The recreational boating industry generates thousands of injuries and dozens, if not hundreds, of deaths every year. These non-commercial leisure boaters are still subject to the same navigation “Rules of the Road” as every other commercial boat on the water. When these often amateur boaters violate the navigation rules, the end result can be disastrous. Collisions, allisions, and groundings at speed can cause debilitating and life-ending injuries for the unexpecting families and friends aboard these smaller craft.
According to the Coast Guard, there were 5,265 accidents and 767 deaths, 3,191 injuries, and $62.5 million dollars of property damage resulting from recreational boating accidents in 2020 alone. Common mistakes for recreational boaters include failing to yield to traffic, improperly overtaking other vessels, blind turn issues, speeding, throwing excessive wake, inadequate navigational lights, docking accidents, and lack of training.
If you or a loved one was injured aboard a pleasure craft, call Mariner Law, PLLC today. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
Maritime law applies to accidents and injuries arising from recreational vessels on the navigable waters of the United States, often including rivers, lakes, sounds, bays and the open ocean. Examples of recreational boats may include:
Personal watercraft (jet skis)
These vessels are associated with all kinds of injury-causing incidents due to operator error, operator inattention, failure to keep a proper lookout, excessive speed under the circumstances, machinery failure, propeller strikes, inadequate maintenance, not being prepared for wind and wave conditions, and boating under the influence. Any of these unsafe conditions could lead to injuries and deaths of boaters. Such injuries may include:
Recreational boating accidents are typically governed by maritime law (though there are important exceptions known to seasoned maritime lawyers). That means that an injury claim will be subject to comparative fault. Comparative fault allows the judge or jury to assign fault to all parties involved. For pleasure craft collisions, that can include all vessels and operators. It’s vital to gather evidence early to prosecute your interests in civil court and protect yourself from subsequent arguments that you were at fault for the loss.
Mariner Law, PLLC is well-versed in recreational boating incidents and injuries. The firm regularly represents victims of non-commercial vessel casualties. As a vessel master himself, Maritime Lawyer Adam Deitz knows the Rules of the Road and can help you investigate who was at fault in your case. He can then help you advance your claim for compensation under maritime law. The process starts with a free consultation with a Jones Act attorney. Call (253) 600-2531 to discuss your case today. The firm proudly serves mariner clients in Washington, Oregon, New York, Connecticut, Alaska, and nationwide.