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Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a popular place for water lovers, with several beautiful lakes available for boating, water skiing, tubing, fishing, and swimming. While having your own personal watercraft can be an excellent way to enjoy everything Minnesota lakes have to offer, it comes with significant owner and operator responsibilities. Some people shirk these responsibilities, resulting in preventable boating accidents. If you were involved in one such accident as a boater, passenger, swimmer, or bystander, we want to hear from you at Knutson + Casey.
Fun in the sun can quickly go wrong when you mix an irresponsible operator with a water vessel. Many boaters mistakenly believe they are exempt from safety laws when out on the water. This can lead to boat operators making mistakes such as drinking and boating, letting unqualified friends take the helm, and failing to observe the waterway rules and regulations. Mistakes such as speeding or failing to watch for other waterway users can lead to deadly collisions and serious property damage. Boater error is a primary cause of waterway accidents in Minnesota.
Contrary to what many believe, a water vessel operator cannot take the helm while intoxicated. A boater who has been drinking may be guilty of a BUI (boating under the influence) and liable to pay for resultant injuries to other parties. If you think a boater was under the influence during your accident, the police will be able to order a blood or urine chemical test to document the boater’s official blood alcohol concentration levels. This can then serve as evidence against the boater, should you need to take your civil claim to trial.
Other causes of boating accidents include poor weather, equipment malfunction, boat leaks, and breakdowns. If you were on a commercial boat during an accident, it may be the vessel operator or company’s legal responsibility to pay for your damages. For example, the company failed to properly maintain the boat prior to allowing paying customers on board, or the operator showed up to work intoxicated – there are many potential defendants in every boating accident case. A discussion with an attorney can help you determine liability after an accident on the water.
You may resist the idea of getting the law involved in your boating accident. Another boater may have promised to pay for your property damage and medical bills, or you might think you can handle conversations with an insurance claims adjuster on your own. While this may be true, retaining an attorney won’t do anything but help your case. When you involve an attorney, you can protect your rights from liars, scam artists, and those seeking to take advantage of you. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Minneapolis can pursue your claim vigorously, refusing to accept settlements that are below what your injuries deserve. Find this lawyer at Knutson + Casey.
Knutson + Casey has attorneys who have lived and worked in Minneapolis for decades. Our firm is greatly invested in the local community, with involvement in events and activities throughout the year. With such a great amount of local Minneapolis and St. Paul knowledge, legal understanding, and hands-on experience, we have what it takes to represent your boating accident case. We have resources on state and local boating laws, common carrier regulations, and previously settled cases that may relate to yours. Our team brings together big firm resources with small firm attentiveness. If you’re on the fence about pursuing a legal claim after a boating accident, let us put your fears to rest. To discuss the merits of your case with an attorney, call (763) 259-3642 or contact us online.