Many residents of Westminster and the surrounding areas enjoy fishing, boating, and other water-based activities on Standley Lake or in any of the other smaller bodies of water nearby. Boat accidents are not unheard of in Colorado, however, when they do occur, they can cause severe injuries to everyone involved.
Assistance from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney can make all the difference when it comes to recovering financially after a serious accident out on the water. If you sustained harm due to a fellow boater’s negligent behavior, consider connecting with a Westminster boat accident lawyer at Mac Hester Law to discuss your legal options.
Determining Liability for a Boat Crash or Accident on the Water
The core of any successful civil lawsuit is a credible allegation that someone else is at-fault for an accident, typically meaning they were legally negligent. To prove negligence in a Colorado civil court, a defendant must have failed to fulfill their duty of care owed to the plaintiff and, in doing so, directly caused an accident that resulted in injuries or damages.
In certain cases, a criminal act or conviction can be considered evidence of negligent behavior. For example, Colorado Revised Statutes §33-13-108.1 states that operating a boat with a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 percent is a misdemeanor offense. Boating while drunk could certainly be considered reckless behavior, so Westminster boat accident legal counsel could potentially use a criminal conviction for boating under the influence to demonstrate civil liability in a separate case.
An injured boater may bear some degree of liability for their own injuries in some situations. If so, C.R.S. §13-21-111 allows a court to proportionally reduce their damage award by their percentage of fault, or to bar them from recovering any damages if they are found to be 50 percent or more at fault.
Damages a Westminster Boat Accident Plaintiff Could Recover
Assuming they do not bear enough fault to be barred from recovering compensation, a boat accident victim could recover a variety of damages. Common economic damages stemming from boat wrecks include:
- Costs for boat repairs
- Replacement of lost equipment
- Medical costs for injuries sustained in the accident
- Wages lost from being unable to work
- Any future earning capacity lost because of a long-term or permanent injury
Non-economic damages could be recoverable as well. Depending on the case, these could include, but are not limited to:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium with family members
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Permanent physical impairment damages could be recoverable if the injured person suffered a permanent injury causing loss of function of a body part or reduced functionality of the body.
However, C.R.S. §13-80-102 sets a statutory deadline after an accident for an injured party to start pursuing compensation. This time limit varies depending on the circumstances of the case, so time could be of the essence after a boat accident. For this reason, acquiring competent legal representation in Westminster should be a boat accident victim’s first priority once they have obtained appropriate medical care.
Consult a Westminster Boat Accident Attorney for More Information
There are a variety of rules and regulations that apply to boat accidents in the State of Colorado, including some that may have a significant impact on whether you can recover compensation following a serious incident.
To effectively pursue a positive result in your case, your best choice is to get help from a seasoned Westminster boat accident lawyer. Call today to schedule your initial consultation with Mac Hester Law.