A boat accident refers to vessels that experience capsizing, grounding, flooding, swamping, sinking, fire or explosion, ski mishap, collision with another vessel, collision with a foreign object, striking a submerged object, etc. The most common watercrafts that are involved in boating accidents are typically powerboats such as runabouts, cabin cruisers and jet skis. Sailboats can be involved in accidents as well, though such instances are less common. Propeller accidents and collisions frequently cause most injuries.
When someone you know encounters a boat accident, you must see to it that a boating accident report is filed. You must also seek a boat accident attorney. A boat accident attorney is a lawyer specializing in accidents involving watercraft. When you look for a boat accident attorney, try to determine whether he or she has experience in boat accident cases. An experienced boat accident attorney can really help you a lot in your case. It would even be better if you can find a boat accident attorney who is not only well versed in boat accidents but also a boater himself or herself.
You must also look for a boat accident attorney who practices within the place where your case will be tried. Do not select out of town lawyers. You will incur additional costs if your boat accident lawyer has to travel a great distance to represent you in court. A boat accident attorney who practices locally has the advantage of knowing the other players like the opposing counsel and the judge. This will speed up the litigation of your case, as they are already familiar with each other. There will be more harmony and lesser misunderstandings in the courtroom as they have probably worked together already in the past. Additionally, if you have questions regarding the case or if you need to meet with your attorney to prepare for a coming hearing, it is easier to go to your lawyer’s office if he or she practices locally.
Another thing to consider when choosing a boat accident attorney is his or her communication skills with nonprofessionals. Make sure that your lawyer explains things to you in plain language. Law is already technical enough without adding boating terms and concepts to the equation. Your boat accident attorney might be very good in communicating in the courtroom but if both of you cannot understand each other very well, it could hurt your case. You need to provide him or her with vital information regarding the accident. There is no room for miscommunication between the two of you.
The boat accident attorney that you choose must also be willing to settle and compromise. However, she must also be willing and capable of fighting for your right with all her might when it becomes necessary. Arriving at a settlement or compromise agreement can be a good thing. Litigation is too costly and takes a huge amount of time and effort. If your boat accident attorney is skilled in negotiation, you might be able to win without having to fight at all. Nevertheless, not every party is willing to settle or compromise. The opposing party might be more inclined to duke it out in court. If that is the case, your boat accident attorney must be ready, able and willing to fight for you.