Boat Accident Liability, Who Is Responsible?
It is important to know who is liable in a boating accident, and sometimes it is very straightforward. Usually someone was doing something illegally. Drunk boaters, "unlicensed" boaters, or reckless boating will often cause accidents. Much like for cars you can get a citation for Boating Under the Influence (BUI). In these cases it is easier to determine boat accident liability. Also after an accident, even if you are not liable, you do have responsibilities as listed in ORS 830.475.
(1) A person commits the offense of failure to perform the duties of an operator if the person is the operator of any boat involved in an accident that results in property damage and the operator fails to take reasonable steps to notify the owner or person in charge of the property of the damage, and provide to the owner or person in charge of the property the operators name, address and the identification number of the boat.
(2) The operator of any boat involved in an accident which results in injury or death to any person immediately shall stop the boat at the scene of the accident, or as close thereto as possible, and shall remain at the scene of the accident until the operator has fulfilled the requirements of subsection (3) of this section.
(3) The operator of any boat involved in an accident resulting in injury or death to any person shall:
(a) Give to the other operator, surviving occupant or any person not injured as a result of the accident, the name, address and the identifying number of the boat which the operator is operating, and the name and address of any other occupants of the boat.
(b) Render reasonable assistance to any person injured in the accident, including the conveying or the making of arrangements for the conveying of the person to a physician, surgeon or hospital for medical or surgical treatment, if it is apparent that treatment is necessary or if conveyance is requested by any injured person.
(4) Any witness to the accident shall furnish to the operator, occupant or injured person, the name and address of the witness. [Formerly 488.164; 1997 c.74 §1]
Who is liable in a boating accident? | More Info
As the weather warms, many people are taking to the rivers and lakes around Portland for fun on a nice sunny day. Unfortunately, these excursions can lead to serious injury if people are not careful on the water. Just like any other activity, people have a duty of care to mind the safety of others while on their boat or other watercraft. However, unlike driving Oregon does not require liability insurance in the same way for boat owners. However, home owner's often have supplemental insurance covering their boats. So if you have been injured you could be in for a fight with the insurance companies. Insurance companies will look to contest liability in a boat accident if they can. If you have been injured due to the negligence of another person, an Oregon personal injury attorney can fight to get you the money you need. If you're not sure who was negligent in an accident we are happy to review your matter for free and offer our insights.
In 2020, the Oregon State Marine Board reported 27 deaths on various rivers and lakes throughout Oregon. Unfortunately, that is a record high. Also, this does not take into account the number of people who were seriously injured in accidents. One of the most common reasons for injuries on the water is alcohol. Just like drinking and driving, drinking and boating can result in fatalities if people aren’t careful. Unlike drinking and driving, however, there isn’t much of a stigma associated with drinking and boating. In fact, many people on the water don’t think twice about having a few beers while operating their boat. This is extremely dangerous, not to mention illegal. However, Oregon does not handle open alcohol containers on boats and cars the same way.
Just like an accident caused from driving under the influence, boating under the influence is a negligence tort. A person has a duty of care to operate their boat safely, including not operating it while impaired. If you have been injured on the water, your damages can be serious. An Oregon personal injury lawyer can help during this difficult time.
If you have been injured while boating, contact Johnson Law today. We will work to help you understand boat accident liability and know what compensation you may be owed. Our attorneys will aggressively fight to make you whole after your injuries, allowing you to focus on the important job of getting healthy. To learn more about how we can help after an accident, contact a Portland Personal Injury Lawyer at Johnson Law, P.C. for a free consultation.