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Posted by: Maricopa Lawyers on Jan 19, 2015

With all of the scenic lakes and months of beautiful weather here in Arizona, boating is a very popular activity, but it is also a dangerous one. Boating accidents occur all too often in the nearly 14 million registered watercraft in this country, and the injuries that result can cause disability and even death in their victims. Here’s what you need to know about boating accidents.

Up to 8,000 individuals are injured in boating accidents each year, and around 800 people die in boating accidents every year. These accidents can be caused by anything from water on deck to collisions with other watercraft or objects to fires to sinking or man-overboard situations. The injuries vary depending on the circumstance, but can range from broken bones to brain injury due to lack of oxygen from drowning or even conditions requiring lifelong medical treatment.

Federal law requires the operator – or owner, if the operator is deceased or unable to make the report – to file a boating accident report with the State reporting authority when, as a result of an occurrence that involves a boat or its equipment:

  • A person dies
  • A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  • A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  • Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 (lower amounts in some states and territories) or more
  • The boat is destroyed.

In cases in which an operator’s negligence or carelessness caused or contributed to a boating accident, victims of injury can claim compensation in court, collecting money for damages related to the costs of care, lost time from work, and pain and suffering. You do not have to suffer the physical, emotional, and financial effects of the negligent operator without recourse. The Maricopa County Bar makes it easy to find a lawyer in the Phoenix Metro area.