Virginia is well known for its rivers, lakes, and beaches. It’s no wonder then that boating is a popular pastime across the state. Spots like the James River and Lake Anna are popular boating spots around Richmond.
These places get especially crowded on the weekends and holidays when our local waterways are filled with boaters who have minimal experience with how to safely operate watercraft. This unfortunate reality can lead to harmful and life-threatening accidents.
Out of 89 Virginia boating accidents in 2019, 20 were fatal. In 20% of fatal accidents, alcohol was a known factor, while in 90% of these fatal accidents, the deceased was not wearing a life jacket. With so many people and watercraft in our rivers and lakes, preventable accidents are bound to happen. It’s especially tragic when operators are negligent or don’t follow safety procedures.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident around Richmond, VA, you need the attorneys at Cravens and Noll. Our lawyers have extensive experience in boat accident cases and will do everything in our power to get you the compensation you deserve. We understand the trauma these accidents can cause, and how to prove that you were not at fault.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
When you and another party are involved in a boating accident, there are some important steps to take.
- Make sure everyone is safely on-board and out of harm’s way. According to the law Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR), any boat operator involved in an accident is required to offer assistance. Failure to do so could lead to a Class 1 Misdemeanor criminal charge.
- If possible, move the boats to the shoreline, away from the center of the body of water. This helps the injured get to safety while the boat operators exchange information.
- Exchange important personal information. All operators of every vessel involved in the accident must exchange their personal info with each other. This includes their full name, address, and boat details.
- Report the accident with the DWR as soon as possible. It is the responsibility of the operator of a vessel to report any accidents that involve an injury, loss of life, disappearance of any person on board, or vehicle damage over $2000.
- Visit a doctor soon after the accident. While you may not feel any pain, it’s always best to get a professional opinion. You could prevent future pain caused by the accident.
- Contact an experienced boating accident attorney. They will be able to work through the details of the case with you and defend your rights in court.
Boating accidents differ from normal vehicle accidents in that the vessel operators are required by law to report the accident. Since most boat accidents in Virginia occur far away from the police or Coast Guard, it’s on the boating operators to hold each other accountable.
Causes For Boating Accidents in Richmond, VA
Boating includes a wide variety of watercraft, from sailboats to canoes, to paddle boats and jet skis. Because of this, there are many different causes of an accident while on the water in Virginia. These can include:
- Distracted operation of the vessel
- Operator inexperience
- Reckless speeding
- Boating under the influence
- Navigation rules violation
- Overcrowded waters
- Machinery failure
- Dangerous waters (strong currents, rapids)
Types of Boating Accidents
When a negligent operator fails to follow safety measures while out on the water, they can cause serious harm to the other people around them. Even improper operation of a smaller vessel like a canoe can lead to serious or fatal injuries.
Here are some examples of common boating accidents in Richmond, VA
- Boat collisions into other boats or objects
- Flooding or capsizing
- Grounding (hitting a heavy object underneath the water.)
- Falling overboard
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
If you or a loved one have been injured in any of these accidents while on the water, you deserve proper compensation from the other parties involved.
Knowledgeable Richmond Attorneys on Your Side
The attorneys and boating accident investigation team at Cravens and Noll understand how serious boating accidents and the injuries they cause can be. Uncovering who was at fault and other specifics of an accident requires an investigation that is carried out by skilled and experienced investigators. Our firm has extensive experience in putting together the details after an accident has occurred. We can help you pursue the compensation you deserve after a boating accident.
We have successfully represent people who have been involved in accidents on the following bodies of water:
- Lake Gaston
- Lake Anna
- Chesapeake Bay
- James River
- Shenandoah River
- Rappahannock River
- York River
- Elizabeth River
- Pamunkey River
Our goal at Cravens and Noll is to get you back on the water to enjoy your life again. That requires using our years of experience and various resources to create the ultimate case for you in court. You deserve compensation for the negligence of someone else’s inability to follow the boating safety guidelines. Get in touch with the boat accident attorneys at Cravens and Noll.
Our lawyers care about your safety and well being and will do everything in our power to fight for your best interests. Call and schedule a consultation with us as soon as possible after your boating accident.