Washington State has many spectacular waterways for boating enthusiasts to enjoy. We’ve got the Puget Sound, lakes, rivers, harbors, the Pacific Ocean, and more. But with over 250,000 vessels registered in our state, boating accidents are bound to happen.
In this post, we’ll discuss boating accident statistics for Washington as well as steps to take if you’ve been involved in an accident.
Thankfully, boating accidents aren’t a common occurrence in Washington. According to a report compiled by the Washington State Parks & Recreation Department, there were a total of 114 reported accidents in 2017 (the most recent year we could find for this report).
Some key findings about boating accident statistics in Washington include:
The three most common causes of boating accidents in Washington State are:
Other causes of accidents include excessive speed, failure to keep a lookout, and inclement weather. Here’s the most important takeaway: most boating accidents are entirely preventable! Boating while sober, staying on top of education requirements, and following state and local laws will dramatically reduce your chances of causing a crash.
The good news is that statistically speaking, you’re far less likely to end up in a collision on a boat than in a car. Unfortunately, if you do find yourself in a boating accident, there are several factors that can make things dangerous:
There are a few key steps you should take after a boating accident.
Finally, if you’re the boat operator, under Washington State law, you must report the accident if there were any fatalities, serious injuries, disappearances that indicate serious injury or death, or damages over $2,000. You can call the Washington State Boating Program at 360.902.8555 if you have any questions.
Depending on the circumstances, several different parties could be held responsible for a boating accident, either singularly or jointly. Some of the crucial questions to ask include: who owns the boat? Who was operating the boat? And how were the passengers behaving on the boat?
A boat accident attorney would help determine if a claim could be made against:
Ultimately, the responsibility falls on the party or parties who were negligent to keep everyone safe aboard the boat. For instance, driving a boat drunk is negligent. Or a manufacturer could be responsible if they knew their boats had a design defect but kept quiet and didn’t issue a timely recall.
The only way to know for certain if a personal injury lawyer can help is to call one! Our team understands the complexities involved in a maritime accident. If we believe someone else’s careless behavior caused your injury, we can file a claim on your behalf and pursue compensation.
Our team works on a contingency basis, which means you only pay us a fee if we’re able to win your case. Please, reach out today to see if we can help.