Water Skiing And Drunk Boat Driving: How Your Loved One's Wrongful Death Can Be Made Right
Drunk driving that leads to death is a very serious thing, especially if the person driving drunk survives the crash. Now there are also drunk boaters, who drive motor boats and speed boats drunk because there really is not much to keep people from getting in a boat, drinking and then driving the boat. If your loved one was water skiing with friends over a holiday weekend and was killed because someone was driving the boat while drunk, you have a wrongful death case. It can be defended in the following ways.
Drunk Boating Laws
Many states have only recently enacted drunk boating laws. California, Michigan and Wisconsin all forbid drunk boating. (Your wrongful death attorney will have to investigate your own state's laws in regards to drunk boating.) If you are in a state that forbids the consumption of alcohol and driving a boat, then the driver of the boat that caused your loved one's death is not only at fault and at risk of fines, but could incur penalties via your lawsuit and possibly a sentence for vehicular manslaughter as well. (In some states the law does not differentiate between a boat or a car when someone is killed by a drunk driver.)
Police Records Proving Drunkenness
There should have been a police call out for help if your loved one was badly injured or drowned. Any police involvement means there should also be a police report, a coroner's report, an investigator's report and/or records that show the blood alcohol level of every person involved. You will need these records to prove that not only did the boat's driver violate drunk driving laws, but he or she also knowingly drove drunk and did not discourage your loved one from water activities outside the boat. Some of these records you may not be able to access on your own, but your attorney can and will.
Defending the Deceased's Decision to Drink and Play
The defense will probably argue that your family member knowingly partook of an activity wherein he or she knew that the boat's driver was intoxicated. Your lawyer will then have to defend the deceased's position, arguing that responsibility lies with the boat's owner, who clearly could have refused to allow alcohol on the boat in the first place. Armed with the DUI laws in your state and the police and medical records, your wrongful death attorney will create the best case possible.
For more help, contact a law office like Campbell, Dille, Barnett & Smith, P.L.L.C.