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Boating Accident Lawyer

Boating Accident Injury Attorneys in Kentucky and Ohio

Boating can be a fun pastime for everyone, whether you’re fishing, enjoying water sports like skiing or tubing, or simply cruising around on the lake. Unfortunately, things can go awry pretty quickly when boating accidents occur. Just as a reckless, inattentive, or negligent driver or passenger can cause a devastating car wreck in an instant, a reckless, inattentive, or negligent boat operator or passenger can cause a serious boat accident and put several people, including themselves, at risk.

If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of another person, you may have a valid personal injury claim. In this case, it is crucial that you obtain the help of an experienced Ohio or Kentucky boat accident lawyer. Without the help of an attorney familiar with personal injury and maritime laws, injured boaters may end up having to pay for things like property damage and medical expenses out-of-pocket. 

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At The Lawrence Firm, PSC, our Covington and Cincinnati boating accident attorneys have extensive knowledge of boating regulations, including local laws regarding negligent behavior while operating a boat, jet ski, or other watercraft. We are also familiar with maritime law. This knowledge, combined with our decades of experience handling personal injury claims in Ohio and Kentucky, gives us the upper hand when working to recover full and fair compensation for injured victims. To speak with one of the boating accident lawyers at our firm about your potential case, give us a call at (800) 698-4054 right away.

Ohio River Boating Laws

The Ohio River, along with the Muskingum River, Lake Erie, and its connecting bays and harbors, are considered federal waterways. For this reason, a boat owner must comply with the U.S Coast Guard requirements. As such, a “No Wake Zone” is mandatory if within 300 feet of the designated launching area, marina, and gas docks. A boat operator should also remain at an idle speed for tributaries of the Ohio River.

In addition, Ohio law prohibits:

  • The use of a powerboat, PWC, or manually propelled vessel in a reckless demeanor
    • PWC stands for Personal Watercraft and includes things like Jetskis, SeaDoos, and Waverunners.
    • A manually propelled vessel includes any watercraft without an electric motor, such as kayaks and canoes, and requires manual rowing or paddling. 
  • A boat operator who is negligent of the safety of another person or person’s property
  • Personal watercraft being driven at an excessive speed
  • Handling boating safety in a manner of carelessness or without due caution
  • Weaving through dense boating traffic
  • Boat driving within 200 feet of a person jet skiing
  • Operating a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Becoming airborne in the wake of another vessel at an unsafe interval

Ohio Boating Requirements

Ohio state laws outline boating requirements for each different type and size of watercraft. For PWCs, a U.S. Coast Guard-approved lifejacket must be worn by all individuals on the watercraft. For powerboats between 16 to 65 feet, there must be a wearable USCG-approved lifejacket for all persons on board, and children below the age of 10 must wear one at all times. There should also be at least one USCG-approved buoy or seat cushion present in all vessels of at least 16 feet or more. For more information regarding proper safety equipment on motorized boats in Ohio, refer to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources website.

Ohio boating laws also prohibit any person from drinking or drug use while operating a boat. The penalties that may occur are subject to the type of offense. “Zero Tolerance” prohibits a person younger than 21 from consuming alcohol and operating any type of vessel or recreational boat with any level of alcohol.

Boat owners must also register and number a watercraft before operating. State law requires all watercraft and recreational boats operated on Ohio State waters to be registered and issued an Ohio Registration Certificate by the Ohio Division of Parks & Watercraft. The boat itself must present proof of valid registration by displaying two tags and having the watercraft certificate on the vessel or an alternative registration for a craft that a person propels.

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Kentucky Boating Law

On Kentucky public waters, a person must be at least 12 years old to operate a boat. From ages 12 to 17, a boat operator must complete the boating safety course and be accompanied by someone 18 years or older that can present a valid boating education card.

A boaters’ education card can be achieved by a person who does not have a driver’s license. This can be accomplished by completing a safety course deeming you are legally approved and have passed all components of the boating safety exam.

Kentucky law mandates children ages 12 and under to wear personal flotation devices while boating. It is also prohibited by federal law to tie up to any buoy except for an indicated mooring buoy.

Kentucky’s waterways and lakes are considered public places; therefore, it is banned to consume alcohol while boating these waters.

What Causes the Most Boat Collisions? 

