Maritime Law

How to Determine Liability in a Mississippi Boat Accident

Benjamin U. Bowden
December 26, 2023

Have you been involved in a boat accident in Gulfport, Mississippi? Boating accidents can cause serious injuries, damages, and even death. You can sue the at-fault party for negligence if you've been injured in a boat accident resulting from someone else's negligence. If you choose to file a claim, you might be able to receive compensation for damages. 

However, determining liability is the hardest part of a boat accident compensation claim. Hiring a skilled Gulfport boat accident attorney will help you determine liability.

Determining Liability

One or more parties can be responsible for a boating accident. Sometimes it is even impossible to point out the actual responsible party. Potential at-fault parties in a boating accident may include the following:

The operator of the boat: If the boat operator failed to provide reasonable safety to passengers, they could be held accountable. For example, recreational boat drivers must ensure the boat is in good condition and approved jackets are available for all passengers.

Also, if a boat driver caused an accident because they were driving recklessly, drinking while operating the boat, or speeding, establishing liability might be fairly straightforward.

A passenger on the boat you were driving: Sometimes passengers can also be held responsible for a boating accident. For example, if a passenger in the boat you were operating did something that resulted in an accident, there is a chance they could be held responsible for their actions.

The operator or passenger of another boat: Establishing liability when another boat is involved can be more challenging. However, there are instances where liability is relatively straightforward, such as the other vessel colliding with your boat because the operator was intoxicated or driving recklessly.

If the passenger of the other boat acted recklessly and distracted the driver, you need to figure out where the liability lies to ensure you file liability against the correct party.

The boat manufacturer: The boat manufacturer could be held accountable if the boat accident occurred due to a faulty part caused by a manufacturer defect.

These are just a few examples of parties that can be held liable for a boating accident in Gulfport, Mississippi. There are many other situations that can occur. Establishing liability in a boating accident is not always straightforward, requiring a detailed investigation by skilled experts. You should be quick to collect evidence because, unlike motor vehicle accidents, crucial evidence can be carried away with water.

Contact a Gulfport Boat Accident Attorney

If you have been involved in a boating accident in Gulfport, it will help to call a boat accident attorney as soon as possible. Your attorney will investigate your case and preserve crucial evidence so they can build a strong claim against the at-fault party.

If you have questions about a boating accident lawsuit, schedule a consultation online or call us at (228) 896-5652.