Claiming Against Reckless Boat Operators

If you have been injured by a boat operator who was behaving recklessly, you could have grounds for a personal injury claim. This includes boat operators who were impaired by alcohol or drugs, and those who failed to obey the ‘rules of the water’.

In this context, a boat can mean any kind of water vessel, such as a sailboat, motorboat, jet-ski or sea-doo.

Liability of boat operators

In legal terms, operating a boat is much like driving a car: you are responsible for the safety of your passengers. You also owe a duty of care to those around you, including those onboard other vessels. One major difference, however, is that British Columbia’s no-fault motor vehicle insurance laws do not apply to boating accidents. This means that if a boat operator causes an accident, then he or she will be considered at fault. Anyone who is injured as a result will be able to make a claim for compensation.

Boating accidents and recklessness

Boating accidents happen for all kinds of reasons, with recklessness being amongst one of the primary causes. Legally speaking, this is when someone pursues a certain course of action, despite knowing that it poses a risk of accident and injury.

While police officers patrol the roads, there are far fewer authorities patrolling B.C.’s waterways. As such, boat operators may be more tempted to break the law. It is not uncommon to hear stories of people boating on lakes and in the ocean while intoxicated. Boat operators may be tempted to ‘show off’ and overlook the rules of the water.

Examples of recklessness while operating a boat might include:

  • Operating the vessel while impaired by alcohol
  • Operating the vessel while impaired by drugs
  • Exceeding the speed limit
  • Operating the vehicle erratically – for example, driving in tight circles
  • Taking a vessel out, despite knowing it is faulty
  • Disregarding the ‘rules of the water’
  • Deliberately steering a vessel into unsafe waters
  • Not heeding to swimmers or other vessels in the water

Have you been injured by a reckless boat operator?

If you have been injured in a boating accident and you think recklessness was at play, we recommend that you contact our Vancouver personal injury lawyers. We can confirm who, if anyone, is to blame for your injuries. This could be the person who was operating the vessel you were travelling in, or it could be the operator of another vessel.

If you do have grounds for a claim, we can help you make a claim against the operator’s insurance policy. We often speak to people who have been injured onboard their friend’s or neighbour’s boat and are concerned about making a claim against them. However, you need not worry: these claims are usually made against the boat owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Your friend or neighbour will not have to pay you from their own pocket.

If you have been injured by someone else’s reckless behaviour, then you should not be the one to pay the consequences. You deserve to be compensated for your damages.

To speak to our Vancouver personal injury lawyers, either fill in the free online enquiry form or call us on 604 684 0040.

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