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Wyoming Boating Accidents

Wyoming has very few boating accidents, but that does not mean boating in the state is not dangerous. In fact, of the 16 accidents in 2011, five were fatal and six people died. That is a fatality rate more than three times the national average. This data, from the U.S. Coast Guard, shows that it pays to know how to handle an accident no matter where you are.

Why Do Boating Accidents Happen?

For the most part, a boat accident happens when the driver does something wrong. It could be intentional or completely accidental. Either way, the operator is responsible for the outcome.

U.S. Coast Guard data show that some of the most common primary contributors to boat accidents are:

  • Not paying attention
  • Not having a proper lookout
  • Not having enough experience boating
  • Going too fast

Alcohol plays a big role in fatal accidents. So does lack of experience. The Coast Guard report indicated that almost 90 percent of deaths happened on boats driven by someone who had not attended any boat safety classes.

Other actions that can lead to accidents are prohibited under Wyoming statutes:

  • Having more passengers than the boat can safely hold
  • Riding the bow or gunwales
  • Boating in a restricted area

Breaking these and other rules can lead to fines and even jail time.

When to Report a Boat Accident

Federal law has strict requirements for what is considered a reportable boat accident. You must report any accident that caused:

  • Death within 24 hours
  • Someone to disappear from the boat
  • Serious injury
  • Complete loss of a boat
  • Total property damage of more than $2,000

The first three instances require a report within 48 hours. The other two must be reported within 10 days.

Locate a Local Wyoming Boating Accident Lawyer Today

The time after a boat accident can be confusing. You need reliable legal advice to get the compensation you deserve or to defend yourself against a lawsuit. Call now to speak with a boating accident attorney in Wyoming at 877-913-7222.