a boat
- Be aware of your surroundings, including any potential obstacles and other people sharing the waters
- Check the weather before you leave the shore so you won’t be caught in inclement weather
What to Do After a Boating Accident
Even after taking the necessary precautions, an accident may still occur. If you are involved in a boating accident, take the following steps:
- Immediately stop the vessel at the scene of the accident. You may have to lower your anchor so that you do not drift away from the scene of the accident.
- Assist any who have suffered injury or are in danger. Check to see if anyone has fallen out of the boat or is missing. Extend a floatation device or a life vest to those who have fallen and need help staying afloat.
- Exchange information with all parties involved, including your name, address, and vessel identification
- You must notify the Arkansas Game and Fishing Commission or the local sheriff’s department if a person dies, is injured, or disappears. It is also required to notify the authorities if the damage to the vessel or other property is over 2,000 dollars.
- Contact a boat accident attorney that can help you. Insurance adjusters may try to contact you so that you settle with less than you deserve after an accident. But speak to an attorney first!
Filing a Boat Accident Claim or Personal Injury Lawsuit
Filing a boat accident claim is a step toward recovery after your boat accident. Once your boat accident claim is filed, experienced lawyers are ready to take the steps necessary in order for you to receive full and fair compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the negligence of the other party.
Minton Law Firm’s Arkansas personal injury lawyers can look into the liability factors and talk to witnesses to get a clear picture of the accident and what you are entitled to, for your medical treatment and other factors.
Your boating accident injuries may be compensated for, to help with medical bills that you may be dealing with presently or in the future. If the accident and the injuries suffered affected your employment, you could also receive compensation to cover any lost wages that resulted from it.
If a mechanical or equipment issue is the leading cause of your accident, it is especially important to attain an attorney. Our boat accident attorneys are no strangers to going against big businesses that may be intimidating and complex to handle on your own.
How an Arkansas Boat Accident Attorney Can Help
Take the first step toward recovery by contacting the boating accident attorneys at Minton Law Firm. Our team has successfully represented clients injured in Arkansas over the years.
Our boating accident attorneys can help navigate the complicated process and coach you so you don’t say anything that may harm your claim. You need to cover your medical bills and the other costs of your accident.
As founder of Minton Law Firm and a former insurance adjuster, Justin Minton understands the importance of not settling for less than what you deserve. So we’re on your side, ready to seek justice.
All attorneys at Minton Law are willing to fight for you and help you receive the maximum compensation for the pain the accident has caused you. When we take on your case, we will work tirelessly for a positive outcome.
The Arkansas personal injury attorneys practicing at Minton Law Firm cover boat accident cases all over the state such as Little Rock – Pulaski County, Benton – Saline County, and Conway – Faulkner County. Call Minton Law Firm today at 855-Xadjuster to schedule your free consultation or contact us online to get started now.