While they share much in common with car crashes, boating accidents also differ significantly. If you are not working with an experienced Little Rock boat accident lawyer who could protect your rights and guide you through the legal process, you may be missing out on important resources that could make recovering from a serious injury much easier.
Connect with a seasoned personal injury attorney from the Reed Firm to learn more about your options for pursuing compensation after sustaining injuries on the water.
Small Craft Boat Insurance Requirements
All vehicles driven on Arkansas public roads must carry a minimum amount of insurance. This is to ensure there is money available to pay for the injuries and property damages if the driver of the vehicle is involved in an accident. The regulation applies to boats as well.
According to Arkansas state law, a watercraft with more than 50 horsepower must be insured for at least $50,000 in liability coverage. While there is no requirement for an owner to insure the boat itself against loss, this is a wise idea, too. If a person does not carry liability insurance and does something to seriously hurt someone, they may be held personally responsible for paying for all the damage they caused. A Little Rock boat accident injury attorney knows how to analyze all applicable insurance policies and maximize settlements for injured individuals.
Boating Accident vs. General Injuries on the Water
Not every injury on an Arkansas waterway involves a boat. In order for a boater’s insurance policy to cover an injury, that injury has to occur on, about, or in the watercraft. This does not mean that other types of injuries cannot be dealt with through insurance; it simply means that small craft insurance policies are designed for situations where the boat itself is involved. Here are a few common examples:
- Cut by propellers
- Fall overboard from a boat
- Struck by a boat while swimming
- Collision between two or more boats
- Injuries on tour boats or commercial vessels
- Boat collisions with jet skis, kayaks, canoes, or paddleboards
- Boat collisions with piers, docks, and other stationary structures
No matter how a boating crash or on-the-water injury occurred, it is wise to talk to an attorney in the Little Rock area about the accident, as there are exceptions to every rule.
Differences Between a Small Craft Injury and a Commercial Boating Accident
Sport fishing and other groups that cater to outdoor enthusiasts operate organized tours throughout Arkansas. Little Rock is home to many beautiful waterways, and attorneys who routinely assist with boating accident claims understand that this also attracts larger vessels from these professional tour and guide companies. The boats they use are often not in the manufacturer’s original condition; they get drastically modified for a unique purpose. For example, some companies may remove the hull to create a glass-bottom tour boat. Other companies may modify a boat or bus to be amphibious, operating both on land and in the water. Unless performed with skill and quality parts, modifications like these could be very dangerous for passengers.
Moreover, commercial vessels may not be outfitted with the appropriate safety gear, including life vests and floatation devices. Even if they do have these, they may not have enough for everyone on board.
Fortunately, larger companies tend to carry more insurance because they have significantly more to lose if someone is injured. A skilled attorney could build a claim to pursue compensation from these insurance companies and help injured people recover.
Discuss Your Claim With a Little Rock Boat Accident Attorney
When you have been harmed aboard a water vessel, you will likely have many questions about what steps to take next. Get connected with a Little Rock boat accident lawyer now and access the resources you need during this stressful time.
At the Reed Firm, we emphasize our client-oriented approach, friendly staff, and fast response times. Contact us now to discover how we could help you weather whatever storms life throws at you.