“Thank you for helping with my lawsuit for the car wreck. You did a wonderful, professional job and I would recommend you to anyone. Once again, thank you very much.”
– Rodeo Post
“Without the help of Kevan Montoya I know that I would not have had the successful outcome that was achieved. He took a very difficult situation and made sure that the truth was told, presently and perfectly. He was a calm and confident presence during this difficult time for our family. I very much appreciate the knowledge and support I received from Mr. Montoya. I highly recommend this firm.”
– April Adkison
“Kevan Montoya and his staff are incredible! I was able to concentrate on healing and my family instead of insurance companies and paperwork. Not only are the staff empathetic and efficient, Mr. Montoya was tenacious in making sure that my interests were considered. They’ve got your back!”
– Lisa Allen (Yakima, WA)
Recreational boating is a fun, relaxing way to spend time, but when someone is negligent or reckless and causes an accident, the result can be major property damage, catastrophic injuries, and even death. Some boating accidents may be unavoidable, but when a boat operator or other individual is negligent and puts others at risk, or a boat or its parts were defective and malfunctioned, that individual or the entity that manufactured the boat or its parts can be held liable for the damages that resulted.
Our Yakima Boating Accident Lawyers Can Help if Your Accident Was Caused by Another Party’s Negligence
Depend on Montoya Hinckley. Our experience means you’ll get aggressive, skilled representation to get the compensation you deserve.
If you or a family member was injured, or someone died, in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligence or fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages from insurance or a through a lawsuit. However, Washington laws and procedures for personal injury or wrongful death cases are complicated, and making mistakes can be costly. Insurance companies will try to get you to accept the lowest amount possible. If you are trying to deal with the pain from your injuries, and the financial strain of medical bills at a time when you may be unable to work, it can be overwhelming to think of going through a boating accident lawsuit.
When You Work with our Boating Accident Lawyers, You’re Treated with Compassion and Respect
Fortunately, you do not have to go through the process alone. Help is available from the compassionate boating accident lawyers at Montoya Hinckley. We understand what you are going through at this difficult time, and we will take the burden off you by dealing with insurance companies and handling the legal hurdles and requirements involved with getting you fair compensation. You can concentrate on your recovery.
Our boating accident lawyers have over four decades of combined experience in Yakima and Central Washington, so we have the necessary knowledge of the laws, the courts, and the system to aggressively and effectively fight for the settlement award you deserve.
We offer a free and confidential consultation to discuss the circumstances of your boating accident case and determine the best way to help.
There are no fees to you unless and until we win a settlement or award, so call us today at 509-895-7373 to get started.
How a Boating Accident Attorney Can Help You with a Boat Accident Lawsuit
Our Boating Accident Attorneys Know How to Fight for Compensation for Your Losses
People are often afraid of what may happen to them if they take responsibility for an accident they caused, so it is unlikely that someone will admit to wrongdoing in a boating accident. Our attorneys must prove that another party was negligent and at fault to get you the compensation you deserve.
Proving that another party was negligent and at fault involves taking the following steps:
- Listening to your version of what happened and who you think the liable parties might be.
- Conducting investigations to gather evidence about how the boating accident happened, such as from photographs and videos, and police, ambulance, and medical records and reports.
- Interviewing witnesses and first responders.
- Hiring experts to reconstruct the accident and provide testimony as to how it occurred, who was at fault, and the resulting negative effects on your life.
- Locating all potential defendants who may have been at fault.
- Filing all paperwork and handling all legal procedures and court appearances in compliance with legal requirements and deadlines.
- Dealing with insurance companies and their lawyers and negotiating for a fair settlement that covers all your losses.
- Building your case and taking it to trial, if necessary, and arguing in front of a judge or jury.
When you hire our boating accident lawyers to represent you, we will make sure everything is done correctly from the start, and we will keep you informed throughout the entire investigative and legal process.
Our Attorneys Know What Commonly Causes Boating Accidents
Boating accidents typically are caused in several ways, and knowing what to look for can help our attorneys determine liability in a serious boating collision.
According to a document published by the U.S. Coast Guard in 2019, the top causes of recreational boating accidents in the U.S. are:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol use
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
- Force of a wave or wake
In many of these situations, boating accidents were caused by preventable boat operator errors, and these operators could be held liable for damages caused by their negligence.
How Boat Accident Lawyers Prove Negligence
To win your lawsuit, our attorneys must prove that the defendant in the case was negligent and at fault, and therefore legally liable for causing the boating accident.
