Living close to the Willamette and Columbia rivers and their many tributaries as we do here in Portland, we have superior access to these ready sources of recreation. Whether you choose to water ski, Jet Ski, wakeboard, fish or just take a pleasure cruise, enjoying the water can be fun and relaxing. However, watercraft accidents, while preventable, are an ever-present risk. All too often, users act irresponsibly by failing to know the rules of the waterway, driving recklessly, speeding, drinking excessively, or not paying attention. When mixed with a powerful machine one the water, negligence can produce severe injuries or even death.
The U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that the fatality rate - a measure of the number of deaths against the number of registered recreational boats in the U.S. - increased from 5.3 in 2007 to 5.6 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational boats in 2008. During that time, the Coast Guard recorded 709 deaths, 3,331 injuries and approximately $54 million dollars in damage to property, stemming from 4,789 recreational boating accidents. Not paying attention, careless and reckless operation, not having a proper lookout on the boat, operator inexperience and poor passenger or skier behavior rank as the top contributing factors to accidents on the water. Alcohol consumption also continues to be of major concern in fatal boating accidents and is listed as the leading contributing factor in 17 percent of the deaths, the Coast Guard warns. The Coast Guard report also indicates that boater safety courses and wearing a life jacket greatly reduce the risk of accidents and drowning.
As of 2009, all operators of powerboats on Oregon waterways are required to carry the Boater Education Card (boating license). Boat owners and operators are responsible for the safety and well being of those on board their craft, and may be held liable for harm caused to passengers. The overwhelming majority of boating accidents are caused by negligence; only 9% are caused by equipment or machinery failure. Proving that the driver of the boat or other watercraft was negligent often requires investigation beyond any done by local authorities. Only by hiring an experienced personal injury lawyer can you be assured of recovering the maximum compensation for your injury.
If you or someone you know was injured in a boating accident, it is imperative that you immediately contact The Law Office of Josh Lamborn, P.C. to begin protecting your rights.
Call 503-546-0461 or email Josh at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a free consultation regarding your case. I handle all boating injury accident cases on a contingency fee basis, so if you do not get paid, I do not get paid.
Boating Accident and Resource Links:← back to areas of practice
Oregon State Marine Board