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Ohio Boat & Boating Accidents



Between the Ohio River, Lake Erie and thousands of smaller lakes, Ohio offers plenty of chances to enjoy boating. But an accident can turn that joy into tragedy. It is important for all boaters to understand their rights and responsibilities after an accident.

Boating Safely in Ohio

Most boating accidents are the result of human error, and as such are preventable. According to Ohio boating statistics, the main causes of accidents in 2011 were:

  • Operator inattention
  • Machinery failure
  • Alcohol use
  • Operator inexperience

These are all things you have a lot of control over. It is as simple as taking boating classes, paying attention, and not drinking alcohol. You can reduce the chances of machinery failure with proper maintenance.

Other unsafe conditions include:

  • Not having enough life preservers
  • Not having enough fire extinguishers
  • Fuel leaks
  • Wrong navigation light display

Not all of these will necessarily lead to an accident. But they can make one worse. For example, if you cannot put out a fire because you do not have a fire extinguisher, it may spread and lead to greater damage or more serious injuries.

You will be responsible for the outcome if you could have done something differently to prevent an accident or minimize the damage.

Reporting Boating Accidents

If you are in an accident, your first responsibility is to help anyone who needs it, if you can do so without causing more damage or injuries. You also need to give your contact information and the boat owner's information (if it is not you) to:

  • Anyone who was injured
  • Anyone whose property was damaged
  • Law enforcement officers at the scene

You will also need to file a written report to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources if:

  • There were serious injuries.
  • Someone died.
  • Property damage exceeds $500.

The U.S. Coast Guard will need a copy of the report in case of injury, death, or property damage of $2,000 or more.

Locate a Local Ohio Boating Accident Lawyer Today

If you have questions about your boating accident, it is important to talk with someone who understands the law. Someone who will listen, evaluate the evidence and come up with a plan to help you. Call now to speak with a boat accident attorney in Ohio at 877-913-7222.