Louisiana boasts many beautiful rivers, lakes and coastlines. This makes boating a popular activity for many across the state. However, boating can be dangerous. Just as there can be negligent motorists on the roads, there can be negligent boaters on the water. Sometimes this leads to fatal boating accidents.
There are a variety of ways a boater can cause a boating accident. For example, if a boater is not paying attention when operating their vessel, is not properly looking out for other boaters or hazards, does not have sufficient experience in handling a boat, is speeding or is drunk, this could lead to a boating accident. In fact, in 2015 the U.S. saw 626 fatalities in boating accidents, not to mention thousands of injuries.
When a person is killed in a boating accident due to the negligence of another boater, the person’s loved ones may want to pursue a wrongful death suit. Some possible defendants in such claims could be the person operating the boat, the person who owns the boat, the company that rents the boat or the company that manufactures the boat. Who is responsible for a boating accident will depend on the facts of your case.
Another question that comes up with boating accidents is whether state law applies, or federal maritime law applies. In general, maritime law applies to accidents on navigable waterways. However, the definition of a navigable waterway can be broad. An attorney can advise on what type of law applies to your case.
Wrongful death claims can arise out of many situations, including fatal boating accidents. When a person dies due to the actions of a negligent boater, the person’s loved ones are left to try to cope financially and emotionally with the loss of a loved one. This can be challenging to do, especially if the deceased was the main income-earner in the family. Therefore, people in such situations may wish to pursue compensation to cover their financial losses.