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Boat and Jet Ski Accident Lawyers in Montana

If You’re Injured by a Careless Boater, We Can Help You Make a Claim

Summers in Montana are for getting outside—whether you’re hiking, camping, RVing, or boating. We’re lucky to have a variety of rivers and lakes that welcome motorized and non-motorized craft alike, many close enough to home to make day trips possible.

Before heading out, most people know to consider safety basics: check the weather, make sure you have life jackets, review emergency procedures, and the like. However, one danger most people don’t consider is whether someone else’s negligence might end up causing a dangerous boat or jet ski accident.

Whether you’re piloting your own craft or a passenger on someone else’s, you may be able to file a claim if the negligent actions of another person result in an injury. Our boat and jet ski accident team at Hoyt & Blewett PLLC can help you figure out who is liable in a boating or jet ski accident. If you need medical treatment and/or miss work because of a boat or jet ski accident, we want to help you determine how you can recover compensation for your expenses.

We’re here to help after an accident changes your life. Call us today at (406) 233-1302 to speak to one of our caring attorneys.

Dangers on Montana’s Waterways

Variability in snowmelt from year to year can make river safety uncertain, especially for less experienced boaters. Late afternoon storms can blow in and threaten those out on a lake or reservoir. Chilly water makes everything more dangerous; life jacket or not, hypothermia is a threat year-round. When going out into nature, boaters and jet skiers must keep these hazards in mind and act appropriately. However, humans cause many dangers of their own.

Top Causes of Boating Accidents

Overwhelmingly, boat accidents are caused by human error rather than environmental factors. According to a 2019 report on recreational boating accidents in the U.S., the top 5 causes were:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Improper lookout
  3. Operator inexperience
  4. Excessive speed
  5. Alcohol use

These are all issues of negligence that can be cause to file a claim if you’re injured in a boat accident. This is true for boat operators and passengers alike. Whether the negligent party was in the same vessel as you or another one, our team can help you determine who might be liable for your injuries.

Considerations in Jet Ski Accidents

Jet skis, also known as personal watercraft (or PWC) in Montana, must follow the same laws and regulations as other boats. This means operators must be of age or be certified by the state. PWC must keep at least 200 feet away from swimmers, flagged diving areas, and non-motorized watercraft. As with all types of motorized vehicles in Montana, operating a jet ski while under the influence of drugs and alcohol is outlawed.

Jet skis come with safety features like an automatic cut-off lanyard and self-righting abilities, but this does not protect against bad choices or carelessness. The top cause of jet ski accidents is collision with another object. In some cases, such as a tragic, doubly-fatal crash in Great Falls, that other object is another jet ski or boater. Though jet skis are easily maneuverable, their speed and size can turn into hazards when inexperienced operators misjudge how much room or time they have to change their path.

Collisions with Swimmers

Boaters are warned to give swimmers a wide berth in the water, but individuals are harder to see than other vessels—which can spell disaster for swimmers. When a boat hits a swimmer, it’s obvious who will take most of the damage. Thankfully, these boat accidents are rare, but they can result in very serious injuries or even wrongful death. If you need legal assistance after a boat accident between a swimmer and a boater or want to know your legal rights, our experienced team of boat accident attorneys is here to help.

Boating and Jet Ski Accident Injuries

On the water, an overwhelming number of accident fatalities are related to drowning. However, especially when high-speed collisions are involved, the victims of boat accidents may sustain other serious damage. Chest injury is most likely, but victims may also suffer fractures, internal injuries, head and neck injuries, or even traumatic brain injuries.

Aside from necessitating costly treatment, these injuries may cause you to miss work and face other losses. An unexpected injury is stressful enough without having to worry about financial complications. That’s why it’s important to speak to an experienced boat and jet ski accident attorney: so you can learn what you may be able to recover in a personal injury claim.

Boat and Jet Ski Accident Lawyers Serving Montana

When a day of recreation turns into a disaster, our caring legal team is here to help you. Accident victims often find themselves facing a variety of concerns they’d never thought about while they are healing from a severe injury. If you need less stress in your life, call someone who has helped others in your situation—someone like Hoyt & Blewett PLLC.

Our award-winning attorneys have recovered multi-million dollar settlements for injury victims across Montana, and we’re known nationally for taking complex cases other firms won’t. If you’ve been injured in a boat or jet ski accident, we want to know how we can help you recover compensation so you can receive the treatment you need.

Call Hoyt & Blewett PLLC at (406) 233-1302 to schedule a free consultation with our team. We can help you understand your legal rights if you’ve been injured in an accident.

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