Why A Boat Owner May Accuse You Of Contributing To Your Injury

Law Blog

If you are injured in a boating accident, don't be surprised if the boat operator claims that you also contributed to your injuries. This is one of the ways the operator can deflect liability or make you responsible for some of the damages. Here are some of the claims the boat operator might make:

You Were Intoxicated

Going out on the water in an intoxicated state is dangerous because intoxication impairs judgment and interferes with balance. Many intoxicated people do things they wouldn't do if they were sober. For example, your intoxication may cause you to engage in horseplay that may lead to a slip and fall accident or even cause you to fall overboard.

The boat operator's liability shouldn't be lessened just because you were intoxicated. Your intoxication should only affect your liability if your intoxication actually caused or contributed to your injury. Therefore, you must prove that the intoxication did not play any part in the accident to succeed with your claim.

You Were Reckless

The operator may also claim that you were reckless, and your recklessness caused the accident or made it more serious. Here are a few examples of behaviors that may be termed as reckless on a boat:

  • Sitting on dangerous areas such as the gunwale or bow of the boat.
  • Running in a small boat.
  • Touching things, such as electrical controls, that boat passengers shouldn't handle.
  • Using fire equipment, such as cigarette lighters, in the boat.

These are dangerous behaviors that can cause you or other people on the boat injuries.

Ignoring the Operator's Instructions

When you are on a boat, it is the operator's responsibility to keep you safe. You need to make the operator's work easy by obeying their instructions. If you disobey the operator's instructions, and the disobedience leads to an accident, then you will find it difficult to get the operator to pay for your damages.

There are various instructions that a boat operator can give to their passengers. For example, in a small boat, the operator can instruct you to move and help balance the weight of the boat. The operator may also instruct you to put on a life jacket, avoid leaning over the gunwale or stop running in the boat.

As you can see, there are legitimate passenger actions that can lead to a boating accident. However, you can't discount the possibility that the operator may just make these claims to escape liability. A personal injury attorney can help you disapprove the operator's claim and get your dues. For more information, check out sites like http://hardeeandhardee.com/.


5 April 2017