Boating Accident Lawyer Toronto
The lakes and waterways throughout the province of Ontario provide nature enthusiasts with picturesque scenery to enjoy as they escape the noise and activity of landlocked life. Whether taking a slow, leisurely trip or a high-octane, recreational ride, motor boats can offer their operators and passengers a much-needed escape from the everyday.
However, like any motorized method of conveyance, boats can be dangerous. When boat accidents occur on the water, passengers can lose their lives by drowning or by sustaining severe, traumatic injuries.
On top of that, boating accidents in Ontario can have long-lasting physical, mental, emotional, and financial repercussions. Depending on the type of injuries sustained and their severity, people who have been injured on the water could even feel the adverse effects of their boat accident for the rest of their lives.
The cost of living with injuries sustained in a boat accident can be high. Affording the costs of necessary care can be a struggle. That is why, if you have been involved in such an accident, it is advisable to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is familiar with the complexities of boating accidents.
Understanding Boating Accidents
In order to operate a power-driven boat in most Canadian waters, the driver of the vessel must have proof of competency. Most commonly, this means that the boat operator must have completed a safety training course, successfully passed an associated test, and obtained a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC)
Unfortunately, even though all boat drivers must have undergone federally mandated safety training and should be aware of the proper protocols required for the safe operation of a motorized marine vessel, the people who operate boats in local lakes and other bodies of water often engage in negligent, dangerous behaviour. Doing so can put the lives of others at risk.
In accordance with the federal Marine Liability Act, boat operators owe a duty of care to others. They are required by law to operate their vessels in a reasonably cautious manner, taking the safety and physical well-being of their passengers and other boat occupants into consideration. Failing to comply with this federally legislated mandate can lead to fatal or injurious accidents.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
A variety of factors can cause Ontario boating accidents. Adverse weather conditions, such as high winds, storms, fog, or heavy rain, can significantly increase the risk of accidents. Low water levels or unexpectedly strong currents can lead to difficulties in navigation. Additionally, environmental hazards, such as submerged rocks, debris, and other underwater obstacles can lead to unexpected collisions that can knock passengers overboard or cause them to sustain traumatic injuries.
However, the most common cause of boating accidents in Ontario is operator negligence. By failing to comply with their legal responsibilities and, instead, operating their vessel in a careless, reckless, or otherwise negligent fashion, irresponsible boat operators can cause severe, life-changing boat accidents.
All boat operators should be familiar with the safe boating guidelines and requirements mandated by the federal government. Even so, the negligence of boat operators leads to hundreds of fatalities on Canadian waters each year.
The overwhelming majority of deadline boat accidents are the result of operator inebriation. According to the Canadian Red Cross, 65% of boating-related fatalities involve the consumption of alcohol. Even small amounts of alcohol consumption can slow reaction and response times, impair vision and reduce depth perception, impede motor skills, diminish judgment, and accelerate hypothermia.
Despite the fact that operating a boat under the influence of alcohol and other illicit substances is dangerous and illegal, nearly half of all boat drivers admit to drinking or taking drugs every time they take their vessels out on the water. This exceedingly dangerous form of negligence could cause unsuspecting boat passengers to lose their lives, sustain severe physical injuries, and incur substantial financial losses.
Other common forms of negligence that frequently lead to injury-causing boating accidents in Ontario include:
- Operator inattention
- Distracted boating
- Excessive speeding
- Reckless or careless operation
- Lack of safety equipment
- Driver inexperience
- And more
Legal Aspects of Boating Accidents
The impacts of injuries sustained in boat accidents can be far-reaching and wide-ranging. Depending on the types of injuries sustained and the impacts they have on the accident victim’s overall quality of life, people injured in boating accidents could feel the effects of someone else’s wrongdoing for years or even decades following their collision.
If you were injured in a boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. By working with our Ontario boat accident lawyers, you might be able to hold the at-fault party responsible for their actions and recover financial compensation for your damages.
Liability and Negligence
Since all boat operators are legally obligated to uphold a duty of care to others, if a boat driver fails to do so and, thereby, causes an accident in which injuries are sustained by other parties, the at-fault boater may be liable for damages incurred by the injured boating accident victims. As such, they may be responsible for providing the injured accident survivor with compensation for the injury-related financial losses they have incurred.
Our Ontario personal injury lawyers believe that no one should be forced to pay the price of someone else’s negligence. By working with our accident lawyers after sustaining a serious injury in a boat accident, you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim to get the compensation you are rightfully owed.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
After a boating accident, every second could be critical. It is important to try and remain calm and avoid panicking. Keeping a clear, cool head can help effectively address the emergency.
First and foremost, it is important to call for help using a cell phone or marine radio, or by activating emergency signals like flares, distress beacons, or other distress signal equipment. In these first, critical moments, it is also important to assess yourself and other passengers for injuries and begin administering basic first aid, if necessary.
It is also important to document the accident by taking photos of damage to the watercraft involved, injuries sustained, and other environmental factors that may have contributed to the accident. Write down or record your recollection of the events leading to the accident immediately, while they are fresh in your mind.
Be sure to exchange contact information with other parties involved in the accident, as well as any other bystanders who may have witnessed it. Report the accident to local authorities, and seek medical attention as soon as possible, even if you do not feel as though you have sustained any serious injuries.
How Preszler Injury Lawyers May Be Able to Help
In addition to the steps mentioned above, it is important to seek out legal advice from a personal injury law firm that is familiar with boating accidents. Injured survivors of boating accidents have only a short time in which they are entitled to pursue legal action.
Our Ontario boating accident lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for injury-related financial losses you have incurred or will incur in the future. To take advantage of a free initial consultation and learn how Preszler Injury Lawyers may be able to provide you with assistance, contact us today.