If you have been involved in a boating accident in Oklahoma, you may be able to seek compensation from the at-fault party. However, you and your attorney will need to prove fault to show that the other party owes you compensation for your damages.
Read on to learn how to prove fault in an Oklahoma boating accident case. Then contact our attorneys at Bryan Garrett PLLC to schedule your free initial consultation.
Who is Liable in an Oklahoma Boating Accident?
Boating accident cases are a type of personal injury case. Typically, for a person or party to be liable in a personal injury case, they must meet the following criteria:
- They owed a duty of care to the other party
- They breached that duty of care
- The breach of duty led to an accident
- The other party suffered injuries in the accident
For example, any time you take your boat out on the water, you have a duty of care to the other boaters and swimmers around you. If you breach that duty of care by crashing into another boat or otherwise harming another person, you will be liable.
Boating accident cases often involve negligence. Even if the other party did not purposefully cause you harm, their negligence may have led to the accident. In this case, they are still financially responsible.
Modified Comparative Negligence
Oklahoma is a modified comparative negligence state. This means that insurance companies can find all parties involved in an accident partially responsible.
Let’s say the other boater was mostly at fault for the accident, but if you had been paying better attention, you might have been able to stop your boat sooner. The insurance company may assign you 30% of the blame. As a result, your payout would be reduced by 30%.
Under the modified comparative negligence rule, if a party is more than 50% at fault for the accident, they cannot file a personal injury claim. Your attorney can help you support your level of responsibility in the accident and receive a fair payout from the insurance company.
How to Prove Fault in a Boating Accident Case
Whether you plan to file an insurance claim against another party involved in the accident or are considering a lawsuit, you and your attorney will need to provide evidence that the other boater’s negligence caused your accident.
Proving negligence in a boating case is often more challenging than gathering evidence after a car accident. Instead of following driving laws, boaters need to stick to maritime law, a body of rules governing activities on open waters. Maritime law governs many issues on the water, including civil matters between boat owners.
The best way to prove that a boat owner was going against maritime law and was responsible for your accident is to collect evidence detailing the accident’s circumstances. This evidence may include the following:
- Photos from the accident scene
- Reports from witnesses
- Damage assessments for all boats involved
- Videos from nearby security cameras
If you plan to submit an insurance claim for the accident, you can send all of this evidence to the insurance company to support your claim. Meanwhile, if you are considering a lawsuit, your attorney can present this evidence in court to show that the other party caused the accident that led to your injuries and other damages.
Contact our Boat Accident Attorneys Today
Working with an attorney can help you prove fault in an Oklahoma boating accident case and receive a favorable outcome from the insurance claim or lawsuit.
At Bryan Garrett PLLC, we have extensive experience helping clients throughout Oklahoma navigate personal injury claims. Contact us today at 405-358-2342 to schedule your free initial consultation with a boating accident attorney.