How to Prove Negligence in a Maryland Boating Accident

Boating accidents can have devastating consequences, resulting in injuries, property damage, and even loss of life. If you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Maryland and believe that negligence played a role, it’s crucial to understand how to prove negligence to seek appropriate compensation and justice. In this blog post, we will outline the key elements and steps involved in proving negligence in a Maryland boating accident.How to Prove Negligence in a Maryland Boating Accident

Establish the Duty of Care:

To prove negligence, you must first establish that the other party owed you a duty of care. In boating accidents, all operators have a legal responsibility to operate their vessels safely and responsibly, ensuring the safety of passengers and other individuals on the water.

Breach of Duty:

Next, you need to demonstrate that the other party breached their duty of care. This involves showing that they failed to act as a reasonably prudent boater would under similar circumstances. Examples of negligence in boating accidents can include speeding, operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, distracted driving, failure to maintain a proper lookout, or disregarding weather conditions or navigational rules.


Proving causation is crucial in establishing negligence. You must demonstrate that the defendant’s breach of duty was the direct cause of the accident and resulting injuries. This requires gathering evidence, such as eyewitness testimonies, photographs, accident reports, and expert opinions, to establish a clear link between the defendant’s actions and the accident.


In a negligence claim, you must prove that you suffered actual damages as a result of the accident. These damages can include medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and any other losses you incurred due to the accident. Collecting evidence such as medical records, bills, repair estimates, and financial statements will help substantiate your claim for damages.

Comparative Negligence:

Maryland follows a “pure contributory negligence” rule, which means that if you are found to have contributed to the accident in any way, even just 1%, you may be barred from recovering any compensation. It’s important to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney who can assess your case and determine if any potential comparative negligence issues may arise.

Seek Legal Representation:

Navigating the legal complexities of a boating accident case can be challenging, especially when trying to prove negligence. Hiring an experienced personal injury attorney who specializes in boating accidents in Maryland is crucial. They will have the knowledge, resources, and expertise to investigate the accident, gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case on your behalf.

Preserve Evidence:

In any legal case, preserving evidence is crucial. After a boating accident, make sure to document the scene by taking photographs or videos of the accident location, the damaged vessels, and any visible injuries. Obtain contact information from witnesses who saw the accident and can provide statements regarding the events leading up to it. Keep all relevant documents, such as accident reports, medical records, and bills, as they will serve as crucial evidence when proving negligence.

Investigate the Responsible Party:

Identifying the responsible party is essential for proving negligence. In boating accidents, it could be the operator of the other vessel, the boat owner, or even a rental company. Conduct a thorough investigation to gather information about the responsible party, including their identity, contact details, and any relevant licenses or certifications they should possess. Your attorney can help with this investigation process.

Engage Expert Witnesses:

Expert witnesses can provide professional opinions based on their specialized knowledge and experience. In boating accident cases, you may need experts such as accident reconstruction specialists, marine safety experts, or medical professionals who can testify about the cause of the accident, the defendant’s negligence, or the extent of your injuries. Their testimony can strengthen your case and provide valuable insights to the court or the insurance company.

Communicate with Insurance Companies:

Insurance companies often get involved in boating accident cases, as boaters are required to have liability insurance. It’s important to communicate with your own insurance company and inform them about the accident promptly. However, when dealing with the other party’s insurance company, exercise caution. It’s advisable to consult with your attorney before providing any statements or accepting settlement offers, as insurance adjusters may try to minimize your claim.

File a Lawsuit if Necessary:

If negotiations with the responsible party or their insurance company do not result in a fair settlement, you may need to file a lawsuit to pursue your claim. Your attorney will guide you through this process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met, including adhering to the statute of limitations for filing a personal injury lawsuit in Maryland.

Stay Informed and Seek Support:

Throughout the legal process, stay informed about your rights and responsibilities. Your attorney will provide guidance, but it’s important to ask questions and understand the progress of your case. Additionally, seek support from family, friends, or support groups to cope with the emotional and physical challenges that may arise during this time.

Proving negligence in a Maryland boating accident requires careful attention to detail, gathering evidence, and engaging legal professionals. By following these steps, working with an experienced attorney, and maintaining open communication, you can build a strong case and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your injuries, damages, and losses. Remember, every boating accident case is unique, so it’s crucial to consult with an attorney to assess the specifics of your situation and receive personalized legal advice.

At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, we offer comprehensive legal assistance to individuals involved in Maryland boating accident cases, specifically in proving negligence. We understand the complexities of these cases and have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the process. Here’s how we can help:

Legal Expertise: Our team of attorneys specializes in personal injury cases, including boating accidents. We have a deep understanding of Maryland’s laws and regulations related to boating accidents and negligence. We can leverage our expertise to assess the unique aspects of your case and develop a strategic legal approach.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering: Proving negligence requires a thorough investigation and the collection of compelling evidence. We have the necessary resources and investigative capabilities to gather crucial evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and expert opinions. We leave no stone unturned in building a strong case on your behalf.

Legal Strategy: We recognize that every boating accident case is unique, and a tailored legal strategy is essential. Our attorneys will analyze the facts, assess liability, and develop a solid legal strategy to prove negligence. We will utilize our negotiation skills to engage with the responsible party’s insurance company or, if necessary, proceed to litigation to fight for your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.

Expert Witness Engagement: We have access to a network of expert witnesses, including accident reconstruction specialists, marine safety experts, and medical professionals, who can provide professional opinions on your behalf. These experts can testify to the cause of the accident, the defendant’s negligence, and the extent of your injuries, bolstering your case.

Communication with Insurance Companies: Dealing with insurance companies can be complex and challenging. We will handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf. We will ensure that your rights are protected, provide guidance on what to say or avoid saying, and work to secure a fair settlement that adequately compensates you for your damages.

Litigation Representation: If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiations, we have the litigation experience to represent you in court. We will prepare a strong case, present compelling arguments, and advocate for your rights during the trial process.

Support and Guidance: We understand that going through a boating accident case can be emotionally and physically challenging. Our team is here to provide the support and guidance you need. We will keep you informed about the progress of your case, answer your questions, and ensure that you feel supported throughout the legal process.

At Alpert Schreyer, LLC, we are dedicated to providing comprehensive legal assistance in proving negligence in Maryland boating accident cases. We will leverage our expertise, resources, and dedication to gather evidence, build a strong case, negotiate with insurance companies, and, if necessary, represent you in court. By choosing our firm, you can benefit from our experience and increase your chances of obtaining fair compensation for your boating accident injuries, damages, and losses.