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Vermont Boating Accidents



From Lake Champlain to the Connecticut River, Vermont offers some beautiful waterways perfect for boating. Unfortunately, a peaceful day on the water can turn tragic if you are in an accident. Not only is it scary, but you may have to deal with legal issues such as liability and compensation.

Boat Accident Liability

Liability refers to who is to blame for an accident. That is not always easy to figure out, especially if two or more boats are involved. Each operator could have some liability.

The driver of a boat is ultimately responsible for the safety of passengers and other people on the water. This means not doing things that are illegal and dangerous, such as:

  • Speeding: A safe speed lets you stop before hitting something. In crowded waters, that could be less than any posted limit.
  • Drinking while boating: The legal blood alcohol level for boating is 0.08—the same as for driving. But even at lower levels, if you are impaired, you could be guilty of reckless behavior.
  • Other careless or reckless actions: This can include things like chasing wildlife or not following the rules for right of way.

By doing these things, an operator makes an accident more likely. These actions also open the way for criminal charges and civil lawsuits if an accident does happen. If more than one operator was breaking the rules, they may share the blame.

Boat Accident Reporting in Vermont

State law requires you file a written report when the accident caused:

  • Serious injury needing more than first aid
  • Death
  • Disappearance
  • Total property damage more than $100

File this report within 36 hours to the Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles. You must also give your contact information and boat identification to anyone affected by the accident.

Locate a Local Vermont Boat Accident Lawyer Today

If you have been in an accident, you may have questions about your rights or liability. You need an experienced lawyer on your side. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in Vermont at 877-913-7222.