Drunk driving is a serious issue that most people know to watch for on the roads. However, when you go out in your speed boat or personal recreational watercraft on a Missouri lake or river, the last thing you expect is a drunk boating collision. Unfortunately, intoxicated boating is a very common safety issue that causes preventable property damage, injuries and even deaths.
If you experience a boating incident caused by someone under the influence of alcohol, don’t commit one of the four common mistakes below.
Not seeing a doctor after the incident
From soft tissue injuries and traumatic brain injuries to stable, hairline fractures, there are numerous medical issues that you may not notice in yourself right after a boating incident. If you only get diagnosed months later, you may have a very difficult time bringing a legal claim against the boater who caused the incident.
Not taking action against the drunk boater
You immediately understand that you can file an insurance claim or a lawsuit against someone drunk at the wheel, but fewer people seem to understand that they have rights when affected by a drunk boater. It is illegal to operate an aquatic vessel while under the influence of alcohol, just like it is illegal to drive drunk. Engaging in misconduct leaves someone open to legal claims by anyone affected by their bad behavior.
Accepting a low settlement offer
Insurance companies and lawyers representing at-fault boaters will happily take advantage of you if you do not educate yourself. You need to understand your rights and also realistically determine the financial consequences of the drunk boating incident. If you understand the financial impact you will have to offset, you will be in a better position to counter a low settlement offer.
Not hiring a lawyer
Even if the other boater has insurance or agrees to cooperate with you, you may find yourself at a financial and legal disadvantage when you don’t have someone teaching you about your rights under the law and managing the negotiations for you. Having legal representation when you need to pursue compensation for substantial property damages or a significant personal injury will take some of the stress off of you during this difficult time and increase your chances of success.
Avoiding the most common mistakes after a boating accident will leave you in a position to get the compensation you require.