Lafayette Boating Accident Lawyer | Lafayette Duck Boat Accident Lawyer
Lafayette, Louisiana Boating Accident Lawyer
Every year thousands of Lafayette residents plan a trip to go boating or swimming with their friends at one of the many beaches in Southern Louisiana. Most of the time their trips are an enjoyable, relaxing, and fun time spent with their friends and family. Unfortunately, not every trip to the beaches of Louisiana turns out well. In fact, the Louisiana Department of Boating and Waterways concluded found that about 50 boating fatalities occur in Louisiana each year, not to mention countless boating injuries that do not result in fatality and property damage claims. According to the United States Coast Guard, 478 boating accidents were reported in Louisiana in 2009.
Who is Responsible for my injury and What can I Recover if I Hire a Lafayette Boat Injury Lawyer?
Typically the person who caused your injury is who your Lafayette Boat Accident Lawyer will sue to make you whole. Under Louisiana law, a person is responsible for your injury if they acted negligently. It is important to contact a Lafayette boat accident attorney because, depending on the facts of your boating injury, you may be able to sue more than just the person who was driving the boat.
What are the common causes of Lafayette boating accidents?
A common cause of boat accidents is inexperienced boaters in dangerous and unfamiliar situations. Similar to a paved road, waterways have rules that govern how boats are supposed to interact when passing one another. When one person is ignorant of these rules or ignores them, it can easily lead to a boating accident. To learn these rules, every boater should take a boater safety course. These courses are offered both online and in a classroom.
Boater Education Courses: All persons age 20 or under must complete a boat education course to operate a motorboat in excess of 10 horsepower. The course must be approved by the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. While boating, these persons must carry proof of having completed the course.
- Age Restrictions: No person under 16 years of age may operate a personal watercraft. Additionally, no person who owns or is in charge of a personal watercraft may knowingly permit a person under 13 years of age to operate that watercraft. Boat rental companies are prohibited from renting a watercraft to anyone under age 13.
Alcohol and Drugs
One of the largest factors in Lafayette boating accidents is alcohol. It is well documented that a person's reaction time is hindered when under the influence of alcohol. Avoid penalties and injuries. Don't mix boating and alcohol. Just like you would have a designated driver on land, you need one on a boat as well. The operation of any kind of vessel, or use of water skis, surfboards, or similar devices while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs is illegal.
Lafayette Boat Rentals
Boating can be fun if done safely. Here are some Lafayette businesses that rent out boats and personal water craft or charter fishing vessels.
2623 Southeast Evangeline Thruway
Lafayette, LA 70501
2544 Southwest Evangeline Thruway
Lafayette, LA 70508
Spirit Marine Services
200 Thruway Park Road
Broussard, LA 70518
816 Guillot Road
Youngsville, LA 70592
Rene J Cheramie & Sons Inc
103 Bear Creek Court
Broussard, LA 70518
1399 Henderson Levee Road
Henderson, LA 70517
10230 Louisiana 339
Erath, LA 70533
D & B Boat Rentals Inc
133 South Landry Drive
New Iberia, LA 70560
What do I do if I am involved in a boating accident?
Louisiana laws place different obligations upon those who are involved in a boating accident and those who witness an accident. If you have witnessed a boating accident, Louisiana boating laws place no obligation upon you to provide assistance to those involved in the accident. On the other hand, if you have been involved in a boating accident the first thing you should do is look out for the safety for yourself and all of your passengers on board. After you have addressed the safety of all of the people on your vessel you should address any life threatening damage to your boat such as a fire or a hole in the hull of the boat that may cause you or your passengers harm. Next, Louisiana boating laws requires you to offer assistance to anyone injured in the accident and minimize the danger the accident poses to other boaters.
Further, you must provide in writing to anyone that was injured in the accident and to the owner of any damaged property the operator of the vessel's name, address, and identifying number of the vessel he was operating. Finally, the driver of the vessel must report the accident in writing to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries within 48 hours if a person dies or is injured and within 5 days if property damage exceeds $200. The State of Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries have three forms to assist you in reporting a boating accident. The first is Operator Boating Incident Report. The second is the Boating Incident Vessel Supplement Report. Finally, the third report is the Boat Incident Report Request Form.
Does Louisiana have specific boating laws?
Life Vests & Flotation Devices: All vessels in the State of Louisiana must be equipped with U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets, or personal flotation devices (PFDs). There are specific regulations specifying the type and quantity of PFDs required, based on vessel length and the number of people on board the vessel or being towed by the vessel.
- Horsepower Restrictions & Speed Limits: Each water body carries its own restrictions on the horsepower a boat may have and the speed limit for all vessels and watercrafts in the water body. You should always check horsepower and speed limit restrictions before any boating excursion.
Fire Extinguisher: Depending on the type of boat you own Louisiana and Federal law requires you to have certain safety equipment aboard your boat. If your boat is less than 26 feet it must have a Type B-1 fire extinguisher in serviceable condition and readily available aboard the ship if any of the following conditions are met: If your boat is between 26 and 40 feet and is mechanically propelled Louisiana law requires you to have two Type B-1 extinguishers on board and readily accessible. Vessels in excess of 65 feet must comply with Federal Boating Standards which can be found at the U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Resource Center.
- Personal Flotation Device: All boats must have at least one personal flotation device that is approved by the U.S. Coast Guard for each person onboard. The life jacket must be wearable and the proper size for each person on the boat. Further, Louisiana law requires that children 16 years of age and under to wear a life jacket approved by the Coast Guard at all times when the boat is moving and under 26 feet long.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to boater negligence or recklessness, please contact one of the qualified Louisiana Boat Accident Attorneys listed at the top left of this page.
Additional Lafayette Boating Resources
Boat Incident Reporting
To report a boating incident, click here. You must also send a copy of your boat accident report to:
Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries
Click here to renew your boat registration and/or fishing license. You may also purchase a fishing license by calling toll-free 1-888-765-2602.
Boat Title & Registration
To access important documents for licensing, registration, and transfers of Louisiana boats and vessels, click here.
Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries
If you have been hurt in a recreational boat or watercraft accident in the Lafayette Area, contact a Lafayette Boat Accident Lawyer today.
Lafayette Boating Accident Lawyers will zealously pursue your claim. Only a licensed Lafayette Boating Lawyer can help you get the money you need and the justice you deserve. Lafayette Water Accident Attorneys serve the greater Lafayette Area.
Serving clients throughout Southern Louisiana, including Alexandria, Broussard, Cankton, Carencro, Duson, Lafayette, Larabee, Long Bridge, Maurice, Milton, Mire, Monroe, Morgan City, New Iberia, Scott, St. Martinville, Youngsville, and other communities in Lafayette Parish.