Boating Law 101: What Are Your Rights After a Boating Accident?

Just like driving a car on the road, it doesn’t matter how great you are at sailing your boat or where in the world
you are; you never know what’s going to happen, or who or what you may encounter. Unfortunately, accidents
do happen, but in the boating world; what does that mean?

When/if an accident takes place, just like while you’re out on the road, it’s important to be aware and
remember your rights in order for the situation to play out as fairly and as professionally as possible. Failure to
do so can land you in a lot of trouble, and it can be very expensive.

Today, we’re going to explore some of the most important rights you’ll need to remember if you ever find
yourself in a boating accident, ensuring you know exactly what to do.

Safety First

The first thing you need to do is to make sure everybody in both parties involved in the accident is okay. Even
if someone is shouting at you and causing a scene, your first priority is to make sure no one has fallen into the
water, and nobody requires medical assistance.

Then, and only then, will you be ready to proceed with the accident process?

Getting the Coast Guard Involved

Just like a car accident, you’re more than entitled to get the Coast Guard involved if you’re in an accident. In
fact, it’s highly recommended, and in most situations, it’s essential in order not to be breaking law. Even if the
other party doesn’t want them involved, you have a right to do so.

Some of the situations a Coast Guard’s presence is essential includes;
A fatal accident
Someone disappearing due to the accident
Complete loss of the vessel
Damage exceeding $2,000
Urgent medical assistance required

Don’t Play the Blame Game

It’s tempting to get into a blame game with the other party while trying to figure out what happened, and all the
emotions involved with a case like this. However, it’s important to not fall into this trap as you may say
something you regret.

Instead, spend your time contacting the Coast Guard, collecting official witness statements from both parties
and taking pictures of the damage and the area of water you’re sailing in. The more detail you can get, the
better your case will be in the future for the insurance companies.

Is Compensation Possible?

Just like any accident, yes, compensation for damages or injury and other forms of legality are a possibility in
boating accidents, but this will depend on a whole range of variables. This will consider whether the individual
operating the boat is intoxicated and how much, or whether one party is breaching any boating laws in the
state in which they are sailing.
This can also include a lack of safety equipment, a poorly maintained boat that’s not operating up to standard, or
whether any party is missing a license or permit for being in the area in which they are sailing. Having said that, if the boat is not up to the standard and requires some maintenance, getting all the tools including some reed and prince bronze screws to fix the boat might help the issue.


It’s vital that you remember these points if you ever find yourself in a boating accident. Don’t feel panicked and
stressed, despite your mind instantly going to these places. Remain calm and collected, and you’ll get the best
Of course, you will need to call your boating specialist lawyer, such as the ones at Dolman law group, in order
to have you case fought by the professionals, ensuring you maximize your chances of winning.