Speedboats are motorized boats that have been outfitted with motors for high speed and racing purposes. Some speedboats (or motorboats) can reach speeds of 150 mph or higher. As such, speedboats are often reserved for competition or private use on special courses. However, speedboat accidents can occur and can lead to serious injury or property damage. Some common speedboat accidents include:
- Collisions with other boats or water vehicles
- Collisions with swimmers and other persons in the water
- Accidents involving property on the shore
Speedboat accidents can be very dangerous due to the high speeds involved. In particular, flips are common if the speedboat “lifts” above the water and loses contact with the water. Also, explosions and fires can occur as well. As in other racing accidents, injuries can include head, neck, and back injuries, abrasions, broken bones, burns and other serious conditions.
Who Can be Held Liable for a Speedboat or Motorboat Accident?
In most cases, competitive speedboat events require participants to sign a liability waiver, in which they agree not to hold certain parties liable for an accident occurring in the normal course of the competition. However, liability for a speedboat accident can still be found based on several different legal theories.
For instance, speedboat manufacturers or distributors can be held liable for an injury or accident if it is caused by a product defect, such as a design defect or a manufacturing defect.
Or, the driver of a speedboat can be held liable for injuries or accidents if they are caused by negligence. This can include driving recklessly in areas where there are many swimmers or slower vessels. Liability for a violation can also occur if the boat is found to be speeding above accepted water speed limits, or if there is a DUI (driving under the influence) issue involved. In some cases, boat rental companies can be held liable for an incident if they were negligent in the care or upkeep of their boating vessels.
Lastly, even in a race or competitive event, crew members or other personnel can be held liable for an accident if there was in issue with the boat with they knew (or should have known) needed repair, but failed to address it.
Are There any Legal Remedies for a Speedboat Accident?
Speedboating accidents and injuries can be serious and may require legal action to fully resolve. In such injury cases, a monetary damages award will usually be the typical legal remedy. The damages award may cover costs and expenses related to the incident, such as:
- Hospital bills
- Medical costs
- Damaged property expenses
- Scarring, disfigurement, and other conditions
- Loss of earning capacity
- Various other losses
Also, in cases where a product defect is involved, other remedies may apply, such as a product recall or a class action lawsuit filing.
Should I Hire a Lawyer for Assistance with a Speedboat Accident Claim?
Due to the high speeds involved, speed boat accidents can be highly dangerous and can lead to serious injuries. It may be in your best interests to hire a personal injury lawyer in your area if you need assistance or guidance with an injury claim. Your attorney can provide you with professional advice and research for any inquiries or questions you might have. Also, if you need to make an appearance in a court setting, your lawyer can provide representation during those times as well.