A boat in shallow water, keeling over on its side.

Utah is an extremely popular boating destination because of the many beautiful bodies of water, including Lake Powell and The Great Salt Lake. With internationally famous views, the state sees a big influx of tourists during boating season. This means that boaters in Utah have a higher chance of enduring a collision, especially during the on-season; the state even ranks 5th in the country in average number of boating deaths between 2017 and 2022 — despite ranking 30th in population. 

It is essential that all Utah boaters, whether they be residents or tourists, take the necessary safety precautions and follow local regulations to help prevent these boating accidents. When they fail to do so, they can cause serious injuries.

A boating accident can happen to anyone, but the aftermath can be incredibly overwhelming to manage alone. To help you file a claim or lawsuit, our team at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers is standing by to provide legal aid, which can make the claim or litigation process easier to manage. 

Our skilled attorneys have years of experience representing people like you who have endured injuries and other lasting damages from a boating accident.  Call (801) 810-9999 to speak with a trusted member of our team or contact us online to schedule a case review.  

How Can a Utah Boat Accident Attorney Help Me?

A boat accident can be a scary situation. The litigation process that follows can be just as daunting to face when you don’t have someone with professional experience to turn to with your pressing questions and concerns. Along the way, there will be times when you simply need support through the hurdles that need to be managed, especially in the face of stubborn insurers. An attorney can offer that advocacy. 

Litigation of any kind has complex ins and outs that need to be managed without mistakes, yet most people won’t have the required training or previous exposure to the legal process to confidently represent themselves. A Utah boat accident attorney from Valley Law can help prepare and guide you through each step of the way. 

Working with a skilled and experienced attorney from Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers means having:

  • An open line of communication with professionals in the field
  • Comprehensive management of your case, from the big steps to the fine details
  • Protection from common insurance traps   

What Are Common Types of Boat Accidents?

Generally, any accident that involves a boat can be considered a boating accident. The accident does not even need to involve a collision with another vessel but simply an injury after some kind of impact, disruption, or failure. An accident can even happen when the boat is not fully out on the water, most notably when passengers are entering or exiting.

Some of the most common boat accidents take place on the following popular vessels: 

  • Cruise ships
  • Yachts 
  • Cabin cruisers
  • Watercraft, jet skis, wave runners 
  • Sailboats
  • Kayaks, rafts, paddleboards, and canoes

What are Common Causes of a Boat Accident?

On the open water, there are endless possibilities — including for accidents. 

The process of managing a boating accident will feel different for everyone, but there are a few situations that happen more commonly than others. Generally, many of the common situations that cause accidents are a result of negligence or error, so a clear head and an attentive attitude can be some of the strongest ways to prevent an accident. It never hurts to brush up on boat safety, either.

Listed below are many of the most common reasons for boat accidents:

  • Operating a boat under the influence: Just like with driving on the road, boaters that operate their vehicles under the influence pose a danger to everyone else in the water. This can lead to impaired depth perception or other bad habits like distracted boating. While alcohol is allowed on boats in Utah, it is strictly prohibited for the boat operator to be under the influence at any time while they hold the responsibility of controlling the vessel.    
  • Distraction: When the operator of the boat steps away to check on guests or get a different viewpoint, they leave the boat at risk of crashing into anything sitting on the open water. The coast guard even says that distracted boating makes up a large portion of accidents they respond to every year.  
  • Speeding: Reckless behaviors like speeding can increase a boat operator’s chances of an accident because water vehicles typically need more time and space to make turns or stops, but speeding doesn’t allow a boat to do so. Fines for speeding on a boat can be more than $200 if operating the vehicle fast enough, so be sure to make a mental note of the speed limits in your area. 
  • Defective Equipment: Parts like the engine, a GPS system, and other tracking/safety equipment are crucial to keep functioning in pristine condition. A vehicle could end up lost or stranded out in open water with no way to contact someone on land. This common situation can lead to disastrous results, so it’s always better to protect your preventative measures instead of being forced to rely on your survival skills.  

What Happens After a Boat Accident?

Following up with your boating accident is not all that different from the process you’d walk through if it was a road-based crash, but there are some key differences. 

While Utah is a no-fault state for car accidents, it remains a shared-fault state for boating incidents. This means that in accidents involving two or more vehicles, any person responsible for damages must take on the burden of the expenses. 

Seek Medical Attention Promptly

The first thing you should do if you have suffered a boating accident is to seek medical attention. Everything else can wait, and nothing is more important than your well-being. During a dangerous event like a boating accident, the body will produce adrenaline which has the power to block pain. Because of the adrenaline rush a person feels after intense situations, injuries are easily masked, leaving the victim unable to determine if they are seriously injured or not. 

After you are stable and safe, you can start worrying about the post-accident process, but taking the initial step of reaching out to an attorney can save you precious time in the long run, allotting more time for you to focus your attention elsewhere. 

Boating Accident Report

A boating accident report is similar to a report taken at the scene of a car crash. It documents the details of the scene, including who was involved, what the alleged events of the accident included, and the extent of the damage. The main difference is that in the state of Utah, it is required that the owner, operator, or another person on board fill out an independent boating accident report, meaning report completion is not entirely managed by the first responders. 

Investigating the Details of the Accident

An attorney can help you comprehensively review the details of the event. Evidence like pictures, videos, and the boating accident report is likely to come in handy when building a frame of reference for the details. Your attorney may even retain an accident reconstructionist to put together a blow-by-blow of the accident if they deem it necessary or helpful. 

This step of gathering evidence can be hefty, especially if you attempt to tackle compiling the mountain of evidence on your own. An attorney will know what to look for and how to efficiently build a case around what’s been gathered, saving you precious time and energy.   

Possibility of a Lawsuit

Sometimes an insurance claim isn’t enough. Many people may leave their settlement negotiations feeling unsatisfied or unheard, but there is always another option. 

Moving forward with a lawsuit puts additional pressure on the negligent party, and shows their insurer that you are a serious claimant willing to play hardball. Your case may not proceed to a trial, instead settling at any point, but you need to show the seriousness of your claim and that you are willing to back it up with a legal fight.

The team at Valley Law is prepared to back you up during every step of negotiations and can represent you through a lawsuit if you and your attorney decide upon that course of action. A lawsuit is generally the last resort as most prefer to avoid the complexities of this litigation, so your attorney may be able to help you avoid this step altogether with the right pain points at the negotiation table. However, when it comes to taking your case to trial, we will not hesitate to do whatever it takes to get you the compensation you and your family need.

Our Utah Boat Accident Law Firm is Standing By to Help

If you’ve been in an accident, finding the right representation can be an important step that protects you in more ways than one. 

Boating is a passionate hobby for many, and the team at Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers is here to protect people like you in the event of an unforeseen accident. Navigating the claim process can be confusing and overwhelming at times, but with the team at Valley Law, you’ll gain a team of experienced advocates who can be there to watch your back and answer any of your most pressing questions along the way. 

Call (801) 810-9999 to speak with a trusted member of our team or contact us online to schedule a case review.

Questions you might have in your mind

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Additional Questions?

We have helped many clients recover from injuries resulting from car accidents in West Valley, Salt Lake City, and the greater Utah area. We are here to help you recover after an accident. If you've been injured, don't hesitate to call Valley Law Accident and Injury Lawyers for a free consultation. We have recovered millions for our clients and we are ready to fight for you.

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