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Boat Accident Attorneys

Boating Accidents AttorneysJust as boating and other water sports are exciting activities fraught with unique challenges and dangers, legal claims related to boating accidents can involve complex legal and unique technical issues. When a water-related accident occurs, a thorough investigation and evaluation of its cause(s)--conducted by a personal injury attorney with direct experience handling boating accidents and boating injuries--is always the best way to proceed. To find an experienced boating injury attorney in your area, contact the law offices of Schwartz Roller, LLP. Our personal injury lawyers and accident attorneys have handled numerous lawsuits against the owners and operators of private boats, personal watercraft, and cruise ships.

What You Should Know About Boating Accident and Boating Injury Claims

Any injury that occurs on or with a boat is considered a boating accident. A boating accident can occur on someone's privately owned boat, a cruise ship, a personal watercraft (e.g., a Jet Ski), or a ferry. The most common boating accidents are collisions with other boats. However, capsizing and falls overboard are the most reported types of fatal boat accidents, typically accounting for more than half of all boating-related deaths. Other frequently reported boating accidents and injuries involve slip and falls on the boat, sinking, and boat disappearance.

An experienced boating accident lawyer will tell you that, as a general rule of law, both the operator and owner of a boat have a duty to exercise the highest degree of care in order to prevent injuries to others. Yet, careless/reckless operation, operator inattention, no proper lookout, operator inexperience, and dangerous passenger/water-skier behavior rank as the top five primary contributing factors in boating accidents. In addition, alcohol use is the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, boating under the influence contributed to 17 percent of the boating accident deaths reported in 2008. Significantly, only ten percent of deaths occurred on boats where the operator had received boating safety instruction.

Why You Need an Experienced Boating Injury Lawyer

Given the complexity of the legal and safety issues involved in boating accidents and boating injuries, hiring a skilled boating injury attorney to investigate, litigate, negotiate, and resolve boating accident claims is especially critical. If you have been involved in a boating accident or received a boating injury, use the convenient form on this Web site to contact the personal injury attorneys at Schwartz Roller LLP and receive a free, confidential evaluation of your case.


Recreational boating fatalities in the States, five U.S. Territories, and the District of Columbia reached 709 in 2008, according to the U.S. Coast Guard's Recreational Boating Statistics Report and data from the Recreational Boating Accident Report Database (BARD.) As a result, the boating accident fatality rate increased from 5.3 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 registered, recreational boats. The Coast Guard report also indicated that:

  • The 4,789 recreational boating accidents that occurred in 2008 also involved 3,331 reported injuries and approximately $54 million dollars of damage to property.
  • More than two-thirds of all fatal boating accident victims drowned, and of those, 90 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
  • Eleven children under age of thirteen lost their lives while boating in 2008. Sixty-three percent of the children who died in boating accidents in 2008 died from drowning.
  • The most common types of vessels involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (43%), personal watercraft (23%), and cabin motorboats

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