Boating is quite popular in Washington State, considering there are thousands of bodies of water in the state, along with the Columbia River for boaters to enjoy. While this is a great way to spend your leisure time or a vacation, there is always a danger of injury. Many people think about people drowning when they are out on a boat but there are many other injuries that occur, including burn injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries and broken bones. When the injury is the result of negligence, such as the negligence of the person operating the boat you were on, or another boat, you may be able to recover compensation for damages, including the cost of the medical treatment for your injuries and lost wages from missed time at work. However, recovering compensation is complicated: you have to prove negligence occurred, determine the fair value of your damages, investigate the scene, and file a case before the statute of limitations runs out. That is why you should strongly consider seeking help from a reputable Vancouver boating accident lawyer.

The attorneys at Rizk Law understand the complexity of these cases and what it takes to be successful. We have a proven track record of obtaining fair compensation for victims of many types of personal injuries that occurred in various situations. The consultation with our attorneys is free and you do not have to pursue a case if you do not want to. We will not charge you for our services unless you are fairly compensated.

Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form or call us at 503.245.5677.

Common Examples of Boating Accidents

There are many different kinds of boating accidents that can be caused by some form of negligence. This can include:

  • Crashes with other boats or vessels in the water
  • Falling overboard
  • Fires
  • Explosions
  • Crashes into fixed objects, such as rocks or posts
  • Crashing into dry land, causing grounding of the boat

These crashes and accidents can be caused by many forms of negligence, such as operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Boat operators need to be aware that many of the same laws that apply to driving a car under the influence of alcohol also apply to boats. Sometimes boat operators forget this because they think of operating a boat as fun and do not take it as seriously as they take driving a car.

A boat operator could also be found liable for injuries, such as drowning, that result from failing to keep a life jacket on board the boat. For example, say an occupant fell overboard and was struggling to swim and ended up drowning. If the operator had a life jacket, he or she may have been able to toss it to the person in the water and save him or her from drowning.

Other examples of negligence that could lead to boating accidents and injuries include:

  • Going out on a boat in bad weather, such as when there are rough waters or high winds
  • Operating the boat at excessive speeds, including in areas with low speed limits
  • Improper or poor maintenance of equipment on the boat, which can lead to fires
  • Failing to warn occupants about slip and fall hazards or clean up spills that contribute to these accidents
  • Operating a boat without the proper license
  • Failing to pay attention and watch for obstacles or other watercraft
  • Operating the boat while distracted
  • Failing to check that no swimmers are near the propeller
  • Defective or malfunctioning equipment
  • Equipment that does not contain proper warnings about the risks of using it
  • Allowing too many people on the boat

If any of these things occurred during or before your accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the damages you suffered. Our Vancouver boating accident lawyers are committed to holding negligent boat operators accountable for the damages they cause.

Contact Rizk Law right now for your free legal consultation.

Washington State Boating Laws to Know About

Some personal injury cases involve violations of specific statutes or laws governing the activity that was happening when the victim was injured. If your Vancouver personal injury attorney can prove violations of these laws occurred, it may be easier to hold someone else at fault for your injuries.

There are several laws governing the operation of boats in Washington State that could have an impact on your personal injury claim. For example, most vessels must be registered with the Washington State Department of Licensing to be legally navigated, operated, employed or moored. The only exception to this requirement is for:

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Vessels not propelled by motors or sails
  • Vessels less than 16 feet in length with a motor of 10 horsepower or less used on non-federal waters only
  • Vessels properly registered with another state or country by a person who uses Washington waters for just 60 days or less

Washington also has various boater education and age requirements. People 12 years old or older are allowed to operate a boat with 15 horsepower or more if they have a Washington Boater Education Card. There are two steps to getting a boater education card. The first is to complete an approved boater education course. The next step is to submit a Boater Education Card Application to State Parks, with $10 and proof of course completion.

Reporting Accidents

Washington also has regulations on when accidents must be reported and how soon they must be reported. Boating operators must report an accident if any of the following things occurred in the accident:

  • Someone died or disappeared under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • Someone is injured or requires medical treatment, not just first aid
  • The vessel was damaged and the damage is worth more than $2,000

Accidents must be reported within 48 hours if any of the following are true:

  • Someone died within 24 hours of the accident
  • Someone was injured or needed medical treatment more than first aid
  • Someone disappeared from the vessel

All other accidents must be reported within 10 days. Accidents need to be reported to the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.

Reporting the accident is not only required by law, it also helps to officially document what happened, which is an important part of building a personal injury case. Once the accident has been reported, consider contacting our boating accident lawyers in Vancouver for a free legal consultation.

Call 503.245.5677 right now.

Contact a Vancouver Boating Accident Attorney

Boat operators are often negligent, and this puts occupants of their boat and others on the water in danger. If you can prove negligence occurred and caused you to suffer an injury, our Vancouver boating accident lawyers may be able to help you pursue compensation. In a free, no obligation consultation, we can discuss your legal options and explain how we can help you throughout the legal process.

We want you to have the compensation you need to pay for quality medical care to give you the best chance to recover from your injuries or make the best recovery that is possible. If you have a long-term injury, you need compensation to afford long-term treatment that gives you a chance to manage your symptoms and continue working to support yourself and your family.

Our attorneys will handle the legal process for you so you can focus on your medical issues and the ways they are affecting your life. We will not charge for our services unless you receive fair compensation.

Call our attorneys today at 503.245.5677.