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Salt Lake City Boating Accident Attorney

Salt Lake City and other water-side destinations in Utah are incredibly popular for a day out in the sun. Unfortunately, many boaters fail to consider the rules of the water or mistakenly believe that regulations such as DUI laws and speed limits do not apply or even exist. In fact, Utah has several laws that govern the actions and ensure the safety of everyone on the state’s waters.

Following these laws is especially important during the warmer seasons, which bring less experienced people to the water. Plus, crowdedness and increased activity amplifies the likelihood of an accident. Do you know how to respond if such an event occurs? Chances are you might not look into boating laws or types of issues you may encounter until after an accident has occurred. If you were injured on the lake and it was not your fault, contact our Salt Lake City boating accident lawyers. We have years of experience dealing with boating accidents and can help you answer all the questions you may have regarding insurance, medical bill expenses, how to prove someone else was at fault and keeping paperwork simple.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents Utah

Most boating accidents are preventable, and many boaters simply underestimate the power of these vehicles or are unfamiliar with the rules about things such as right-of-way on the water and wake zones (or they choose to ignore them). Like any other personal injury claim, negligence may be a factor that changes the outcome of your case. The following elements may come into play as your boating accident claim develops in Salt Lake City:

  • The responsible party’s experience level and competence.
    •  This includes considering the operator’s age, whether there was supervision, and if the individual had consumed any alcohol or was drug-positive at the time.
  • Distracted boating
    •  Paying attention is as important on the water as it is on the road. Distracted boating may be the result of drinking, playing music too loudly, distracting passengers, and any other circumstance that takes the operator’s eyes off the water.
  • Boating equipment
    •  State law regulates what equipment must be available on boats according to the vehicle’s size. For example, experts strongly recommend type IV throwable floatation devices for vessels under 16 feet but the law requires them for all larger vessels.
  • Registration and insurance
    •  Just like other vehicles, boats in Utah require current registration and all relevant decals and certificates. Operators must also meet the state minimums for insurance coverage.
  • Adherence to the rules of the water
    • The laws governing safe boat operation are as comprehensive as those governing vehicles on the state’s roads. Not being familiar with these laws is no excuse and may constitute negligence in the event of an accident. For example, there are speed limits on the water, and operators within 150 feet of another boat must slow to wakeless or idle speed.
  • Whether the owner properly maintained the vehicle
    •  Especially in commercial boating accidents, police will confirm the condition of the vehicle when creating a report. Proper winterization is critical in Utah, and daily use will affect a boat over time. If poor maintenance contributed to an accident, the owner could face liability charges.

Though this is a unique area of personal injury law, the evidence you’ll need to collect following one of these events is similar to what you’ll do following an auto accident. The boating accident lawyers at Fielding Law are experts in boating accident claims and can help you understand your legal rights following an accident on the water.

Let a Salt Lake City personal injury attorney apply our energy and knowledge in this field to get to the bottom of your claim and to protect your rights as the victim of a boating accident. We offer free consultations to get started, so you have nothing to risk by speaking with us. We also work on a contingency basis, so you only pay if we win your claim. This keeps us accountable and ensures we are confident with the cases that we take.