Johnstown Boat Accident Lawyer
Although Colorado’s water surfaces seem limited, boaters have diverse options when it comes to finding places to enjoy boating. Colorado’s boatable waters range from the 150-mile-long Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area to small mountain lakes and large reservoirs. Boaters are required to operate their vessels in a safe and responsible manner. When they do not, the lives of innocent people may be in jeopardy.
If you or a loved one are injured in a boating accident, you may find it helpful to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. A Johnstown boat accident lawyer may be able to help you organize the facts of your claim and inform you of your eligibility to recover compensation.
What are the Regulatory Rules of Boating
Boaters in Colorado are required to abide by the regulatory rules of the road when driving their watercraft. For example, before launching, boaters must have onboard personal flotation devices, a sound-producing device, a fire extinguisher, navigation lights, and a current boat registration with visible registration numbers placed on the watercraft. In addition, no one shall operate a vessel on any waters for towing a person on water skis, aquaplanes, surfboards, inner tubes, or any similar devices, unless a person apart from the operator can observe the person being towed, and is capable of relaying messages to the boat operator.
For more information, regarding the rules of the road applicable to boaters, reach out to a trusted Johnstown boat accident lawyer today.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
While ascertaining liability after a boating accident can be complicated, it generally stems from one of three factors:
- Operator inexperience
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
Contributing liability factors may also include operator intoxication, conditions on the water, weather, the size of the boat, the age of the operator, and compliance – or lack thereof – with USCG safe operating standards.
Liability of Colorado Boat Operators
Boat insurance is designed to cover motorized vehicles and vessels with sails. However, it is not required by law in Colorado. If one’s boat is stolen or damaged, or if a boater is responsible for an accident on the water, this insurance can cover the resultant costs.
Boating accidents can include multiple defendants:
- The operator, owner, or other passenger(s) of all boats involved
- The manufacturer of the boat(s) or potentially defective flotation devices
- The owner of the dock or marina
- Anyone who may have negligently contributed to another’s injury
Negligence is the legal basis for most personal injury and accident-related lawsuits. Colorado adheres to the legal tenet of comparative negligence which dictates that the actions of both parties are examined. Then a judge or jury determines the relative fault of each. If an injured party is found to be partially at fault in an accident, they may still recover damages, but the amount may be reduced.
What is the Statute of Limitations for Boat Injury Claims?
In Colorado, a claimant’s time limits for filing a civil action (personal injury claim) can range from one to three years, with the state providing an extra year (three total) for personal injury and injury to property claims if a motorized vehicle – including a motorized boat – is involved (§13-80-102 and §13-80-101, respectively).
Speak with a Johnstown Boat Accident Attorney Today
Boating is a fun and liberating activity. However, if someone is acting negligently while assuming control of a sea vessel, horrible consequences may occur as a result.
If you have suffered an injury due to the careless actions of a boater, reach out to a Johnstown boat accident lawyer today. An attorney could review the facts of your case during a free initial consultation and inform you of what strategies you should adopt to achieve a favorable outcome. To get started, call today.