Boating accidents can be a difficult situation to understand, particularly when a collision between two boats occurs. The primary goal in this type of lawsuit is to identify the at-fault party by assessing their liability. A good Houston maritime lawyer can help here, but it is important to understand these facts before pursuing a case.
Liability Lies with The Negligent Party
When pursuing a case like this with a Houston maritime lawyer, it is important to prove who was negligent in the accident. Unless one party deliberately ran into the other (which is unlikely), it may be harder to prove who was negligent in this case. Negligence means that the person driving was behaving in a way that was unsafe for the driving situation.
For example, they may have cut across big wake in a way that put them out of control. Or they may have been driving too fast or getting too near other boats for safety. Driving a boat is not a wild or lawless situation. People need to follow speed limits and decent behaviors to avoid causing injury to other people.
Fault May Be Split
What about cases in which both parties were somehow negligent? For example, if one driver wasn’t carefully watching for other boats while the other boat was driving too fast, liability may be split between the two of them. In cases like this, comparative negligence may be used. This legal idea means that whoever was more at fault (likely the speeding driver) will pay more damages.
However, even the person who was less at fault will end up paying some damages to the other driver. These cases get confused if passengers on the boat are injured during the collision. Due to the laws of negligence and liability, passengers on both ships may have cases against each driver. As a result, cases like this can get messy awfully quickly.
Proving liability in cases like these requires various pieces of evidence. Eyewitness testimony is crucial, both of those on the boats and those not on the boats. An inspection of the boats and the impact site is also necessary. Often clues, such as damage to the boats, can give lawyers a chance to understand who likely contributed more heavily to the accident. Comparative negligence is crucial here, as it can at least protect you from paying too much for these cases.
The confusion caused by these boat collision cases makes a Houston maritime lawyer all but necessary. Trying to sort through the pieces of evidence and the various bits of testimony can be incredibly confusing, but a good lawyer will ensure that you get the high-quality defense that you need to have a good chance of winning your case.