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Boating Accidents

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As popular as boating is in West Virginia, it is important to remember that it can be a dangerous activity, too. But many risks are created by those who act carelessly or recklessly. Victims of these types of boating accidents have a right to seek a full recovery for the physical, mental and financial harm they suffer. The boating accident lawyers at Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC can help.

When we think of boating accidents, we tend to think that they only involve high-speed motor boats and Jet Skis. But serious and fatal injuries can also be suffered in accidents that involve canoes, kayaks and whitewater rafts - especially in West Virginia where such activities are extremely popular and a huge tourist draw.

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Drowning and near-drowning are common consequences of boating accidents. However, many other types of injuries can result, including fractures, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and soft tissue injuries. Burns can also result from accidents that trigger fires and explosions. Medical expenses can add up quickly, and victims can be left permanently injured.

Many boating accidents are caused by negligence, such as inattention, inexperienced operators, excessive speed or alcohol use. Depending on the facts of your personal injury case, you may be able to take action against a:

  • Boat owner/operator - West Virginia boating regulations set a standard of care that boat owners and operators must follow. These regulations cover areas such as how a boat should be operated and how it should be equipped.
  • Boat rental company - In some cases, a boat or Jet Ski (personal watercraft, or PWC) may be rented for the day. The company who rents out vessels must ensure they are safely equipped (including providing life jackets). They must also ensure that renters undergo a safety orientation session.
  • Tour guide - Numerous whitewater tour guides, in particular, can be found today in West Virginia. They must comply with the duties established by the Whitewater Responsibility Act. Those duties include conforming to "the standard of care expected of members of their profession
  • Vessel manufacturer - A boat may also be dangerous due to a design or manufacturing defect. It is important to hold manufacturers responsible for dangerous products. In some cases, a boat owner may have been negligent by failing to inspect and maintain the boat.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident caused by another person's negligence, contact us today for a free consultation. One of our attorneys can go over your options and answer any questions you have.

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Mani Ellis & Layne, PLLC
602 Virginia St E #200
Charleston, WV 25301
Phone: 304-720-1000