There is a lot of water in around Louisiana and many people enjoy boating every day. It can be a great recreational activity. Boats are also involved in the commerce in the area and transport goods and people in and out of the ports. Boating for the most part is a safe activity, but if rules are not followed and people are not paying attention, it can also lead to serious accidents. Some of these boating accidents also result in serious injuries to the people involved in them.
To help ensure the safety of all boaters, there are rules boaters must follow while they are on the water. These rules include, but are not limited to, boats which are passing each other head on must keep to their respective rights, when making right angle turns the boat on the left yields to the boat on the right, motor boats must keep in a straight path when passing sail boats, boats arriving a landing dock must yield to those departing, the boat that does not have a right away in a situation must slow down and reverse allowing the boat with the right away to pass, boats must follow speed and wake regulations, they must have proper warning devices for foggy conditions and many others.
When a boater does not follow these rules it is prima facie evidence that the boat who broke the rule is at fault for the accident and it should be noted in any accident report. This is important because the victim of these accidents can be placed in a very difficult position, if they are seriously injured. The person may incur significant medical bills and lose income if they are unable to work. Luckily, if the other boater is at fault they may be required to compensate the victim for their damages.
Many people in Louisiana are victims of boating accidents. There are many rules in place to keep all boaters safe, but if one does not follow the rules, they do not help the victim. The boaters who violated may be liable to compensate the victim for all damages. These are very fact specific matters though and experienced attorneys understand how to apply facts to the law.
Source: Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, "Rules of the Road for Vessels" accessed on May 30, 2017