Skilled Boat Accident Attorneys in Portland, Oregon
At the Law Offices of Jon Friedman, our boat collision lawyers in Portland, Oregon know that the five primary contributing factors in accidents that occur on the water are the result of operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, excessive speed, and alcohol or drug use.
When negligence is a factor during a boat’s operation, the occupants can be severely injured during incidents that could have been avoided, which is why we provide the legal representation injury victims need to pursue the financial recovery they deserve.
The United States Coast Guard Statistics Support Negligent Boating Claims
Last year, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) reported nearly 4,200 boating accidents throughout the country that involved 613 deaths, 2,559 injuries, and approximately $55 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents.
In Portland, the effects of alcohol consumption are thought to be responsible for at least a third of all boating accidents, with estimates from the USCG stating that any operator of a boat who has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.1% or more has a potential for causing an accident more than ten times greater than someone who has consumed no alcohol at all.
Some of the more startling statistics associated with boating accidents in Oregon and throughout the country last year also included:
- Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents accounting for 23% of all boating fatalities
- There were 171 accidents in which at least one person was struck by a propeller, accounting for 35 deaths and 155 injuries
- Where the cause of death was known, 79% of fatal boating accident victims drowned; the majority of whom — recorded at 86% — were not wearing life jackets
- The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (45%), personal watercraft (19%), and cabin motorboats (16%).
- The vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (48%), kayaks (14%), and personal watercraft (8%)
Inexperience remains a significant part of boating accidents, as 70% of the fatalities occurred on boats where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction, compared to the 20% of deaths that occurred on vessels captained by an individual with a nationally approved boating safety education certificate.
More Boats. More Inexperienced Boaters. More Accidents.
Accidents can happen whether you are on your boat or a private or publicly owned vessel. The number of people boating increases every year, which leads to more boating accidents.
Common causes of boating accidents include:
- Traveling on unsafe or poorly maintained passenger vessels
- Colliding with another boat or object
- Being hit while in the water by a boat, Jet Ski, or water skier
- Onboard gas explosions
- Failure to follow safe navigation or boating regulations
Through no fault of their own, victims of boating accidents often see a delay in receiving medical services, simply because the medical professionals must find the boat first, which can lead to even small injuries becoming life threatening because it takes time to reach victims out in the water.
What Duty Does the Boat Owner or Operator Have to Ensure My Safety?
First, boat owners and/or operators have a duty to provide a safe environment for their occupants, which includes remaining sober while operating the vessel, and providing enough life jackets for each passenger on board.
Any boat owner or operator involved in an incident is required by Oregon state laws to offer assistance where needed and provide the details of their name and boat registration for the accident report.
They are also required to file a report to state authorities within a specified time when someone has been injured, lost their life, or when property has been damaged during their operation of the vessel.
If you have been hurt in a boating accident in Portland or elsewhere in Oregon, seek medical care immediately and contact our attorneys to learn more about your rights to pursue the boat’s owner or operator. We will uncover the negligence that caused your injuries during an independent investigation to ensure we are holding the proper party, or a combination of parties, responsible for your damages.
If you believe you have a claim and have questions or concerns about how to properly pursue it, please contact our Multnomah County personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Jon Friedman today by calling 503-766-4874 for a free confidential assessment of your claim.