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Washington, DC Boating Accident Lawyer

As enjoyable as boating in Washington DC can be, it can also be a very dangerous pastime, causing catastrophic injuries to victims. If you or your loved one were injured in a boating accident in Washington DC, you may have rights to compensation. Contact a Regan Zambri Long boat accident lawyer as soon as possible for expert legal advice on how to navigate your case.

We offer free consultations to prospective clients and they do not collect a fee unless a settlement or verdict is reached in your favor. Let us carry the weight of the claims process while you focus your attention on your recovery.

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At Regan Zambri Long PLLC, we are committed to providing exceptional legal services to individuals who are suffering with the pain and stress of an injury. As Washington DC personal injury lawyers we have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.

$77M Wrongful Death Settlement

$20M Brain Injury Verdict

$19.5M Wrongful Death Verdict

$16M Premises Liability Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Settlement

$15.2M Wrongful Death Verdict

$14M Personal Injury Settlement

$14M Car Accident Settlement

$11M Medical Malpractice Settlement

Backed by more than 100 years of combined experience, we have an established reputation for pursuing legal excellence. As our client, we will fight for your rights from start to finish. We will do everything in our power to secure the maximum compensation you need to pay for injury-related expenses, such as medical care, physical therapy, and lost income.

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Who is Liable for a Boating Accident?

While it is not required for you to hire a boating accident attorney, having a legal expert by your side during the claims process will be extremely beneficial to you. Determining liability in a boating accident is not as simple as pointing fingers at the boat operator. While they could be a direct cause of the accident, there are other variables that could have contributed to the collision or incident.

Our boat accident lawyers will conduct a thorough investigation to make sure all parties responsible for the accident are held accountable. They will use the outcome of the investigation to make a claim against each party that is liable, ensuring that you receive the highest amount of compensation possible.

Liable parties for a boating accident include:

  • The boat operator, if they were negligent while operating the boat.
  • A passenger or several passengers, if they were acting in a reckless manner that led to the accident.
  • The owner of the boat, if they let an inexperienced person operate or borrow it without proper supervision or training.
  • Boating manufacturer if there was a mechanical failure that led to the accident.
  • Rental company, if the boat was not properly fixed or maintained before renting it out to customers.

Your Regan Zambri Long boat accident lawyer will use evidence gathered from the boat, witness testimony, medical records, and other documentation to determine liability and then make sure those who are responsible pay you what you are owed. Call today for your free consultation to discuss all possible legal strategies with an expert DC boating accident lawyer.

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How Do Boating Accidents Happen in DC?

Washington DC is home to one of the country’s most notable bodies of water – the Potomac River. It is the fourth largest river in the United States and empties into the Chesapeake Bay. The Anacostia River and Rock Creek flow to and from the Potomac and offer a lot of fun activities for DC residents. The Potomac borders around 5 million homes throughout DC, Maryland and Virginia. Those who live near the river can enjoy canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, paddle boarding, and other water activities.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported a total of 5,265 boating accidents in 2020 alone. Of those accidents, 692 (13%) involved fatalities. The top causes of boating accidents include:

Reckless or negligent operation

U.S. Maritime laws prohibit anyone from operating a motorboat, sailboat, surfboard, water skis, or jet skis in a negligent way that could endanger the life, limb, or property of any person. Negligent behavior can include:

Distracted boat operators

Just like a car driver, a boat driver needs to be focused on the task at hand – getting the boat from one location to another as safely as possible. If the boat operator is distracted by their cell phones, eating or drinking, or even looking at a map, it takes their eyes off the water and can lead to an accident.

Bad weather

Heavy wind, rain, and fog can affect the operator’s ability to see and steer the boat. When boat operators and passengers are caught in unexpected weather conditions it can cause catastrophic accidents. High winds can cause treacherous waters and all boat operators and passengers should thoroughly prepare for bad weather before they onboard.

Mechanical defects

If there is a problem with the boat, there is a chance of an accident. If the boat’s engine fails, or the steering system malfunctions, it can lead to a devastating collision. Other defects include:

Excessive speed

We should all know by now that speeding is dangerous, whether it is a vehicle on a road, or a vehicle in the water. If a boat operator is going too fast, they can lose control of the boat and crash into another watercraft. Moving at a safe speed will help the captain and passengers see swimmers, other boaters, jet skiers, and hazards in the water.

