Boat Accidents Law Information

Boat Accidents

Hundreds and thousands of people every year directly or indirectly are involved in boating accidents every year. U.S. Coast Guard, only 5 to 10 percent of non-fatal boating accidents are reported. Recreational boaters need to be educated that any boating accident that involves a fatality, injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid or property damage over $500, must be reported to the nearest state boating authority.

With approximately 12,000,000 recreational vessels registered nationwide and with that number continually increasing, it is imperative that boaters obtain and use boating safety information to help curb the number of boating accidents and fatalities.


Boating Accidents Include:


  • Capsizing
  • Falls Overboard
  • Collisions
  • Fire
  • Sinking/Flooding
  • Explosions
  • Disappearance


Reports Must Be Filed Within…


  • 48 hours of the occurrence if a person dies within on day (24 hours of the accident)
  • 48 hours if a person is injured and medical treatment beyond first aid is required
  • 10 days if there is only damage to the vessel and/or property
  • The form is usually filled out by the operator of the boat unless the operator is physically unable to complete the form. If that is the case, then the owner of the vessel must submit the form. If the owner and operator are one in the same and physically unable, a family member or other witness may complete the form.
  • To obtain the forms and/or to report the accident, call the state where the vessel number was issued, or the state where the casualty or accident occurred, if different.


If I am injured while a passenger on a bus, train, ferry, or airplane, is the transportation service liable?


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