Boat Accidents: Who Is Responsible?

With any type of motor vehicle accident, it can be difficult to determine who is responsible for causing the crash. However, boating accidents can be particularly tricky because waterways are generally governed by a much less strict set of rules than roadways. For this reason, determining fault can sometimes be much more challenging.

Liability may vary in each situation, but there are a few factors that may help steer you towards the responsible party. The cause of the accident, the circumstances of the crash, the ownership of the boat, and the condition of the boat driver can all factor in when determining liability.

Types of Crashes

If you were in a boating collision involving another boat, the drivers might both be at fault, or one driver could be to blame for crashing into the other. However, in accidents involving a single boat, the driver is likely to be blamed for the accident.

Driver Responsibility

Whenever someone chooses to drive, be it a boat or a car, they take on a certain measure of responsibility. If a driver is intoxicated or in any other way impaired at the time of the accident, he or she is most likely liable for the crash. Boating while intoxicated is frighteningly common and very dangerous. In fact, in 2015, 91 people died in drunk boating accidents while several others suffered injuries.

Boat Ownership

If the boat is a rental vehicle, the rental company may be liable for the accident. Most boating companies are responsible for supplying boats with certain safety precautions, and any failure to do so could be illegal. Also, if a boat accident is caused by some malfunction or broken part, the rental company could be blamed for negligence.

Manufacturer Errors

Sometimes boat designers and manufacturers make flawed products, which could put boaters and everyone else on the water at risk. If an accident is caused by a fault boat or malfunctioning part, the manufacturing company could be held liable for any damages caused by their negligence.

Whatever the cause, if you were in a boating accident it is important that you seek help fast. Our personal injury attorneys can investigate the circumstances of your case and help you determine who might be to blame for your crash and the resulting damages. At Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A., we are passionate about fighting for the rights of the injured, and we want to help you, too.

Contact Williams DeClark Tuschman Co., L.P.A. to discuss your case with our attorneys.

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