Boats are a very popular recreational activity but while they can move at the speed of a car, they lack many of the important safety features including brakes, airbags and seat belts. This combination can ultimately end in death or serious personal injury. As you may have guessed, boating accidents occur most frequently in the summer months when the weather is nice and the water is calling. Many boat operators are not properly trained to handle these machines and often times alcohol is involved.
So what are your options when there has been a death on a boat? Similar to other transportation-based wrongful deaths, you can and should file a lawsuit against the responsible party. While no amount of money will bring your loved one back, it can greatly ease the financial strain the loss has put on you and your family. Here's a look at some boating wrongful death questions you might have:
1. How long do I have to file a lawsuit? In California, you have 2 years from the time of the death (or injury) to file most wrongful death lawsuits. Time passes quickly and while a lawsuit is not something you want to be dealing with, you also do not want to miss this opportunity. At Walch Law, one call to us is all you need to do.
2. What if the deceased was partly responsible? This is not an uncommon scenario and also not a bar to your lawsuit. California has a comparative negligence standard when looking at the fault in personal injury cases so when liability has been established, the other party will be responsible for their % of fault. For instance, if the other boat was 70% responsible and your loved one was 30% responsible, then the financial settlement will reflect those numbers.
3. How long will my case take?: Of course the answer to this depends on many factors including the other party involved, the details of the fatal accident and whether you are looking to settle out of court or take the case to trial. During your initial consultation with us, we can give you a realistic timeline and we always keep our clients updated on case status and other important developments. Wrongful death cases take time but we work hard to make sure that your case is handled as quickly as possible.
4. What do I do if I can't afford an attorney?: Good news! You don't need to afford us when you file any type of personal injury lawsuit. We take all our cases on a contingency fee basis meaning that you don't pay us until you get paid. Legal fees are never a barrier to filing your wrongful death lawsuit when you work with us
At Walch Law, we are so sorry for your injuries and loss and are here to help ease the stress of this very difficult time. We are always available and have a over 95% success rate. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a boat accident, do not hesitate to give us a call today and let's begin working together.