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Boat Accidents

Consult a Boat Accident Lawyer in Rhode Island

As the Ocean State, Rhode Island boasts some of the most attractive waters for boating in the country. In fact, to reach popular areas like Block Island and Narragansett Bay, boating is the only mode of transportation available. In 2017, over 39,000 recreational vessels were registered in Rhode Island, as reported by the U.S. Coast Guard. However, with such an influx of recreational water users as well as sailors, boating accidents are bound to happen; annually, there are over 4,000 boating accidents in the U.S., with alcohol being a top contributing factor for these sometimes-fatal occurrences on the water. Although boating education has been required for many RI boaters since 2001, similar to motor vehicle accidents, an inexperienced operator is frequently attributed to these dangerous incidents. If you have been hurt in a boating accident in Rhode Island, contact Boat Accident Attorney David Tapalian to help you recover the compensation that you deserve.

Rhode Island Boating Accidents

Boating accidents in Rhode Island require a very different legal proceeding than car accidents. For example, you will need to file a boating accident report yourself if you are in a boating accident that: requires medical attention, involves property damage in excess of $2,000, or loss of life or disappearance from your boat. You will also have to give a written report within 5 days of the boating incident. Unlike car accidents where the local police department files the accident report; boating accidents are filed through the state police with the Department of Environmental Management. This legal proceeding can be confusing for amateur and seasoned boaters alike. Maritime laws are highly complex and vary vastly across different localities, but the personal injury experts at Tapalian Law are well versed in the complexities of the laws that pertain to boat accidents.  Don’t wait to consult Boat Accident Lawyer David Tapalian after a serious boating accident in Newport, Jamestown, Charlestown, or Block Island.

Do I Have a Boating Accident Case?

If you are involved in a boating collision or recreational water vehicle accident, you may wonder if you have a valid legal claim. You will only have a successful accident claim if another party can be found negligent, and responsible, for your injuries. Below are some examples of causes of boating accidents where another party may be found responsible. While these are some of the most common examples of negligent boating operators, every case is unique and there could be any variety of reasons for your accident. For more specific questions about boating safety laws or a potential claim for a boating accident in Rhode Island, contact a local boat accident lawyer who can expertly analyze your case.

Examples of Negligent Boating:

  • Reckless Boating: a boat operator injures you while recklessly driving. For example, a driver could hit a big wave or wake at an excessive speed. 
  • Boating While Intoxicated: a boat operator injures you while under the influence of alcohol. Impaired boat driving is illegal just like driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Distracted Boating: similar to distracted driving in a motor vehicle, a boat operator injures you while not paying attention, or while recklessly driving or speeding.
  • Inexperienced Operator: a boat operator injures you due to improper training and experience with the operation of a vessel. Boat Accident Attorney Tapalian can advise you on how to gather evidence of an “inexperienced” boating driver, as this situation may be more difficult to prove. 
  • Neglectful Boat Maintenance: just like a car has to be consistently maintained, a boat needs to be kept to certain maintenance standards for use. An example of neglectful boat maintenance may be a boat operator that fails to check the motor or fails to carry proper safety equipment on-board. 
  • Overcrowding: a boat operator injures you due to overloading the vessel.  This could also make the passengers more prone to injury if the boat is too small for the number of occupants.  This may cause the boat to sink, or cause water leakage. It is especially dangerous for passengers because the boat operator may not have enough safety equipment for all the extra riders. 
Accidents Involving Jet Skis & Wave Runners

Some of the fastest recreational vessels on the water will be a Jet Ski and/or Wave Runner. Unfortunately, some of the most inexperienced operators will be at the helm of these Jet Skis or Wave Runners in the Ocean State.  Not only inexperienced, these operators can be intoxicated during their riding creating a potentially hazardous situation.  In addition, they travel at such high speeds that can make it difficult to safely navigate around other vessels.  Injuries as a result of the negligent and inexperienced operation of Jet Skis and Wave Runners are very common in Rhode Island waters.

Injuries from Boating

Getting hurt while on the ocean, a pond, or lake, can result in minor injuries like scrapes and bruises, or more significant injury such as broken bones or head trauma. Four fatalities resulted in the Ocean State in 2017 from boating accidents. A fatality may occur directly due to the collision, or may result from drowning after receiving an injury. Boating operators, or other recreational vessel users, who cause serious bodily injuries or death from reckless operation can be charged by the state and even be imprisoned if convicted. This government suit is very different than that of a private personal injury settlement. You should consult an experienced boat accident attorney in RI to advise you as to the best course of action if you have been seriously hurt in a boating accident. You may be entitled to similar compensation as someone hurt in a car accident. If you have lost a loved one due to an accident on the water, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim. Rather than stress about mounting medical bills, time off of work, or damage to your vessel, seek assistance from seasoned personal injury lawyer David Tapalian to help you recover your losses after a boat accident in Bristol, Warren, or Barrington. 

Contact Tapalian Law for a Free Consultation

A fun day on the water can take a turn for the worst in the matter of seconds when a negligent driver is operating a boat. An alcohol impaired boat operator, or an inexperienced boat driver, can cause a water accident resulting in serious injuries or death. With over two decades of personal injury experience including boating accident cases, Boat Accident Lawyer David Tapalian and his dedicated team of legal experts will help make your situation less stressful. We will guide you through the correct procedures to move forward with your injury and/or property damage claim and will create a plan to ensure you have the greatest chance of receiving full compensation. Even if you suffered severe injuries in the boating accident and cannot visit our Providence, Warwick, or Seekonk, MA, offices, our legal experts can visit you in your home or at the hospital for a free consultation. Our boat accident lawyers in RI will work with you personally on your claim to make sure all your bases are covered.  However, there is a 3 year statute of limitations on filing a boating accident claim, and only a 5 day long grace period for filing a boating accident report. The longer you wait, the harder it is to recover your losses from the incident. Call Tapalian Law today at 401-552-5000 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
He took care of everything and kept me updated as well. It was such a smooth process and in the end I won my case. I would highly recommend David Tapalian! Patrice F.
★★★★★
When I contacted David Tapalian, Attorney & Counselor at Law, all my worries were immediately alleviated. He handled my case from beginning to end and kept me updated every step of the way. Susie M.
★★★★★
I visited David a couple of days after my accident and he gave me clear and concise details on what would happen throughout the process... David N.