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Boating Accident - Understanding Your Rights If Injured

Boating Accidents

For many Ontarians, the warm summer months correspond to heading out to the cottage, undocking the boat, and spending some time on the lake either fishing, simply relaxing on the boat, or participating in exhilarating water sports such as waterskiing or bodyboarding. On any given day, you are likely to find a number of people enjoying their yachts, powerboats, motorboats, jet skis, jet boats, canoes, kayaks, and house boats on the water.

Despite what most people may believe, however, these water activities are strictly regulated by Transport Canada in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the water. Depending on the use and size of your boat, different regulations may apply. For example, a pleasure craft powered by a motor over 10 hp (7.5 kW) must have a valid license in order to allow search and rescue personnel to identify your boat in the event of an emergency. In addition, while all boats are required to carry and maintain safety equipment, the exact type of equipment (life jacket, personal floatation device, etc.) varies from boat to boat. Given the intricacies involved with boat safety, various accredited courses also exist in order to teach new boaters and update experienced boaters on how to safely enjoy their time on the water. For more information on boating safety, visit Transport Canada’s website.

Unfortunately, while following Transportation Canada’s guidelines may help to minimize the risk of a motor vehicle accident out on the water, serious accidents may still occur. These accidents can include, among other things, a collision between boats, a collision between a boat and a person, or a collision between a boat and an obstacle in the water. These accidents can result in injuries suffered due to something striking your body, or drowning. In 2006 and 2007, the Canadian Red Cross released its 10-Year Drowning Report, finding that almost 90% of the 180 Canadians (on average) who die every year in boating incidents were not properly wearing a lifejacket or PFD and nearly 70% capsized or fell overboard from a small open boat. When these accidents happen on the water due to someone’s negligence or recklessness, it is important to be aware your personal injury legal rights.

If you or a family member are involved in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the owner and operator of the boat. A maximum of $1,000,000 can be recovered for serious and permanent injuries from a negligent operator of a boat, and over $1,000,000 can be recovered from a reckless operator of a boat. However, determining who is at fault and what compensation you are entitled to amidst a myriad of water transport regulations requires a team of experienced lawyers, knowledgeable in law surrounding boating accidents.

For assistance with a personal injury or insurance claim, please email David at To be contacted immediately call 1-855-446-7765 for a free case evaluation.

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