Boat Accident Lawyers

Young couples laughing on a boat.

Located on the shores of Lake Erie and home to thousands of miles of rivers, it is no surprise that boating is a popular recreational activity in Ohio. Unfortunately, boating accidents on Ohio rivers and lakes are all too common. When a fun day on the water turns tragic, you need an experienced boat accident lawyer who understands the complex state and federal laws that apply to boating accidents and can help you secure the compensation you deserve.

The boat accident lawyers at Robenalt Law offer a free consultation to discuss your situation, review the circumstances that led to your injuries, and help you decide if and how you want to move forward to seek financial compensation.

Boat Accident Liability in Ohio

Boating accidents pose unique challenges that are not present in injuries and accidents that occur on land. Boats can operate far from shore, where emergency personnel may have difficulty responding. People underestimate or are unfamiliar with hazards that can happen on the water. When boat operators are inexperienced, unprepared, or make poor decisions, the results can be catastrophic.

Unique state and federal laws apply to boaters, and there are different requirements if the operator is working commercially or is a recreational user.

Ohio Safe Boating Laws

Recreational boaters must be at least 16 years of age before they can legally operate a vessel without adult supervision. Children aged 12 to 15 can operate a boat if they are supervised by an adult and have completed a boater education course. Boaters born after January 1, 1982, are required to complete a proficiency exam or approved boater course before they can operate a vessel powered by an engine of more than 10 horsepower. All vessels must have proper license, title, and registration to operate on Ohio waterways.

Boaters must have the proper safety equipment on board. These requirements vary depending on the type and size of the vessel.

Ultimately, the boat operator is responsible for the safety of the passengers on board and for any damage caused. Someone who was injured in a boating accident can seek compensation from the boat operator. If there were other vessels involved in the boating accident, the operator of those vessels may be responsible.

Common Boating Accident Injuries

Boating accidents can result in serious injuries and even death. Common injuries suffered in a boating accident include:

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Bruising
  • Burns
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Head, neck, and spine injuries
  • Concussion
  • Sprains and strains
  • Loss of limb
  • Shock
  • Hypothermia
  • Death

Any number of factors can cause these injuries. But it often comes down to the fact that someone made a poor choice and put you in a dangerous situation.

Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Carbon monoxide poisoning is a unique hazard facing boaters. Gasoline-powered engines, including onboard generators, emit carbon monoxide (CO), a colorless, odorless gas that can be fatal when inhaled. Engines vent towards the rear of the boat, and carbon monoxide can build up at the stern, near the swim platform, or in the space beneath the stern deck. When the boat is operating at slow speeds, at a high bow angle, is improperly loaded, or has an opening that draws in exhaust, CO can even build up in the cabin, cockpit, bridge, and aft deck.

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. High levels of CO can even cause death.

CO poisoning can cause a person to pass out, fall in the water, and drown. A person who is sleeping on a boat can die from CO poisoning without ever experiencing symptoms.

Causes of Boating Accidents

If you or someone you love was injured in a boating accident, our boat accident lawyers will investigate the circumstances that led to your injuries and fight for the compensation you deserve. We will evaluate operator behavior that may have led to the accident, identify any systems or equipment failure, and evaluate how these factors caused the accident and your injuries.

Common causes of boating injuries include:

  • Operator inexperience
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • Violation of a safety or navigational rule
  • Equipment failure
  • Weather
  • Inattention or distraction
  • Passenger behavior
  • Excessive weight

These situations can lead to:

  • Collisions with other boats
  • Collisions with the dock or underwater obstacles
  • Falling overboard
  • Capsize
  • Sinking
  • Flooding
  • Fire
  • Explosion
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

Compensation for a Boating Injury

If you were hurt in an Ohio boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation, including money for:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages and future earnings
  • Permanent physical limitations
  • Pain and suffering
  • Metal anguish

Most boating injuries are covered by the boat owner’s insurance policy. But negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult and time-consuming. No matter what they say, the insurance adjuster is not on your side. Instead, their goal is to pay you as little as possible to make your claim go away. Level the playing field by hiring the experienced boat accident injury lawyer at Robenalt Law today.

Robenalt Law Fights for Victims of Boating Accidents

If you were injured in a boating accident, contact the boat accident lawyers at Robenalt Law today. We will listen as you describe what happened, investigate the accident to determine the cause of your injuries and who is responsible, and fight to hold the appropriate parties accountable for the harm they caused.

Robenalt's boat accident lawyer handles boating accident injury claims on a contingency fee, which means you won’t pay a fee unless we recover money for you.

To learn more and discuss how we can help, contact Robenalt Law today to schedule a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation to discuss your situation. Call us at (216) 223-7535, complete our online form or email trobenalt@robenaltlaw.com.