Michigan Sail Boat Accident Lawyers
Sail Boat accidents are more common than you think. Imagine how scary a storm or sinking boat can be in the middle of Lake Michigan or Detroit River. Sail boat and other watercraft accidents are actually very common so there are laws passed to regulate sail boats, the sea, and other waterways. Most boating accidents can be avoided such as those caused by ordinary negligence or because someone was irresponsibly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you are involved in an accident at sea, you need a personal injury lawyer that has sailing experience and knowledge about maritime law. In addition, your attorney should have good understanding of Michigan’s waterway laws.
What is Maritime Law?
Maritime law (commonly referred to as admiralty law), is a set of laws, conventions, and treaties that govern private business on the seas and other nautical matters, such as shipping or offenses occurring on open seas. International rules, governing the use of the oceans and seas, are known as the Law of the Sea. In the U.S., Maritime law is considered federal law, meaning the laws govern every state in the US. Thus, any disputes over accidents are usually litigated and resolved in federal court. Maritime law has been traced back to the Egyptians, the Illyrians, the Greeks, and other ancient civilizations.
Most boats crossing the ocean are used for the transportation of goods and people. The countries participating in the transoceanic business have developed laws and rules to regulate boats, cargo ships and owners. The oceans can also be regulated by laws of the State that border the ocean.
What are the most common types of boat accidents?
The most common types of sailboat accidents include:
- Wind capsized sailboat
- Crash between two boats
- Crash between a watercraft and a fixed object
- Boat’s employee is injured or killed while working in navigable waters
- Cargo damage on commercial shipping boat accident
- Boat flooding
- Violation of Maritime labor regulations
Michigan’s age limit is 14 years old. Those less than 14 years of age may not legally operate a personal watercraft. However, the age limit can vary from state to state. Due the to the State laws differing in regulations, the boat accident legal issues can be complicated. The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) has released a reference guide to State Boating Laws answering some questions related recreational boat safety. In Michigan boat safety is mandatory that could easily prevent most sailboat accidents.
What are some common causes of sailboat accidents?
The most common causes of boat accidents can be avoided by using common sense. The following are some common sail boat accident causes:
- High winds
- Negligence or inexperience while operating a sail boat
- Sail boat operator under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Speeding while operating a sail boat
- Poor boat maintenance or equipment failure
What is the maritime law statute of limitations?
Maritime law has Statutes of Limitations for different types of boat accidents. The statute of limitations is the law that sets the time limit for filing a lawsuit for your maritime accident. The most common maritime Statutes of Limitations involving boat accidents:
- Death on the High Sea Act: this law gives the family of the deceased 3 years to file a wrongful death lawsuit.
- The Jones Act: The Jones Act allows an employee engaged in the transportation of goods for business or trade 3 years to file a personal injury claim.
- Longshore Harbor and Workers’ Compensation Act: When an employee is injured on a boat while working, they have 1 year to file a lawsuit for workers’ compensation benefits.
What should you do when a sail boat accident occurs?
If you’ve been involved in a sail boat accident and believe you need to take legal action, there are important steps to take. The following are minimal steps to take:
- Seek immediate medical attention for your injury.
- Obtain insurance information from your employer and/or the other boat owner involved.
- Make an official report of your injury with your employer or the boat owner. Aliso, you should make an official report the U.S. Coast Guard and your state’s waterway department.
- Secure and preserve evidence for your case.
What evidence helps prove a boat accident case?
Based upon experience, a successful sail boat accident case, can be developed by collecting and preserving evidence of the damage to the boat or injuries sustained by a person. Here is a short list of some helpful evidence that can help prove your case:
- Video or photos depicting damage
- Witness statements and the police report about the incident and negligence
- Obtain Medical records
Is boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs illegal?
Boating Under The Influence (BUI) is illegal in Michigan. Drinking and operating a boat is similar to the related to driving a car and drinking, regardless of whether or not the boat has a motor. All states in the US prohibit boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is illegal to operate a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs, just like it’s illegal to operate a car on land while intoxicated. Most states consider a BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) when the operator has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. A boat can be pulled over if the police officer reasonably believes that the operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Usually, if you receive a BWI ticket while boating, you could receive the same penalty as DUI while driving a vehicle. In Michigan some of the penalties can be, you can have your boating license suspended or fines. In serious cases, you can also receive drug counseling or jail time.
If you or your loved one have been injured in a sail boating accident, you may be unable to work or have mounting medical bills. You have legal rights when another boater was negligent.
We are a Michigan law firm representing the people throughout the State of Michigan. Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, and with satellite offices in the Tri-County Area. If you are unable to come to our office, we will come to you at no extra charge. We will even arrange and pay for transportation to our law firm. We are here to serve you and we will vigorously pursue your rights for the benefit of you and your family, with the excellence and compassion with have given our clients for the past 27 years.
We will do everything in our power to protect your legal rights so you can focus on healing, and without the burden of thinking about your case. Please call us at (248) 352-2110 or Toll Free 1-866-hire-joe. You can also contact us on our website or through our instant messaging function.
Our Law Firm Gives Three Guarantees to Our Clients:
- No upfront Out of Pocket Costs or Charges.
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Call us now for a free boat accident case evaluation at (248) 352-2110 or Toll Free 1-866-Hire-Joe.