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Pennsylvania Boating Accidents



Spending the day in a boat, on a Jet Ski®, or on water skis is an enjoyable way to spend your free time. But when you have been in an accident, all you want to do is figure out how it happened and how you can be whole again. A lawyer can help you do that.

How Fun on the Water Can Cause Accidents

Enjoying a beer. Opening up the throttle. Jumping wakes. These are all fun. Unfortunately they are also dangerous. And illegal in many cases. For example, Pennsylvania boat operation requirements prohibit:

  • Operating a boat faster than no-wake speed near swimmers or shore
  • Crossing another boat's wake and becoming airborne within 100 feet of that boat
  • Driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol

There are many other boating “rules of the road” to follow, including:

  • Correct display of navigation lights
  • Power-driven boats giving way to sail-only boats

If you don't follow the rules, you are liable for any resulting accidents. You are also responsible for anything your passengers do, like riding the gunwales or even temporarily controlling the boat.

How to Report Boating Accidents

You must report certain types of accidents to the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission:

  • If someone died or disappeared, notify the commission immediately and then file a written accident report within 48 hours.
  • If someone needed more than first-aid medical care, make a written report within 48 hours.

For property damage only, file a written report within 10 days if all damage, including the boat, totaled more than $2,000 or the boat was a total loss. These reports are required by both state and federal laws.

Locate a Local Pennsylvania Boat Accident Lawyer Today

After an accident it is important to gather all the facts to figure out who did what and assign legal liability. This can be hard to do, and it is possible several people share responsibility. You will need help unraveling the truth. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in Pennsylvania at 877-913-7222.