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South Dakota Boating Accidents

Boating is a fun activity, but it can also be dangerous. That is why South Dakota has rules to follow on the water. These rules exist to prevent accidents and to define your duties and rights. Both operators and passengers need to understand basic boating laws. If you are in a boating accident, a South Dakota boat lawyer can help you put your best legal foot forward.

South Dakota Boating Safety Regulations

While out on a boat, you need to follow the state's boating regulations:

  • Have a Coast Guard approved life jacket for everyone on board.
  • Do not let anyone under age 14 control the boat without direct supervision of someone at least 18 years old.
  • Keep your speed at "slow no wake" near docks, swimmers or non-motorized boats.

When you do not follow these and other rules, you risk hurting yourself and others. Boat operators are responsible for any injuries or damage they cause. If you were also breaking other laws when the accident happened, you could face even more legal problems.

State Accident Reporting Rules

After an accident you must stop somewhere safe and help anyone who needs it. Even if you cannot help safely, you should stay at the scene. When it is safe, give your contact information to anyone:

  • Injured
  • Whose property you damaged

You also need to report the accident as soon as possible when:

  • Someone died or was badly injured.
  • Someone disappeared.
  • Property belonging to a single person sustained more than $1000 damage.
  • Total property damage was more than $2,000.

Give your report to the South Dakota Department of Game, Fish & Parks or another nearby law enforcement agency.

Federal law also requires written reports within 48 hours after a death or serious injury.

Locate a Local South Dakota Boat Accident Lawyer Today

Accident victims are entitled to compensation for injuries or property damage—but only from the person truly responsible. Operators have the right to defend themselves against any civil or criminal charges. Either way, you need someone on your side who understands the law. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in South Dakota at 877-913-7222.