Washington Waterway Accident Lawyers
Boating accidents can cause serious injury; when a boating accident is the result of negligence on the part of the driver of a boat, that person could be liable for your injuries. Since those who live in Washington State have access to an abundance of water, there is a higher occurrence of recreational boating accidents and resulting injuries. If you are involved n an accident on the water, caused by the negligence of another, you need an experienced boating accident attorney by your side during this difficult time. Kadish Twersky brings more than 30 years’ experience to Northwest recreational boating accidents and injury lawsuits.
We represent clients against insurance companies, government agencies, and other liable individuals. If you are injured in an accident on the water involving recreational boating, you could benefit from legal advice from the experienced boating accident attorneys of Kadish Twersky. As an extra benefit to clients, our firm has recently merged with Palace Law. The highly experienced attorneys from Palace Law, combined with the highly experienced attorneys from Kadish Twersky, equals an incredible team of legal professionals who will fight aggressively for your rights and your future. Following a boating accident, contact our experienced boating accident attorneys in Everett, King, Snohomish, and Skagit Counties.
Boating Accident Statistics
According to the United States Coast Guard, in 2018, there were 4,145 boating accidents across the United States, resulting in 2,511 injuries and 633 deaths. As compared to 2017, the number of boating accidents decreased by about 3.4%, with the number of injuries decreasing by 4.5 percent. Where the cause of a boating death was known, more than three-fourths of the victims drowned. Of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life vest. The Washington State Parks and Recreation found that in 2017, there were 114 recreational boating accidents. Among these accidents, there were 50 injuries, 14 deaths, and one disappearance.
Top Causes of Boating Accidents
Nationwide, alcohol use is a significant contributing factor in boating accidents; lack of boating safety instruction is also a significant factor in boating accidents. Other than alcohol and lack of training, the next five nationwide top causes of boating accidents include operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machine failure, and excessive speed. In the state of Washington, operator inexperience, operator inattention, and alcohol or drug use are the top three primary causes of boating accidents.
The primary types of accidents in Washington State include collision with another boat, collision with a fixed object, and flooding or swamping. Falling overboard is the leading type of accident in fatal boating accidents, followed by capsizing boat and person ejected from the vessel. In the state of Washington, the highest number of boating accident occur in July, and more boating accidents occur on Sunday than any other day.
Boating Laws in Washington State
Like all states, Washington has specific boating laws. Any individual, twelve years old or older may operate a motorboat of 15 hp or greater if they carry a Washington Boater Education Card. Those without a card must be under the supervision of another individual who is at least 16 and has a Boater Education Card. Those born prior to 1955 are exempt from the necessity of having a Boater Education Card. All boaters should practice good seamanship, maintain a safe speed and distance, and be alert for other boaters. It is illegal to anchor a boat in a heavily traveled part of a river or channel, preventing others from passing.
It is illegal to operate a boat in any way that would potentially interfere with the safe navigation of other boats. It is illegal to moor or attach your boat to a buoy, beacon, light, or other navigational aid. It is illegal to move, displace, tamper with, damage, or destroy any navigational aid. Boat operators are not allowed to operate a boat in a negligent or reckless manner and are not allowed to operate a boat while under the influence of alcohol, marijuana, or any other drug.
How Boating Accidents Are Handled in Washington State
Any boater who is involved in a boating accident is required to stop the vessel immediately at the scene of the accident, assisting any injured person or any person in danger (unless doing so would endanger his or her own boat and passengers). Under certain circumstances, the driver of the boat is required to submit a written accident report. These circumstances include:
- When there is a loss of life;
- When the accident involves injury, which requires medical treatment beyond basic first aid;
- When there is a disappearance of a person from a boat, and the circumstances surrounding the disappearance suggest death or injury;
- When there is property damage of $2,000 or more, or
- When there is a total loss of a boat.
When an injury, death, or disappearance occurs, the report must be submitted within 48 hours. If there is only property damage, the report must be submitted within ten days. All reports must be submitted to the law enforcement agency with jurisdiction where the accident occurred.
Common Boating Injuries in the State of Washington
Boating accidents can cause everything from whiplash, minor scrapes, muscle strains, and bruises, to far more serious injuries and even death. Some of the most common boating injuries include the following:
- Neck and back injuries;
- More serious head injuries and brain trauma;
- Cuts and abrasions;
- Knee injuries;
- Spinal cord injuries, including partial or full paralysis;
- Sprains and strains, and
- Hip and shoulder injuries.
When a person has been in the water without oxygen for a significant period of time, they may have lasting neurological issues. Those who become entangled in a propeller could potentially lose a limb. The injuries associated with boating accidents can be extremely serious, requiring months, years, or a lifetime of rehabilitative therapies.
How Kadish Twersky Can Help
Recovering from a severe boating accident can be lengthy, difficult, and expensive. It can be extremely beneficial to speak to a highly experienced boating accident lawyer from Kadish Twersky. We have extensive knowledge and experience with boating accidents and can help victims of boating accidents receive the compensation they are entitled to receive. Depending on your injuries, you could be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages (past, present, and future), pain and suffering, and damages to your boat. Contact a boating accident lawyer from Kadish Twersky today.