Boating Accident Claims

Boating Accident

If you have been hurt in a boating accident, you may be able to hold the operator responsible if their negligence caused the accident. You can pursue compensation from the operator of your boat or another boat, depending on who is responsible. Both small recreational boats and larger commercial boats can cause accidents that result in injuries due to the inexperience or recklessness of the operator.

To learn whether you can receive compensation for your injuries after a boating accident, please contact to talk to a local boating accident attorney.

Operator Error in Boating Accidents

Operator error is the leading cause of boating accident injuries. People who operate boats but lack adequate experience may maneuver them as if they are cars on water, but they actually operate very differently and have different legal requirements for safety equipment.

Common errors by boat operators include:

  • Operating at too high speed

  • Failure to follow proper procedure for yielding to larger boats

  • Not knowing how to respond to waves or weather

  • Operating in inappropriate conditions

  • Overloading the boat

  • Failure to provide proper safety equipment

These errors occur both on small private boats and on commercial boats as well. Just because an operation looks established doesn’t mean it actually has a long history of operation, or a good one.

Operating under the Influence

Another common problem that causes boating accidents is operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is especially common for recreational operators, but major shipwrecks have famously been caused by captains or pilots who were drunk.

Types of Injuries from Boat Accidents

Boat accidents may result in the normal types of injuries expected from motor vehicle accidents, such as broken bones, concussions, spine injury, and more.

In addition, boat accidents often result in people falling into the water. When this occurs, people are at risk for drowning, which may result in death or serious brain injury, especially if they are not provided with proper safety equipment. People who have been in the water or remain in the water for a long time before being rescued are at risk for hypothermia.

Holding Boat Operators Responsible

Boat operators that put their riders at risk, especially commercial boat operators, should be held responsible for the injuries they cause. They should be made to pay for medical bills, lost wages, and other consequences of their actions.

However, to do this, you need to work with an accident attorney who has experience with boating accident claims. At, we only work with lawyers who have been honored by their peers or major independent ratings agencies as being distinguished from other lawyers in personal injury lawsuits, including boating accident claims.

Family Boating Safety

Boating Accidents Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can be Held Liable for My Boating Accident Injuries?

  • Operator of the other boat
  • Operator of the boat you were in
  • Manufacturer of defective boat, parts or equipment
  • Boat rental company
  • Boat owner
  • Boating company
  • Boat passenger who caused accident with their negligent behavior

Are the Laws Applying to Boating Accidents Different from Laws Applying to Other Types of Accidents?

Yes, boating accident claims are often far more complex than other types of accident claims and can be subject to state and/or federal laws. Certain types of boating accidents are subject to maritime law. The laws applying to your case will depend on many factors including the type of boat involved, the body of water on which you were injured, and your relationship to the boat and boat operator, owner or company.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you need the advice of an experienced boating accident attorney in your area. Even a highly skilled and experienced personal injury attorney, who does not have experience with boating accidents, may need to refer you to a boating accident lawyer.

What Causes Boating Accidents?

Some of the most common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Intoxication
  • Distracted boat operator
  • Inexperienced boat operator
  • Inadequate boat maintenance
  • Failure to have a proper lookout
  • Excessive speed
  • Operating in dangerous waters
  • Violating navigational rules
  • Equipment failure
  • Defective boat or equipment
  • Hazardous weather conditions
  • Hazardous water conditions

Are There Laws Against Drunk Boating Like There Are Against Drunk Driving?

Yes, every state has laws against operating a boat while intoxicated, but they are different in each state and some are more lenient than others. Of course, if you can prove that the boat operator who cause your boating accident was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time, it will work in your favor in your civil lawsuit even if they did not face any criminal penalties.

However, you should also know that the open container laws that apply in cars do not generally apply in boats and passengers are allowed to drink on the boat. That doesn’t mean they should or that it is safe. An intoxicated passenger can fall overboard, or they can cause a boating accident. If an intoxicated passenger caused your boating accident, they can be held civilly liable and in some cases the boat operator may be held liable for allowing the behavior while they were in control of the boat.

If you have a boating accident claim and want to talk to a highly credentialed boating accident attorney in your area, please contact today.