Just about everyone loves heading out to the local lake or river and getting on a boat. A boat ride can be great fun, but, of course, safety precautions should be taken to keep everyone on board as safe as possible. If you recently lost a loved one in a boating accident and you believe another involved party was negligent, you may have a wrongful death case on your hands. Here are some tips to keep in mind if you intend to seek justice for your loved one in court or at the negotiating table.
The Boat Owner Can Be Held Liable Even If They Weren't Behind the Wheel
It's not uncommon for a boat owner to sometimes let someone else steer the wheel for a bit once they are out on open water. But it's important to note that the boat owner is still responsible for what happens even if they weren't the one steering the boat at the time of the incident. If they allowed someone else to command the boat at an unsafe rate of speed and didn't try to step in and slow them down, this could be considered negligence.
Deaths Can Happen on a Boat Without Property Damage
Typically, when a death occurs following a car accident, there is some property damage to the cars that were in the wreck. This can be helpful because photos of the wreckage could prove to be a powerful aid in court. But a boating-related death might not have property damage. Unless a boat impacts another boat or runs into a structure like a pier, there might not be any property damage at all. For example, you could pursue a wrongful death case if someone goes overboard after the driver of the boat was moving at an unsafe speed.
Social Media Could Play a Large Role If There Was Partying Involved
Keep in mind that for many people, boats are something used for recreational purposes. This means that more often than not, passengers on a boat in the middle of a lake will start cracking open a few cold ones. If you are pursuing a boating wrongful death case, one of the first things you may want to do before you contact any witnesses is to check everyone's social media. Are there photos of the boat driver drinking alcohol before he or she wrecked the boat? This could be powerful evidence in court.
For more information, hire a wrongful death attorney today