Virginia’s lakes and waterways provide countless opportunities for recreation in the Commonwealth. Boating continues to be a popular pastime, but serious accidents on the water are unfortunately common.

For 2018, Virginia reported 82 boating incidents involving 97 vessels and 41 injuries. There were 12 fatalities, with alcohol being a known factor in 17% of the fatal accidents. The property damage that resulted from these accidents cost Virginia boaters $411,961.

If you were involved in a boating accident and were either injured or sustained property damage, a Henrico County boat accident lawyer can help you fight for fair compensation.

Causes of Boating Accidents

A boat accident resulting in personal injuries can occur for any number of reasons. Some of the most common causes of injuries include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Carbon monoxide fumes
  • Collisions with other boats or objects
  • Machine failure
  • Operator inexperience or inattention
  • Excessive speed

A properly maintained boat is essential. Carbon monoxide alarms can alert passengers to a potentially dangerous situation, and regular maintenance can help prevent machine failure. A boat stuck in the water due to a breakdown becomes a hazard to other vessels, making an accident more likely.

Following all relevant boating regulations is another way to avoid accidents. All operators should be properly trained and licensed, follow speed regulations, and heed any orders from water patrol officers.

The factors related to a boating accident can be relevant if an injury occurs and a passenger is seeking compensation. When a Henrico County boat accident attorney seeks payment on behalf of a victim, understanding the cause of an accident is a a necessary step in identifying the proper defendant.

Boating Regulations in Henrico County

For waterways in Virginia, anyone operating a motorboat with a 10hp or greater engine must take a boat safety course. Anyone under the age of 14 cannot operate a personal watercraft. Any boater aged 14 or 15 must show proof that they completed the boat safety course.

Virginia water patrol officers may request to see a boater education card, and it must be on the vessel and available for inspection. A boater who is not able to show their education card may receive a fine.

Injuries While Working on a Vessel

The Jones Act is a federal law that provides certain rights to individuals working aboard vessels on navigable waterways. For example, a barge worker injured at or en route to the Port of Richmond may be able to seek damages from their employer.

The Jones Act can help someone injured in a boating accident seek compensation for:

  • Mental and emotional anguish
  • Pain and suffering
  • Future lost earnings
  • Lost wages
  • Medical expenses

Due to the complexity of the laws involved in maritime accidents, injured workers often rely on the experience of a Henrico County boat accident lawyer when seeking compensation.

Speak with a Henrico County Boat Accident Attorney

If an injury occurred while you were a passenger on a boat, you might be entitled to compensation. The circumstances surrounding the accident can help determine who was at fault and what recourse the law may provide. Talking with a Henrico County boat accident lawyer can be a positive first step toward the compensation you need.

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Commonwealth Law Group

If you have been injured at work or through the negligence of another individual or entity, contact us at Call (804) 999-9999 for a free initial consultation to discuss your case. We will fight to get you the justice you deserve.

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