Summer is a time for boating and fun on local lakes and waterways for many Virginia residents. In order for everyone to enjoy boating activities and remain safe, it is important for boaters to be knowledgeable of boating rules and adhere to those rules. Similar to roadway rules for motorists, waterways also have important rules for boaters to ensure the safety of all users of the waterways.
Boating accidents can occur in a number of ways related to collisions or fires and can involve personal watercraft as well. Sadly, serious and debilitating injuries, or even death, may result from a boating accident. Unfortunately, on a number of occasions, alcohol may play a role in a boating accident.
Boating accidents may involve a number of parties, including some that individuals and victims involved in a boating accident may not immediately realize. Marinas; boat manufacturers; boaters operating a boat or other vessel under the influence of alcohol; and insurance companies, may all be involved when a victim or victim’s family has suffered damages following a boating accident.
Under Virginia law, it is illegal to operate a boat while intoxicated. In circumstances when a serious boating accident has taken place, a negligent boat operator, such as a drunk driver, may be liable to victims and their families for damages suffered. Victims who have suffered harm, including injuries or the death of a family member, in a boating accident or fatal boating accident, may have options to consider when harmed in an otherwise fun activity such as boating.