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Bellingham Lawyer for Boating Accident Victims

Bellingham is the last big coastal city before Washington meets the border of Canada. It’s the county seat of Whatcom County, and there, as in other parts of the Northwest, freshwater and saltwater boating are large parts of people’s lives. Unfortunately, boating accidents are common. There were 114 recreational boating accidents reported to Washington State law enforcement in 2017. The leading cause of fatal boating accidents is falling overboard, and the other most common causes were capsizing and falling overboard. In 2016, there were 8 boating accidents in Whatcom County. When these accidents result in injuries, it may be appropriate to bring a lawsuit for damages against an at-fault boat operator. If you were injured on the water or in a boat, you should discuss what happened. If you were injured or a loved one died as the result of another’s negligence or misconduct on a boat, you should call the seasoned, results-oriented Bellingham boating accident attorneys of Walton Law. We tailor our representation of clients to make sure we provide excellent, personalized service.

Boating Accidents

Boating accidents may involve collisions with recreational boats, collisions with fixed objects, flooding, capsizing, falls overboard, grounding, ejection from boats, collisions with floating objects, collision with a commercial boat, fires, and explosions. Common causes of boat accidents include operator inattention and inexperience, alcohol or drug use, equipment failures, excessive speed, ignition of spilled fuel, bad weather, lack of protective equipment, lack of an appropriate lookout, dangerous waters, restricted vision, and wakes.

All boating operators should follow the rules of the waterways. When a boating operator fails to mind these rules, serious accidents, including drownings may occur. To recover damages, our lawyers will need to establish a boating operator or other party’s liability. Liability may be shown by proving negligence, which requires us to prove: (1) you were owed a duty of care by the defendant, (2) the defendant breached this duty, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages. Our boating accident lawyers may be able to show a Bellingham defendant breached the duty to use reasonable care by failing to maintain a safe speed on the bay or other body of water, failing to carry protective gear and equipment like lifejackets, failing to be aware of other water traffic, failing to adhere to warnings signs, operating the boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol and failing to keep the appropriate sound and light signals on the boat.

One of the serious injuries that can arise in connection with boating accidents such as those involving capsized boats or falls off boats is brain damage. It takes only a brief time underwater without oxygen for brain damage to occur. With 30-180 seconds without oxygen, you could lose consciousness. Brain cells start dying after a minute of oxygen deprivation, and at three minutes, lasting brain damage is more likely because the neurons are badly affected.

Recovering Damages

If we are able to show that a boating operator or other party was negligent or reckless and thereby caused your injuries, our experienced Bellingham boating accident lawyers may be able to recover damages on your behalf. These are typically compensatory damages, including both economic and noneconomic losses arising out of the injuries and quantified according to the severity. Economic losses are concrete losses, usually documented, such as medical bills, wage loss, out-of-pocket losses, and replacement services. Noneconomic losses may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, lost earning capacity, and loss of consortium.

When a loved one dies due to a boating operator or other party’s negligence, it may be appropriate for a personal representative of the decedent’s estate to bring a wrongful death lawsuit.

Consult a Seasoned Bellingham Boating Accident Lawyers

Boating accidents can have tragic consequences. At Walton Law, we tailor our legal service to meet each client’s needs. We understand you may not be able to meet with us during normal business hours, we provide both evening and weekend appointments. We can come to you. Call our compassionate Bellingham lawyers about a boating accident in which you were injured or a loved one died at (866) 338-7079 or online to schedule a free consultation.