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Boating Accidents 9.07.2021

What Should Every Michigan Boater Know?

Our Michigan boat accident injury lawyer can help if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a boating accident.

Michigan boat accident injury lawyer can help if you or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a boating accident.  These personal injury cases demand compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost wages.  It is essential to have an experienced boat accident attorney on your side immediately after the accident.

Michigan is the Great Lakes State. Michigan’s lakes and rivers are some of the most ecologically protected fresh waterways in America because they make up more than 11,000 lakes and ponds in the United States. In Michigan, personal watercraft and boating recreational activities are some of the most popular outdoor sports in the United States. No doubt, Michiganders enjoy their waterways, but the sport and favorite pastime can be dangerous, resulting serious injury or even death.

In 2022, boating accidents in the United States resulted in 2,222 people being injured and 636 people died. Surprisingly, U.S. waterways are second only to motor vehicle highways in terms of the number of accidental deaths. Consequently, the law has established legal responsibilities for boats, jet skis, and other personal watercraft safety rules to keep people safe.
However, boaters, jet skiers, and others on our waterways and lakes have legal duties to follow boating safety rules, just as drivers do on our roads and highways. 

To determine if the boat’s driver was negligent, you need to understand what constitutes negligence in a boating accident. According to Michigan law, there are two ways a personal watercraft operator is negligent: ordinary negligence and violation of a rule.

  • Negligent operation is when the watercraft’s driver is either acting unreasonably or omitting to act like a reasonably prudent operator in disregard of the safety of others.
  • If the boater violates a rule or statute while operating watercraft. Under Michigan law, violation of a statute can be per se negligence and violation of a rule can be evidence of negligence.

In most cases, the personal watercraft or boat operator is negligent in boating accidents due to the lack of training or experience. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2022, 74 percent of deaths occurred on boats where the driver didn’t have any safety training.

Types of Common Michigan Boating Accidents

In Michigan, the most common boating accidents happen due to carelessness such as the following:

  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol or drug use
  • Being ejected from a boat
  • Bouncing off waves due to excessive speed
  • Striking an underwater object or running a ground
  • Fire or electrocution
  • Propeller contact with human
  • Unfavorable weather conditions
  • Boat plug missing
  • Failure to follow operating instructions
  • Collisions with other personal watercraft or people
  • Hitting wakes or large waves that can cause a boat to overturn
  • Failure to provide safety equipment such as a life vest
  • Poor Boat Maintenance

What Should I Do To Protect My Rights After a Boating Accident?

You should take steps to protect your rights after you are injured in boating accident. These are some steps you can take:

  1. You should make an incent report with local authorities
  2. Seek medical attention immediately
  3. Help yourself or others by administering first aid if trained medical professionals are not available
  4. Exchange information with other boater involved in the accident
  5. Take down witness information and registration information for the vessels involved
  6. Take video or photographs of any injuries, damages, or activities available

How do I File An Incident Report For a Boat Accident?

Usually, Michigan waterways fall under the police authority of the local municipality or county. You can call 911 to make the report with the local authority. If you are on a lake or river within the jurisdiction or patrolled by the United States Coast Guard, the law requires the operator of the watercraft to make an official report withing 48 hours under certain circumstances, such as death, injury or damage to a boat.

Are Boating Accidents Preventable?

All boating accidents are preventable. Usually, the operator is the primary cause of the accident because reasonable steps are not taken to prevent the accident or reduce the potential the accident. The most important boating accident prevention is to follow boating rules and personal watercraft operating instructions. Usually, a boater is found negligent due to violation of a rule or statute applicable to the activity. Boaters would be wise to follow good safety practices to avoid boating accidents:

  • Complete a Michigan-approved safety course, and carry your State of Michigan Boating Safety Certificate with you when you are operating a personal watercraft. Boaters 14 and older can take the course and operate a boat.
  • Check weather conditions before operating a boat. Weather conditions can quickly change so checking for weather reports is prudent. While it may look bright and sunny when you start boating, the weather conditions can change quickly. -Be aware of any wind or thunderstorms moving in. Pay attention to weather reports on the radio or weather station.
  • You should tell family or friends or family where you are going and when you expect to be back.
  • Make sure you keep count of your passengers at all times.
  • Be aware of people on your boat that cannot swim.
  • Everyone on board must have a lifejacket or approved flotation device available or wearing one if they are of age.
  • Perform a safety check on your boat equipment such as the engine, bilge, running lights, to make sure everything is operational and leak proof.
  • All on-board safety equipment should be available such as the fire extinguisher, horn, whistle, flares, and first-aid kit.
  • Keep proper inventory of food and water supplies.
  • Avoid operating a personal watercraft while using alcohol or drugs because the leading cause of most boat accidents is intoxication.

What is my Boating Accident Case Worth?

Under Michigan law, the boating accident victim can be entitled to two kinds of compensation. The first type of compensation is referred to as non-economic damages, which can include money for past, present, and future pain and suffering, physical disability, scaring and disfigurements, the loss of enjoyment of your life, and emotional or mental anguish. Your damages will depend on your individual case.
The second type of recoverable damages are called economic damages, or your financial damages. Economic damages can include wage loss, loss of earning capacity, medical bills and expenses, and other financial losses attributable to the accident. You can show your economic losses in dollar terms based on wage verification, jobs you are disqualified from, medical bill receipts, etc.
If the boating accident resulted in death, then the law allows the surviving family members to file a wrongful death claim. In this unfortunate type of accident, the law allows recovery of the deceased’s conscious pain and suffering, and the loved one’s loss of society and companionship and financial support.

Call One of The Best Michigan Boat Accident Lawyers to Discuss Your Case

If you or your loved one have been injured in a boating accident, you may be unable to work or have mounting medical bills. You have legal rights when another boater was negligent.

We are a Michigan law firm representing ordinary people throughout the State of Michigan. Headquartered in Bloomfield Hills, and with satellite offices in the Tri-County Area. If you are unable to come to our office, we will come to you at no extra charge. We will even arrange and pay for transportation to our law firm. We are here to serve you and we will vigorously pursue your rights for the benefit of you and your family, with the excellence and compassion with have given our clients for the past 27 years. First and foremost, we will do everything in our power to protect your legal rights so you can focus on healing, and without the burden of thinking about your case. Please call us at (248) 352-2110 or Toll Free 1-866-hire-joe. You can also contact us on our website through our instant messaging function.

Our Law Firm Gives Three Guarantees to Our Clients:
No upfront Out of Pocket Costs or Charges.
No Win, No Fee Guarantee; and
Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Call us now for a free boat accident case evaluation at (248) 352-2110 or Toll Free 1-866-Hire-Joe.

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No Fees Unless We Win
The Joseph Dedvukaj Firm, P.C represents Michigan clients in a full range of personal injury matters. If you have been injured, contact us for a free consultation.
The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute a client relationship.
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