Alcohol and drug impairment

DC law prohibits operating a watercraft – motorboat, sailboat, jet ski, etc. – while impaired or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You cannot drive a boat if you have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08. If you are caught boating under the influence (BUI), the penalty can be up to $10,000 and a year in jail.

Inexperience

If the operator of the boat doesn’t have experience driving, it can greatly increase the risk of an accident. They could be incapable of handling the vessel in unexpected weather, large waves, or turbulent waters. Before you get on a boat, ask the operator the level of experience they have to make sure you are as safe as possible.

Collisions

Accidents can occur when a boat crashes into another watercraft or a fixed hazard in the water like docks or buoys. The more experience the boat operator has, the better they will be able to navigate obstacles and traffic in the water.

What Are Common Boating Accident Injuries?

Boating accident injuries can range from broken bones all the way to traumatic brain injuries. Not only do the operator and passengers run the risk of colliding with another vessel, which alone can cause damage, but they also face the dangers of being thrown from the vessel into the water. The most common injuries boating accident victims face are:

  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Lacerations
  • Burns
  • Broken bones
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Dislocation or fractures
  • Amputation
  • Internal bleeding
  • Organ damage
  • Electrocution
  • Wrongful death

    Wrongful death is death caused by the negligent or wrongful act of another person. Unfortunately, many boating accident victims drown as a result of a crash or other problem that occurs. In fact, 76% of boating accident fatalities in Washington DC were due to drowning in 2017. When this happens, the boating accident lawyers at Regan Zambri Long are here to offer even the slightest consolation in the form of justice and compensation.

    The Regan Zambri Long boating accident attorneys deeply understand the grief you and your family are going through following the death of a loved one due to a boating accident. They know they are coming into your life at the worst possible time so they will work tirelessly to secure the maximum amount of compensation as quickly as possible so you and your family can continue the grieving process and begin to move forward with your lives.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Boating Accidents in Washington, DC

Q: What is the Jones Act?

A: Since seamen are not entitled to workers’ compensation benefits under either state or federal law, the Jones Act allows injured seamen to sue their employer for negligence. The Jones Act states that a seaman’s employer must provide a reasonably safe place to work and keep the water vessel in safe conditions for the seamen at all times. In order to recover damages, the injured seaman must prove that the owner of the water vessel, the captain of the ship, or a crew member was negligent and that their negligence directly caused the injury. If you are part of a crew on a boat, ship, or other water vessel protected under The Jones Act and were injured on the job, contact Regan Zambri Long today to help you secure compensation for your injuries.

Q: What type of watercraft are commonly involved in boating accidents in DC?

A: Several different types of watercraft are allowed in the Potomac and other bodies of water surrounding Washington DC. The vessels with the highest rate of accidents are:

Q: What damages can I recover from a boating accident?

A: Recovered damages greatly depend on the injuries you suffer from the accident and how severe they are. Of course, your Regan Zambri Long boat accident lawyer will work to secure the maximum amount, so you can focus entirely on healing rather than any financial distress from the accident. The damages your lawyer will work to recover are:

Q: How do I prevent a boating accident?

A: Although not all accidents can be prevented, here are a few tips for staying as safe as possible while enjoying different activities on the water in Washington DC:

Q: What are the steps I should take after getting into a boating accident?

A: Getting into a boating accident is scary and extremely stressful. The first and most important thing to do after being involved in a boating accident is to make sure you and all your passengers are completely safe. If your cell phone works, you can call 911 from the boat to report the accident and any injuries that need immediate medical attention. You can also signal for help with distress signals approved by the U.S. Coast Guard.

Once your immediate medical needs are taken care of, you can start the process of documenting the accident. This will help your boat accident lawyer with your claim moving forward. If you can, collect the following:

Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer Today

If someone else’s negligence caused your severe injuries or loved one’s wrongful death, then contact the attorneys at Regan Zambri Long PLLC. Our team is here to provide the information you need to make well-informed decisions. We can guide you through the entire claims process and stay by your side so you never become overwhelmed.

In an effort to better meet the time-sensitive needs of our clients, we make ourselves readily available during all hours. We represent clients in Washington DC as well as Maryland and Virginia. We are here to help you through this difficult time in your life. Call (202) 960-4596 or contact us online today for a free initial consultation.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Have you or your loved one sustained injuries in Washington DC, Maryland or Virginia? Regan Zambri Long PLLC has the best lawyers in the country to analyze your case and answer the questions you may have.

Call 202-960-4596

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