Q: What happens if I am injured on a boat or watercraft? Can I still bring a personal injury lawsuit?
Many people think the laws that apply to car accidents also apply to boating accidents. However, that is not the case. Boat and watercraft accidents that occur on a major waterway or in the ocean are subject to maritime law, an entirely separate body of law. Determining what laws apply to your case can have a major impact on your lawsuit. They affect timelines to file your claim, amounts of damages you can claim, where to file your suit, and how to determine fault in your case. The process of figuring out which laws apply to your suit is referred to as determining its jurisdiction.
You can still bring a personal injury lawsuit, but you will need an attorney who knows this area of law and how to handle complex issues involving questions of jurisdiction. This can often be frustrating to a person who simply wants to file their claim and get compensation as soon as possible. Another key issue in a boat or watercraft accident case will be insurance. In California, unlike automobile insurance, there is no law requiring boaters to carry insurance. If the boat you were on did not have the insurance or did not have adequate insurance to compensate for your injuries, you may need to seek alternative sources of compensation.
Boat accidents can be every bit as serious as car accidents. Just because you are surrounded by water does not mean that you are not exposed to serious crashes, slip and falls, and explosions. However, the mere fact that you are on the water at the time of your accident will mean that you have a much more complicated case ahead of you. If you were injured in a boat or watercraft accident, call National Choice Lawyers today to speak to our attorneys about filing a claim.