The experienced Utah boating accident attorneys at Swenson & Shelley are dedicated to helping our clients recover full compensation for their injuries. If you have been hurt on a boat, you are probably feeling extremely frustrated and scared. Your finances might be at risk due to lost wages from being out of work as well as unexpected medical bills. It is hard to deal with knowing that all of this could have been avoided. Our Utah boating accident attorneys are here to help you get the compensation that you need. Once you read up about your case, don’t hesitate to call our office to set up a free consultation to go over the details of your boating accident claim and find out what your legal options are.
Common Boating Accident Injuries
Typically when you are on a boat, there are not very many safety precautions. You may not be wearing a seat belt and many times people get on a boat without putting on their lifejacket. Because of the lax nature of being on a boat, the risk for more severe injuries increases. The most common boating accident injuries we see people get include:
If you suspect you have an injury, the first thing you should do after your accident is seek out medical care. Your health is the most important thing and you want to make sure you are on the mend as soon as possible. If you delay seeking medical attention, you run the risk of having the insurance company deny your claim on the basis that your injuries could not possibly need compensation if they were not bad enough to send you right to a doctor. Even if you have adrenaline in your body and you don’t really feel the full extent of your injuries, you should still seek medical attention. It is also important that you get immediate medical attention so that we have documented proof of all the injuries you have sustained. We will use your medical records as a means to show the insurance company that they owe you compensation.
Utah Statute of Limitations
For most personal injury claims, including boating accidents, you have four years from the date of your accident to bring your claim or settle it in civil court. This might seem like you have so much time to contact an attorney, but it is not advised to wait a significant amount of time to do so. These cases can be complicated and your attorney needs time to find out who the liable party is, get all of your records together, and start building a strong case to present to the insurance company. Waiting will not be beneficial for you. In fact, the sooner you hire an attorney, the better. Additionally, you should not wait until four years to talk to an attorney. If the deadline has passed, there is nothing we can do to help you. If you wait until a week before, we most likely cannot help you anymore as we need that time to build your case.
When the insurance company for the liable party comes calling, the best thing you can do is refer them to your attorney. They will be asking you for a recorded statement and claim that it will help them help you in your case. This is not something you want to give them if you are interested in full and fair compensation. They are trained to ask you questions that put you in a bad spot. Any answers that you give that might make it seem like the accident was your fault or that your injuries aren’t too bad, they will use that against you in their pursuit to reduce your claim or throw it out altogether.
How Boating Accident Compensation Works
Utah is a shared fault state which means you can receive compensation but if you are deemed to be 50% or more at fault, then you will be barred. If you share fault less than 50%, then your compensation will be reduced. For example, if you are awarded $10,000 for your injuries, but have 20% shared fault, your award will be reduced to $8,000 to account for your role in the accident. That is why it is so important for us to keep you from making case-ruining mistakes by talking to the insurance company.
Frequently Asked Boat Accident Questions
Utah has some great lakes and great places to do boating and jet skiing. If you’ve been injured in any of those activities, you may be wondering, “What do I do to find an attorney who can help me in that situation?” Find somebody who has experience in boating accidents. Find somebody who knows how to handle that type of a case, who has handled those types of cases, and who has a personal injury practice that deals with watercraft and boating accidents. The final thing I would say in that area is to get somebody who’s a trial attorney, knows how to try the case, and will prepare the case for trial, if it has to go that far. Let the insurance company know right from the beginning that if it has to go to trial, you’re willing and prepared and you’ve got the backup to do that.
If you’ve been involved in a boating or watercraft accident in the state of Utah, you’ll probably get a call from the insurance company that represents the other person involved, and they’ll want to take your recorded statement. I recommend that you not give them a recorded statement until you’ve had the opportunity to talk to an attorney. They want to take the recorded statements because they’re trained to get the information that helps their case early on. They try to make your case worse before you know what’s going on with your injuries. Don’t give them a recorded statement without talking to an attorney.
In the state of Utah, if you’ve been injured on the water in some type of watercraft, you need to look at what the other party was doing to determine who was at fault and who bears the responsibility for those injuries. You should find an attorney who has experience in dealing with those types of issues, and you should contact them quickly as it is hard to preserve that evidence if you don’t act on it in an expeditious manner.
If you have been injured in a boating accident or a personal watercraft accident in the state of Utah, you should know that the responsible parties can be the boat owner, the boat driver, or the insurance policies that are carried by those individuals. A lot of times, people have questions about who is responsible when you’re out on the lake.
If you’ve been injured in a boating or watercraft injury in the state of Utah, you may want to know how long it is going to take to resolve. It’s going to depend on your specific case and the defense of that case. Some of the things you’re going to be looking at are your injuries. Have you treated with the doctors and the healthcare providers enough to get to a point that you know how you’re recovering, when you’re going to recover, and how fully you’re going to recover? You’ve got to look at the seriousness of the injury and what permanent residual affects you’re going to have there, and then you have to look at how hard the insurance company is going to fight you to get you a fair offer. It’s really hard on any specific case to say outright how long it is going to take to resolve. You want an attorney who’s going to push your case along and always be moving it forward and moving it in the direction of getting a fair resolution for you.
Determining the value of a boating accident case can be difficult early on. The medical bills need to be looked at, the medical treatment needs to be looked at, and the amount of additional medical bills that will be incurred need to be looked at. Any time missed from work needs to be looked at. You also need to consider things that might prevent you from doing the things you really like, and what limitations you will have in the future. All of those are components that calculate the damage for a boating accident.
Call Our Office Today for a Free Consultation
It is quite frustrating to have to deal with unexpected medical bills if your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence. We understand what you are going through and we have represented many other boating accident clients. It is a stressful time and we want to get rid of the added weight of a personal injury claim. Let us take over the legal aspects of your claim and allow yourself to take this time to heal and recover. You are a priority to us and we want you to feel like one. If you want a skilled and experienced Utah boating accident attorney, please do not hesitate to call our office today to set up a free consultation.