During the hot summer months thousands of Albertans take to local lakes and rivers to enjoy various water sports, swimming, fishing, or a relaxing day on the water. Boating is an especially popular activity, with the Canadian boating industry taking in approximately 2.3 billion dollars annually. It’s all fun in the sun for most recreational boaters, but unfortunately accidents do happen. According to recent statistics, approximately 165 Canadians die each year from boating accidents, with thousands more suffering minor to severe life-threatening injuries. Many of the accidents that happen on water are the result of recklessness or negligence. If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident that was not your fault, we can help. At Litwiniuk & Company, we’ve represented Albertans injured in boating accidents since 1976. Our Calgary Boating Accident lawyers will take care of the legal work and deal with the insurance companies, ensuring you get fair compensation and peace of mind.
The most frequent types of boating accidents include…
- Slip and fall accidents on the boat;
- Collisions with other watercrafts, floating debris, or rocks;
- Water sport injuries;
- Being struck while swimming;
- Boat sinking; and
Boating accidents may be the fault of a driver or passenger who was…
- Under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Driving recklessly; or
- Failing to observe other people or crafts on the water.
Other factors may include…
- Unexpected bad weather;
- A defect in the boat;
- Mechanical malfunctions;
- Lack of safety warnings; or
- Carbon monoxide poising.
So you’ve been involved in a boating accident. Now what?
After ensuring that everyone is okay and contacting the authorities, you’ll want to gather as much documentation and evidence as possible. If you are able, take photographs or videos of the scene, any damages, or injuries. If you were wearing a body camera such as a GoPro, be sure to preserve the accident footage. Write down or make a note in your cellphone of the time of day, weather conditions, and any other information that might be relevant. If the accident involved any kind of motorized watercraft such as a motorboat, ski boat, wakeboarding boat, Sea-Doo, or Jet Ski, find out if the operator has a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card, also known as a boat license or boating license. Get the names of other parties or witnesses as well as the name of the boat and hull identification number (HIN). Don’t know where the HIN number is located? Click here. You’ll also want to get any insurance or policy information. The more details you are able gather, the easier it will be to prepare a claim. There are no traffic cameras and fewer eyewitnesses on the water. And as time passes, it may become more difficult to accurately reconstruct what happened at the scene. The sooner you get in touch with a Calgary Boating Accident lawyer, the easier it will be to get accurate eyewitness accounts of the accident and obtain critical evidence.
Legal responsibility of owners and operators.
Transport Canada regulates the laws surrounding boating under the Canada Shipping Act. Under the act, all owners and operators of a watercraft must follow Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations. These include age restrictions for operating a boat, licensing and registration, speed limits, and other safety requirements. You don’t need a license to operate a canoe or kayak, but you need one for any kind of boat with a motor – there are some exceptions including for renting a boat, for visitors to Canada, and for those who can prove boating competency in other ways. It is the legal responsibility of the owners and operators of a boat to follow the laws and exercise care and caution to ensure the safety of passengers and other boaters. Minors are permitted to operate certain types of boats in certain circumstances but face additional restrictions. In the case that a boating accident was the result of a mechanical defect or lack of safety warnings, the manufacturer of the watercraft may be held legally responsible. If you would like to know more about legal responsibility, or making a claim, give us a call or email to get free answers to all your legal questions.
Navigating the murky waters of liability. Can I make a claim?
If you have been injured in a boating accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. The federal Marine Liability Act lays out the guidelines for making a claim for damages. Family members of a deceased accident victim also have the right to make a claim. Boating accident claims work differently than a standard Motor Vehicle Accident claim. According to the Act, victims of accidents involving a watercraft that weighs less than 300 tons can be compensated up to a maximum of $1,000,000 for loss of life or personal injury. If the driver was operating the boat recklessly, the victim may be entitled to more than $1,000,000. The driver of the boat is expected to be familiar with boating safety regulations or have known that the harm was foreseeable. There may be additional special circumstances where you might be entitled to make a claim for more than the standard amounts set out in the legislation. Our Calgary Boating Accident lawyers have the knowledge and expertise to ensure you get fair compensation. To find out if you are eligible to make a claim, or what your claim might be worth, give us a call today.
In Alberta, you generally have up to two years from the date of a boating accident to make a claim in court or your right to do so is lost forever. But it’s important not to wait as there may be other important deadlines, or other circumstances that may affect the deadline or your claim. If you have any questions about the limitation period for your claim, call or email us for a free consultation with one of our Calgary Boating Accident lawyers today.
Our Calgary Boating Accident Lawyers Are Here to Help
When it comes to pursing a claim, accidents that happen on water are very different from those that take place on land. It’s always best to seek personalized legal advice from an experienced Personal Injury lawyer. We’ve represented injured boaters, as well as the families of those who have suffered fatal injuries, in Calgary and throughout Alberta for over 44 years. We’ve seen every type of boating accident imaginable including:
- Swimming accidents;
- Canoeing accidents;
- Kayaking accidents;
- Paddleboarding accidents;
- Surfing accidents
- Parasailing accidents;
- Kite surfing accidents;
- Sailing accidents;
- Tubing accidents;
- Wakeboarding accidents;
- Waterskiing accidents;
- Sea-Doo accidents; and,
- Jet-Ski accidents.
Let our firm work to get you the maximum compensation for your claim and the treatment you’re entitled to. We deal with the insurance companies and the law, while you focus on getting your life back to normal. If you are looking for a Calgary Boating Accident lawyer contact Litwiniuk & Company today for a free consultation. It won’t cost you anything to get an experienced Personal Injury lawyer on your side, because we don’t get paid until you get paid.