To prove fault legally, we must show the following elements exist:
- Duty: The defendant had a duty of care not to cause harm.
- Breach: The defendant breached this duty by acting or failing to act.
- Cause: The defendant’s wrongful act, neglect, or failure to act caused the accident that led to your injuries.
- Damages: You suffered damages as a result.
Examples of negligence in a boating accident include:
- Operating a boat while intoxicated
- Failing to pay attention
- Traveling at an illegal speed
- Driving recklessly
- Failing to heed posted signs or directions
- Letting a minor drive the boat
- Boating without the proper safety equipment on board
Damage Awards a Yakima Boating Accident Attorney Can Win for You
Our Boating Accident Lawyers Will fight for an Award that Covers Your Economic and Noneconomic Damages
In a successful case, you may win an award that covers the economic damages, which are the calculable costs you have incurred as a result of the accident, such as:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses
- Property damages
- Wage losses if you are unable to work
You may also be compensated for noneconomic damages, which is restitution for things that are difficult to put a dollar value on but negatively impact your life, such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress and mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Washington State does not place caps on noneconomic damages, so there is no limit to the amount you may be awarded for these losses.
Factors in the Amounts of Damage Awards in a Boating Accident Case
There is a wide range of damage awards you may receive in a successful boating injury case. Awards vary according to the circumstances of the case and other factors that may include:
- The extent, severity, and permanence of your injury
- Whether you will need continuing care
- Your age, earning capacity, and family situation
- Whether you will be able to work in the future
- Whether a death has occurred
- The amount of insurance and personal assets of the defendants
- The individual judge and jury in the case
- The availability of evidence to prove fault
- The ability to prove noneconomic damages
- The skill of your attorneys
When you consult with our boating accident lawyers in Yakima, we will examine your costs and the ways in which your injuries have affected your life to determine what fair compensation would be. We will negotiate aggressively with insurers for a fair settlement, but we are fully prepared to take your case to trial if necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions About Injuries in Boating Accidents
Here are some answers to common questions our Yakima boating accident attorneys are often asked:
Who is liable in a boating accident?
Any party or parties who were at fault for causing the accident can be held liable. For example, the legal BAC (blood alcohol content) limit for boaters in Washington State is .08; so if an operator was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the accident, the operator’s BAC can be used to prove fault and the defendant can be held liable. In cases of machinery failure, manufacturers and distributors of defective equipment could be held liable. If the failure was due to improper maintenance, the owner of the boat and the company responsible for maintenance may be held liable. All these parties may have insurance or assets that can pay a settlement award in your case.
Should I Accept an Offer from the Insurance Company?
Insurance companies are out for profit and will try to get you to settle for the lowest amount possible. They have high-powered lawyers on their side. They may try to trap you into saying or doing something to prove you were at fault, so it’s best to let your attorney handle all dealings with insurance adjusters and insurance company lawyers. Once you sign a release, you can never seek additional compensation for your injuries related to an accident. Never accept or sign anything from an insurance company without consulting your attorney first.
What happens if a death occurs from the accident?
According to RCW 4.20.010, if a death is caused by the wrongful act, neglect, or default of another person, the personal representative of the deceased’s estate may bring an action against the person causing the death for the economic and noneconomic damages sustained by the beneficiaries. A wrongful death claim is like a personal injury case where the personal representative of the deceased person’s estate seeks compensation, since the deceased can no longer do so.
What if I am partially at fault for what happened?
Washington’s contributory fault rule allows a plaintiff to recover damages even if they are partially responsible for the accident. If you did anything to contribute to the accident, your damage award will be reduced in proportion to the percentage of fault you are assigned by a judge or jury. However, as long as you can prove the defendant is at least 50% at fault, our attorneys can still help you collect the portion of the total damages award that you are entitled to. For example, if a judge or jury determined that you were 20 percent at fault and the damages award is $100,000, you could still collect $80,000.
Contact Our Boating Accident Attorneys in Yakima
At Montoya Hinckley, we understand how difficult it is for you to be a victim of a boating accident, and we will be there to advocate for justice and the settlement you deserve. We are well-known for our client-focused-service philosophy and will work closely with you to provide support, answer your questions and concerns, and manage all aspects of your claim process.
Don’t delay, as evidence tends to disappear over time and there are deadlines for filing a claim.
If you have been injured in a boating accident due to the fault of another person or organization, call our boating accident attorneys at Montoya Hinckley today at 509-895-7373 to get started with a free consultation.