Safety on the Water and Liability for Boating Accidents

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Safety on the Water and Liability for Boating Accidents

August 08, 2023
By Lafferty Gallagher Scott

While boating in the midst of Ohio’s harsh winter sounds miserable, as the temperatures steadily begin to warm, taking to the water is a favorite pastime of many. But if you live in Ohio and plan to go boating this summer, understanding the risks of boating, and liability in the event that an accident does occur can help protect you and your legal rights.

Safe Boating in Ohio

The state of Ohio maintains a number of boating rules and regulations that must be followed. Some of these rules include:

  • Boats must be registered;
  • Boaters and operators of personal watercraft born after January 1, 1982 must have a boater education card; and 
  • Boats must have certain safety equipment on board, including personal flotation devices (PFDs) or life jackets for each person on board

In addition to following rules, boaters should always remain seated while the boat is in motion, and operators should refrain from driving at unsafe speeds or consuming alcohol or drugs prior to or during operation. Paying attention to potential hazards or swimmers in the water is also essential and can prevent a tragic accident from occurring.

What Happens If I Am In a Boating Accident?

If you are involved in a boating accident in Ohio, understanding what your rights are under the law and how to recover compensation is essential. First, you should be sure that a boating accident report is filed to ensure documentation of the accident. 

Most boating accidents occur because of operator negligence, such as operating a boat while distracted or impaired. If the boating accident occurred because of the fault of another party, that party may have civil liability, criminal liability, or both. When negligence was the cause, you can file a civil suit against the negligent person for the full extent of your damages, including compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering. Criminal penalties will only be applicable if the at-fault party did something against the law, such as boating under the influence.

Time Limits for Taking Action

If you are in a boating accident in Ohio, you should meet with an attorney as soon as possible, who can open an investigation in your case. If you do not file your lawsuit within the statute of limitations, which is two years from the date of the accident, then you may be permanently barred from recovering damages at all. 

Contact Our Law Offices Today

Boating accidents can result in serious injuries, including the risk of drowning or a brain injury from near drowning and oxygen deprivation. At Lafferty, Gallagher & Scott, LLC, we understand that the aftermath of a boating accident can be traumatic. When you are injured due to the fault of someone else, our legal team will be here to help you understand your options, and file your claim for damages. 

To learn more about our legal services, contact us today online or by phone to schedule a consultation.










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