If you are involved in a boating accident, it must be reported to either a state agency or the United States Coast Guard. Regardless of whether the accident is a collision or an allision (striking a fixed object) the operator is responsible for reporting it. If no significant personal injury is sustained and damage is less than $500, the agency may determine that a report does not have to be filed. In addition, those involved are required stay on the scene and render necessary aid. Failure to do so is a crime.
The person whose negligence caused the accident is at fault. Negligence is caused by violating safety laws or operating in a dangerous manner. If multiple people are found negligent, they will each be held liable for compensating the victims. If the victim is considered partially negligent, the damages awarded, if any, will be reduced. Damages can range from property damage and medical expenses to lost wages and pain and suffering.
Common causes for accidents include collisions, people falling overboard, and capsizing. Alcohol is involved in approximately 1/3 of accidents. Boating while intoxicated is treated similarly to driving while intoxicated, as it is considered operation of a moving vehicle and thus is illegal in all 50 states.
If the boat operator is physically unable to file a report, the boat owner is then responsible. The report must be made within 48 hours if a person is injured and within 10 days if the only damage is property.
If you have been involved in a boating accident, the Stevens Point boating injury lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® are here to help you. Call today at 1-800-248-0171.