Boat Accident Lawyer in Sandy

People generally think of Utah as a desert, but the Great Salt Lake, Lake Powell, and other bodies of water offer plentiful opportunities for boating and other water activities. Sadly, these activities can be dangerous, and a peaceful day out on the water can become a nightmare in the blink of an eye. If you have suffered severe injuries in a Utah boat accident, we know you might feel overwhelmed, scared, and unsure of what to do next. But please remember: You are not alone.

At London Harker Injury Law, our Sandy boat accident attorneys can help you through this challenging episode in your life. Our understanding of Utah personal injury law allows us to be your guide through every step of the process, advocating for your rights and striving for the maximum compensation possible. With us by your side, you have the legal support to stand up against insurance companies and other parties who may try to minimize your claim. Together, we can help you reclaim your life after a boat accident. Call 77CARCRASH today or complete our contact form for a free consultation.

Common Causes of Utah Boat Accidents

Boat accidents can occur for many reasons, but according to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, these six leading causes of boating crashes stand out. Being aware of these can help you better understand what may have contributed to your accident:

  • Distracted Boat Operators: A distracted boat operator is just as dangerous as a distracted driver. If a boat operator isn’t paying attention to the surrounding environment, they might miss important cues or hazards in their path, leading to accidents.
  • Operator Inexperience: Operating a boat requires specific knowledge and skills. Inexperienced boat operators may not fully understand how to manage their vessels, particularly in unpredictable weather conditions or crowded waterways, which increases the risk of accidents.
  • Failure to Watch for Other Vessels or Hazards: The waterways are full of potential hazards – from other boats to hidden underwater objects. If a boat operator and their crew fail to keep a keen eye out for potential dangers, their negligence can result in severe accidents.
  • Speeding: Speeding is a common cause of accidents on both land and water. On the water, going too fast can make it difficult for a boat operator to stop or turn in time to avoid a collision.
  • Impaired Operators: Operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs can severely impact a person’s judgment, reaction times, and ability to operate the vessel safely.
  • Violations of Navigation Rules: The waterways have rules just like our roads. When boat operators don’t follow the proper navigation rules, it increases the chance of accidents. This includes not yielding to other vessels when required, incorrect signaling, or not having proper safety equipment on board.

Remember, no matter what caused your boat accident, you have the right to compensation if you suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence. We’re here to ensure you’re not left to bear the burden alone.

Key Utah Boating Laws

There are many laws boat operators in Utah must follow, but there are few specific ones worth knowing about because of how they can impact a personal injury claim. According to the Utah Department of Outdoor Recreation, these critical boating laws include the following:

  • Any resident who owns a boat with a gas motor or sails must register their vessel with the state. According to state regulations, a boat is any vessel capable of transporting people on water.
  • Utah residents must carry liability insurance for motorboats and personal watercraft (i.e., Jet Skis). The minimum requirements are $25,000 in bodily injury coverage, $50,000 for a wrongful death, and $15,000 in property damage coverage, or $65,000 in overall minimum coverage per accident. Commercial boat operators must also carry liability insurance.
  • All boats in Utah must have one life jacket for each person on board. The jacket must meet Coast Guard standards and be in “good and serviceable condition.”
  • Utah’s drunk driving laws also apply to boat operators, and the legal limit is a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 percent, compared with 0.08 in most states.
  • All guides for commercial boat operators and trip outfitters must be at least 18 years old and have direct experience handling the vessel, though the requirements vary depending on the type of vessel and the trip being outfitted.
  • People under 16 cannot operate a motorboat or sailboat unless someone 18 or older directly supervises them. Children aged 12-17 can operate personal watercraft if they complete an approved boating education course, though someone 18 or older must directly supervise operators ages 12-15.

Who’s Liable for a Boat Accident in Sandy?

In the wake of a boat accident, one of the most critical steps is identifying who might be liable for the injuries you’ve sustained. Several parties could potentially be responsible, including:

  • The Operator of Your Boat: If the person operating your boat was negligent or reckless and caused the accident, they could be liable for your injuries.
  • The Owner of Your Boat: The owner of a boat may be responsible for an accident if they knew or should have known that the person operating their boat was inexperienced, unfit, or otherwise likely to cause an accident. A boat’s owner might also be liable for an accident if they did not make sure it was seaworthy before your trip.
  • The Operator or Owner of Another Boat: If another boat caused the accident and your injuries, the operator or owner of that boat could be responsible. This includes cases where they were speeding, operating the boat under the influence, or not following navigation rules.
  • A Boat’s Manufacturer: If a defect in the boat or its parts contributed to the accident, the boat’s manufacturer might be liable for your injuries. This could include defects in the boat’s design or failures in manufacturing and testing.
  • Passengers on the Boat: Occasionally, passengers contribute to boat accidents, such as by distracting the operator or acting recklessly. In such cases, these passengers could be liable for an accident.
  • Boat Tour Companies: If you sustained injuries on a tour or charter boat, the tour company could be responsible. This could be due to improper maintenance, negligent hiring practices, or failure to provide adequate safety instructions.
  • Maintenance Workers: If a boat was not properly maintained and this lack of maintenance led to an accident, those responsible for the boat’s upkeep could potentially be liable.

Compensation for Boat Accidents in Sandy

You may face numerous challenges and losses after a boat accident, so it’s crucial to know what compensation you might recover. Here are some of the losses for which you could receive compensation:

  • Medical Expenses

    This includes all costs associated with your medical treatment, such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, medications, physical therapy, and any necessary ongoing or future medical care related to your injuries.

  • Lost Wages

    If you’ve had to miss work due to your injuries or treatments, you could pursue compensation for your lost income. And if your injuries affect your ability to earn a living in the future, you might recover compensation for the loss of future earnings.

  • Pain and Suffering

    This is compensation for the physical pain and emotional distress you have suffered from the accident. This might include trauma, anxiety, depression, and the impact on your overall quality of life.

  • Property Damage

    If your personal property, including your boat, was damaged or destroyed in the accident, you could seek compensation for the cost to repair or replace your belongings.

  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life

    This refers to the negative impact on your ability to enjoy the everyday activities and hobbies you enjoyed before the accident.

  • Loss of Consortium

    If your injuries have adversely affected your relationship with your spouse or family, you could seek compensation for your loss.

  • Wrongful Death

    If a family member died in the accident, you could seek compensation for funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and the emotional pain of losing a loved one.

Deadline to File a Utah Boat Accident Lawsuit

The Utah statute of limitations for personal injury lawsuits says you have four years from your injury date to take legal action. However, this rule has some exceptions, and you might need to file a lawsuit within a shorter window. Furthermore, critical evidence can disappear or deteriorate if you wait too long to speak to a lawyer. Contacting an attorney immediately after an accident is the best step you can take to protect your rights.

Our Sandy Boat Accident Attorneys Are Ready to Fight for You

Facing the aftermath of a boat accident can be overwhelming, but you don’t have to navigate these rough waters alone. Our boat accident lawyers stand ready to fight for you. We are dedicated to uncovering every detail of your case, holding the negligent parties accountable, and seeking the compensation you deserve.

When you hire us, you pay nothing upfront. We work on a contingency fee basis. That means you don’t owe us any money unless we get compensation for you.

With us by your side, the journey to reclaim your life becomes a shared voyage. Call 77CARCRASH or reach out online for a complimentary case review.


London Harker Injury Law Sandy Office

Personal Injury Attorney in Sandy, Utah


London Harker Injury Law Provo Office

Personal Injury Attorney in Provo, Utah

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