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Oregon Boating Accidents

Boating, water skiing, and other activities can be fun and relaxing. But they can also be dangerous if you are not careful. Accidents on the water cause hundreds of deaths and millions of dollars in property damage each year. In Oregon, the fatality rate has declined in recent years, but even so, 10 people died in 2011. It is important for all boaters to understand their responsibilities and their rights on the water.

Causes of Boating Accidents

Alcohol use contributes to as many as 30 percent of the accidents on Oregon's waterways. Boating under the influence is a Class A misdemeanor, with potential punishments including:

  • Up to $6,250 in fines
  • Jail time
  • Loss of boating privileges
  • Suspension of boat registrations

Other activities that are illegal and unsafe include:

  • Going too fast for conditions
  • Not having a proper lookout
  • Overloading the boat
  • Passengers riding on the gunwales

You can be fined just for doing these things. If you also get into an accident, the fine gets bigger. And you could be liable for injuries and property damage. You may face criminal charges and civil lawsuits.

What to Do After an Accident

State law requires operators to help anybody injured in a boat accident. This includes taking them to the hospital if needed. Not stopping to help is a Class C felony, punishable with jail time and fines up to $100,000.

You also need to give your contact and boat information to anybody involved.

Your next step is to file a written boating accident report with the State Marine Board, if needed. State and federal law require you file this report:

  • Within 48 hours for incidents causing death or injury
  • Within 10 days for accidents that caused more than $2,000 in property damage

If the boat's operator cannot make the report, passengers must do so.

Locate a Local Oregon Boating Accident Lawyer Today

Boating regulations can be confusing and complicated. For clear answers about your specific situation, you need a lawyer who understands state and federal laws. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in Oregon at 877-913-7222.