The most common causes of boat collisions include:

  • Involvement with marine life
  • Grounding of the boat
  • Flooding
  • Person ejected from a boat
  • Fire or explosion in the boat
  • Accidents involving water-skiing or a jet skier
  • Collision with an object or another vessel
  • Striking an object that is submerged
  • A person hit by watercraft while in the water
  • Electrocution
  • Excessive speed

If you have questions regarding boating accidents and need the legal assistance of a boating accident lawyer, call The Lawrence Firm today for a free consultation. The dedicated attorneys at our law firm will fight for a fair settlement to recover compensation for lost wages and medical treatment for any wrongful death or personal injury that may occur.

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Common Boating Accident Injuries

As you know, accidents happen, and when they do, people can obtain serious personal injuries as a result. Injuries that most commonly occur in the event of a boating accident include:  

If you or a family member has been injured in a boat crash, it is important that you do everything it takes to make sure your property damage and medical expenses, which can be extremely costly, are covered. The first step is taking appropriate legal action against the at-fault party or parties. When you call the Ohio and Kentucky injury lawyers at The Lawrence Firm, we will guide you through the legal process from start to finish. We are proficient in handling boating accident claims and work vigorously to hold the responsible parties legally liable for your boating injuries.

How Quickly Must You Report a Boating Accident Involving Death?

Most boating accident reports in Kentucky and Ohio that involve a personal injury that requires medical treatment beyond first aid or cause property damage amounting to more than $500 must be filed within at least 5 days of the accident. However, in Kentucky, if a boating accident results in death or serious injury, the report must be made within 48 hours. In Ohio, boating accidents involving the death or disappearance of another individual require a written report to be filed within 24 hours.

As for how long you have to file a civil personal injury or wrongful death claim in Ohio and Kentucky, you must abide by your state’s statute of limitations. In Ohio, both a personal injury claim and wrongful death claim must be filed within two years of the date of the accident. In Kentucky, boating accident injury and wrongful death cases must be filed within one year from the date on which the accident occurred. Only in rare circumstances can an exception to the statute of limitations have an extension beyond what is prescribed.

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Who is Liable in a Boating Accident?

The party or parties who may be held liable for a boat accident depends on the facts of the case. Responsible parties may be anyone from boat operators to the boat manufacturer to even operators of other boats on the water. Your personal injury attorney will thoroughly investigate your claim and identify all potential avenues for liability.

Boating Accident Lawsuit

If you believe you have a boat crash accident claim and wish to file a lawsuit against the responsible parties, having a knowledgeable boating accident lawyer can equip you with the legal representation that is needed for a successful case outcome. Fortunately, the boat accident attorneys at The Lawrence Firm have a proven track record of providing resilient and dedicated representation to injured boaters and maritime workers. We know what it takes to build the strongest case possible by providing evidence of the accident and the resulting injuries as well as proving negligence on the defendant’s part.

If a boating crash occurs and you need a legal team that will fight aggressively for fair compensation for your losses, call the law offices of The Lawrence Firm today.

What Damages are Recoverable in a Boat Accident Claim?

With the assistance of a Cincinnati or Covington boat accident lawyer, accident victims may be able to obtain compensation for a variety of damages. These damages include:

  • Past and future medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Property damage
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of consortium
  • Punitive damages
  • Wrongful death damages

We understand the losses you face after a serious accident can be significant. Having an accident lawyer that can present the facts of the boating accident and prove the need for compensatory damages can be critical in these cases.

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Call the Covington and Cincinnati Boat Accident Attorneys at The Lawrence Firm for a Free Case Evaluation

The Covington and Cincinnati boat accident attorneys at The Lawrence Firm understand you deserve a fair settlement and will work hard to ensure you receive the best legal representation a law firm can offer. We will work directly with the insurance company to ensure your settlement can be reached in a timely manner and, if a fair settlement is unable to be reached, we are prepared to take your personal injury case to trial and continue the fight for your right to maximum compensation.

Be sure to reach out to The Lawrence Firm today for a free consultation. Our law firm has an experienced boating accident attorney ready to review the facts of your case and get straight to work on pursuing your claim. You can reach us by telephone by calling our Kentucky law office at (859) 578-9130, our Ohio law office at (513) 651-4130, or toll-free at (800) 698-4054. You can also leave us a message via our online contact form here.

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You Pay No Fees Unless We Win!

We are happy to offer a free consultation to evaluate your case. If you hire us as your legal counsel, we will represent you on a contingency-fee basis. You will pay no attorneys’ fees unless we recover financial damages.