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What you should know about boating accidents

We hope our readers enjoyed a fun and relaxing Memorial Day weekend. Given the volume of traffic going to and returning from holiday destinations, it is understandable if media coverage focuses on highway accidents that resulted in serious injuries. However, as we now turn to summer (thanks to the unofficial start of summer) it is anticipated that more people will be injured in boating accidents.  

Under federal law, a boating accident is defined as a situation where a boat passenger is seriously injured or killed while on a vessel. The definition also covers a boater’s disappearance or an accident where a boat causes or suffers damage.

Like auto accidents, boating accidents may leave people with a host of questions. This post will identify the most common questions people may have after a boating accident.

Who can be held liable after a boating accident? – Since boats may carry many people, there are a number of potential defendants after a boating accident. They include the boat operator or captain of a vessel that collided with your boat, the operator or captain of the vessel in which you were a guest, and the manufacturer of the boat or engine, to name a few.

What are common causes of boating accidents? -  While most boating accidents are caused by operator error, there are many factors behind such negligence, including speeding, operator inexperience, failing to look for other vessels, driving while under the influence of alcohol, and boating during hazardous weather conditions.

What laws may apply? – Depending on where the accident took place, state or federal law may apply. For instance, if the accident occurred on a state reservoir, chances are that Kentucky law will apply. If the accident occurred on a river or national park, federal law may apply.

What if the offending party is not a Kentucky resident? – Simply because a tourist (i.e. a person who lives in another state or country) injures you, this does not mean that your legal rights no longer apply. Depending on the nature of the injuries, federal law may apply.

The preceding is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. An experienced personal injury attorney can review your case and provide professional advice.

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