The Maritimes are home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the entire country. Each year, countless residents, visitors, tourists, and nature enthusiasts experience the majesty of the lakes, rivers, waterways, and coastal ocean views from aboard motorized boats. While recreational boating is a beloved local pastime, commercial fishing is truly a way of life. Whether setting out on a recreational or commercial expedition, boating is frequently a soul-stirring activity that brings joy to many Maritimers. 

However, when boating accidents occur, the peaceful experience of exploring the region’s waters can quickly turn into a harrowing one. Collisions with other boats or stationary objects can have fatal consequences. Boat drivers and occupants can also sustain severe injuries as the result of a collision with another vessel. 

When boats collide at high speeds on the water, in addition to being ejected from the vessel, the force of impact can cause boat occupants to be thrown to the deck. When this happens, boat operators and passengers can sustain a number of injuries, including: 

  • Concussions
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Sprains, strains and musculoskeletal injuries
  • Cuts and lacerations
  • Broken and fractured bones
  • Whiplash and other soft-tissue injuries
  • Strains and sprains
  • Musculoskeletal injuries
  • Neck and back injuries
  • Facial and dental injuries
  • Traumatic amputations
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Paralysis
  • And more

During a high-speed collision, if the force of impact sends a boat’s occupants overboard, accident victims could lose their lives by drowning or, depending on the season and water temperature, as the result of hypothermia. Additionally, if submerged accident victims temporarily lose consciousness or become trapped underwater for more than a few minutes, they could sustain anoxic brain injuries due to their prolonged lack of oxygen. 

Similar to the effects of severe traumatic brain injuries, anoxic brain injuries can substantially impact a boating accident victim’s ability to perform their jobs, maintain social relationships, and function independently. In these cases, the negligence of another boat operator can cause an accident victim to endure physical and cognitive impairments, sensory losses, extreme behavioural changes, and other prolonged– or permanent– manifestations of brain damage.

Traumatic boating accidents have the potential to injure, permanently disable, or end the lives of accident victims. Experienced boat drivers appreciate the importance of taking crucial safety precautions before leaving dry land, and of exercising an abundance of caution while operating their vessels. Unfortunately, though, even the most experienced, prepared, and safety-minded boat operator can be hurt in an accident caused by the negligence of another boat driver. 

Anyone who operates a boat is legally required to do so with a reasonable degree of caution. That means that boat operators must carry a valid Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC) and comply with national safety regulations as mandated by the Canada Shipping Act. Violations of these laws are criminal offenses. 

Any number of marine law violations could cause a boating accident in which unsuspecting boat operators or passengers could be seriously injured. By failing to comply with marine laws, a boat operator effectively fails to uphold the duty of care they owe the occupants of other boats. Their lack of concern for the safety of others may rob family members of their loved ones, or cause unsuspecting accident survivors to sustain serious physical injuries, emotional trauma, and financial distress. 

If the wrongful conduct of a boat driver causes a collision in which other boat occupants are injured, the at-fault driver may be considered negligent. If so, they may be responsible for financially compensating the people who were injured as a result of their negligence. 

Most frequently, boating accidents are the result of a negligent driver’s inebriation. Drinking alcohol or using illicit substances while operating a dangerous machine like a boat is the leading cause of injurious collisions with other vessels. If a driver operates their boat while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs and an accident ensues as a result of their inebriation, they will likely be considered negligent. Other examples of boater negligence that often leads to injurious accidents include: 

  • Speeding
  • Distracted operation of the vessel
  • Inexperience
  • Lack of credentials
  • Failing to comply with right-of-way rules
  • And more

When negligent boat operators engage in unsafe behaviours on the water, innocent people can lose their lives or be seriously hurt. Oftentimes, surviving a boating accident caused by another driver’s negligence means enduring physical pain, lengthy periods of hospitalization, radical lifestyle adjustments, psychological trauma, and financial uncertainty. This is especially true for those injured accident victims who are unable to return to work because of the injuries they acquired in a boating accident. Boating accident survivors often find themselves struggling to keep up with newly acquired expenses related to their injuries, paying their regular bills, and supporting their families. 

At Preszler Injury Lawyers, we believe that no one should be forced into financial precariousness because of someone else’s wrongful behaviours or actions. If the negligence of another boat operator caused you to sustain injuries, our boating accident lawyers may be able to help you recover the financial compensation you deserve.

By working with our boating accident lawyers, injured accident survivors may be able to pursue a civil claim against the at-fault party whose negligence caused their collision. If you are eligible to file a lawsuit, our boating accident lawyers may be able to help you pursue compensation for damages you have sustained or will incur in the future as the direct result of your boating accident. 

Our boating accident lawyers serve all of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. We have a history of representing the best interests of the clients we represent and standing up for the rights of injured members of the community. If you were injured in a boating accident caused by another party’s negligence, consider booking a free initial consultation with Preszler Injury Lawyers today.

Call Our Boating Accident Lawyers for a Free Initial Consultation

After surviving a serious, traumatic, and injury-causing boating accident, it can be difficult to know which steps to take next, or where to turn to seek out accountability. Injured boating accident survivors are often unsure if the circumstances of their accident even entitle them to pursue a civil claim to recover damages they have incurred.

By speaking with our boating accident lawyers in a free initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss the details of your collision, ask any questions that may be on your mind, receive the benefit of our legal advice, and learn about options for legal action that may be available to you. To review your case with our boating accident lawyers in a cost-free, no-obligation first meeting, contact Preszler Injury Lawyers today.