Boats, like any vehicle, require safety precautions and careful operation. Accidents can happen to even the most experienced boaters. As the weather warms up, more Ohio residents will head out to lakes and rivers for spring and summer fun. Do you know what to do if you’re involved in a boating accident?

Ohio boating accident laws

Ohio Administrative Code Rule 1501:47-1-09 deals with boating accidents. Boating accidents are defined as when “the occurrence results in damage by or to the vessel or its equipment; in injury or loss of life to any person; or in the disappearance of any occupant under circumstances indicating the possibility of injury or death. A boating accident includes, but is not limited to, capsizing, collision, foundering, flooding, fire, explosion, or the disappearance of a vessel other than by theft.”

If the accident results in the following, the operator must file a report:

  • Loss of life.
  • Personal injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid.
  • Actual physical damage to property, including watercraft, in excess of five hundred dollars.
  • Physical damage or other incident resulting in the total loss of a vessel.

Boaters should report the accident to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources by calling #ODNR from a cellphone, dialing 1-877-4BOATER (1-877-426-2837; within Ohio only) or (614) 265-6480. Reports must be received within five days of the accident, unless loss of life was involved. In that event, you must report the accident within 24 hours.

Operators should render assistance whenever safe and practical. Any operator who witnessed or was involved in the accident should remain at the scene to exchange information with the injured parties, law enforcement or other boat operators.

Boating accident legal options

If the boating accident was the result of someone else’s negligence or recklessness, there may be civil remedies available. For instance, if the boat operator is to blame for the accident (taking unnecessary risks, operating while drunk or otherwise failing to meet the applicable standard of care), plaintiffs may be able to file a personal injury negligence lawsuit.

In some cases, the boat manufacturer, mechanic or parts manufacturer may be liable for the accident. Both the boat owner/operator and injured parties would be eligible to file a products liability claim against the responsible parties.

There may be additional options available. The lawyers at the Law Offices of Tim Misny are happy to evaluate your case. Working with experienced personal injury attorneys ensures your rights will be protected.

Contact an Ohio personal injury lawyer today

Have you been injured in a boating accident? No matter who is at fault, I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877-614-9524 for a consultation, and we’ll discuss how I can help you recover compensation.

Personal Injury