There’s no better way to enjoy the beauty of Washington than boating on our many waterways. Boating safety is paramount, but accidents can still happen. It is essential to know what to do if you find yourself involved in a boating accident.
What To Do if You Experience a Boating Accident
Washington requires a boater involved in an accident to stop their boat immediately and assist the injured or anyone in danger. The exception to this rule is if stopping would endanger the boater or their vessel. Under certain circumstances, the operator must submit a written accident report to a law enforcement agency. A report must be filed in accidents resulting in a death, serious injuries, a missing person, or if there is over $2000 in property damage. In cases of death or disappearance, you must file the report within 48 hours. In all other situations, the filing must be within ten days. If the operator cannot file the report, the owner of the vessel must do it.
Boating Safety Laws in Washington
Boating is highly regulated in Washington in an effort to create a safe environment for everyone on the water. Similar to laws pertaining to driving cars and other motor vehicles, there are statutes that prohibit operating watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Additionally, operating a boat negligently or recklessly is an infraction in Washington. The third infraction within a year is punishable as a misdemeanor which can carry up to 90 days in the county jail and up to a $1000 fine.
Have You Been Injured by a Negligent Boater?
If you have been injured in a boating accident, the owner or operator of the vessel may be held liable if their negligence caused your injuries. To recover monetary damages, you will be required to establish four elements to prove your claim. The first element is that the person who caused your injuries owed you a duty of care. Next, you must show that their negligence breached the duty of care. The third element is that the negligence caused your injuries. The final factor is proving that you sustained injuries that can be compensated.
Establishing a claim of negligence in a boating accident can be complicated. An experienced boat accident attorney can simplify the process for you. We know how to negotiate settlements, and litigate if necessary, to ensure that you are fairly compensated. We work hard to quickly resolve your case. As a result, you can focus on more important issues like recovering from your injuries. Call or email us today to schedule a free consultation at (206) 202- 5137 or [email protected].