Arlington Boat Accident Lawyer

The Potomac River offers plenty of opportunities for watersports, leisure activities, and casual travel up and down one of America’s most famous waterways. Unfortunately, because this river is often so busy, it is far from uncommon for accidents to occur on or around maritime vessels, many of which could have been avoided if everyone involved had acted in a responsible way.

Effectively pursuing civil restitution after this kind of incident can be a deceptively complex endeavor, which is why retaining a skilled Arlington boat accident lawyer could be so crucial to preserving your rights under these circumstances. In addition to helping you navigate applicable state and district rules for litigation, your seasoned personal injury attorney could also collect evidence on your behalf, ensure an appropriate valuation of your damages, and demand fair restitution throughout settlement negotiations or—if necessary—a court trial.

Establishing Fault for an Incident on the Water

Much like motor vehicle drivers on land, boat operators on the water have an implicit “duty” to act reasonably and safely at all times while in control of their craft, whether they are idling in a harbor or traveling at top speed through navigable waters. In order for a boat accident to justify personal injury litigation, one or more parties involved in that incident must have “breached” this duty in some way, and that breach must have directly caused the accident—and subsequent injuries—to occur.

What actions constitute “negligence” in this way can vary a lot based on the circumstances surrounding a particular incident. Some actions, like violating speed limits or operating a boat while impaired by one or more substances, are always a breach of duty that could give rise to a claim if they lead to a wreck.

Other times, things may be more complicated—for instance, a boater who swerves to avoid a buoy they were not looking out for might be considered careless, while a boater swerving to avoid a tree branch that just fell into the water in front of them might be acting reasonably under the circumstances. Answering questions of liability and effectively presenting evidence to demonstrate fault for a boating accident are some of the many ways a seasoned Arlington attorney could provide irreplaceable help to an injured accident victim.

Filing Deadlines for Boat Crash Claims

Because the biggest waterway near Arlington, the Potomac River, technically serves as a border between Virginia and the District of Columbia, different rules may apply to boat accident litigation depending on exactly where an incident occurs. For example, claims filed in Virginia are subject to Code of Virginia §8.01-243, which sets a two-year filing deadline for most personal injury claims that begins to run from the moment a plaintiff first discovers—or should have reasonably discovered—their injuries.

Conversely, D.C. Code §12-301 sets a three-year statutory filing deadline for personal injury claims if the injury in question occurred within the District of Columbia’s jurisdiction. This is just one of many ways in which claims pursued in different places can differ significantly, all of which a boat collision lawyer in Arlington could help clear up as needed.

An Arlington Boat Accident Attorney Could Help

Unfortunately, the fact that water surrounds maritime vessels as opposed to the asphalt and concrete surrounding most motor vehicles does not make accidents involving the former type of craft any less dangerous than those involving the latter type. In fact, the drowning risk that all boaters face out on the water can make these types of incidents even more hazardous than roadway collisions, especially when they occur at high speeds.

Whatever circumstances led to you getting hurt by another boater’s misconduct, a knowledgeable Arlington boat accident lawyer could potentially help you demand appropriate financial compensation for your ensuing losses. Call today to learn more.