Pittsburgh Boating Accident Attorney
Our nation’s waterways, rivers, lakes and shorelines are great locations for recreation in hot weather. Boating is a very popular pastime for many Pennsylvanians, but accidents often happen. If a boating accident in the Pittsburgh area injures you, it’s vital to know your rights and legal options, and to speak to a boat accident lawyer. Contact the boating accident lawyers at Ronald J. Bua & Associates if you’ve been involved in an accident involving:
- Boating accidents
- Jet ski accidents
- Boat and jet ski collisions
- Drunk driving accidents
- Large barge accidents
- Water skiing accidents
- Wrongful death
Boating accident victims are susceptible to many of the same types of injuries as motor vehicle accident victims, such as:
- broken bones
- traumatic brain injuries
- spinal cord damage
However, there are a few more hazards particular to boating accidents, such as drowning and oxygen deprivation. When boats strike swimmers in the head (one of the most common types of boating injuries), victims can become unconscious, slip below the water surface, and drown. If a boating accident kills a loved one, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim on his or her behalf to hold the responsible party accountable. Speaking with a wrongful death lawyer in this instance is a good way to determine if you have a valid case. If the accident was not fatal, it’s best to speak with a boat accident lawyer if you or a loved one have been involved in a collision involving a personal watercraft such as a speedboat, pontoon boat, jet ski, sailboat, or if you were a swimmer injured by a negligent boat operator.
Building a Boating Accident Case
We handle boating accidents in the same manner as other motor vehicle accidents. Boaters must operate their watercrafts safely and follow all applicable laws. They also must adhere to local laws and any signals on the waterway, and never operate their watercrafts under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Much like any other type of personal injury lawsuit, succeeding in your boat accident case will largely hinge on your boating accident attorney’s ability to prove the other party was negligent in some manner. Proving negligence requires showing a court that the defendant (the person you are suing) had a duty to act with reasonable care, violated this duty and that violation directly caused injury and damage to the plaintiff (you, the injured person filing the lawsuit).
Your lawsuit will require a great deal of evidence gathering and research. Your accident attorney may need to use experts in relevant fields to establish the extent of your losses and suffering to the court. Additionally, some boating accidents may delve into maritime law. Work-related injuries suffered while aboard seafaring vessels have unique facets as well. For instance, the Jones Act ensures that workers aboard seafaring vessels can file lawsuits against negligent employers that cause injuries.
Obtaining Compensation for Your Boat Accident Injuries
Once you’ve connected with an boating accident lawyer and started to build your case, you’ll need to assess the damages you’ll pursue. The compensation you may be able to receive from a boating accident claim includes:
- Medical expenses. If you’ve suffered an injury, you’ve likely incurred expenses, such as hospital bills, rehabilitative services, prescriptions and the costs of any necessary subsequent treatments after your initial injuries.
- Lost wages. Some injuries may render you unable to return to work for an extended time. If your injuries result in a permanent disability that prevents you from resuming your regular work, you can also sue for your diminished earning capacity, and may be able to receive compensation for the income you would have reasonably been expected to earn had you not been injured.
- Pain and suffering. It might sound difficult to determine an appropriate dollar figure for the pain and suffering an injury causes but it can be done. Expert witnesses from the medical field will be invaluable for this purpose. They will be able to explain exactly how painful and psychologically traumatic an injury was for a victim, so a judge can determine a fair amount of compensation.
- Property damage. A negligent boater crashed into your vessel and injured you. You can sue for the damage done to your boat and other property as well as your injuries.
In order to obtain all the compensation you deserve from your boating accident, you’ll need a lawyer with extensive knowledge and experience with boating accident laws. Ronald J. Bua & Associates has served clients in the Pittsburgh area for more than 30 years, and we can offer that experience to clients in any situation. Contact us to schedule a free consultation about your boating accident case today to see what type of compensation you may be able to collect.