Water Injury Lawyers: Drunk Boating Accidents

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 There are those who would never drive drunk, but who will boat while intoxicated. Perhaps a person feels as if a lake or ocean provides additional space that a roadway does not; or, perhaps a person does not feel that the sort of accidents and injuries that can result from drunk driving accidents happen with boating accidents. Statistics from the United States Coast Guard present a different picture:

  • In 2012, alcohol use was the seventh-most common contributing factor for boating accidents in the United States;
  • That same year, alcohol contributed to 280 boating accidents;
  • Alcohol use was the primary cause of 227 injuries and 109 deaths during 2012.


The fact is that drunk boating can result in serious or fatal injuries to the boater him- or herself, to other individuals on the boat, and those nearby in the water. Those injured at the hands of a drunk boater may be able to recover compensation from him or her for their injuries and losses.


How Do I Recover Compensation from a Drunk Boater?

 A drunk boating lawsuit seeking compensation is premised on the idea that the drunk boater acted negligently (or carelessly) in causing your injuries. If a judge or jury believes this occurred by evidence that is more likely than not true, you are able to recover compensation. You must show:

  • The drunk boater owed you a duty of care to act in a certain manner. The evidence must show that the boater was to conduct him- or herself in a reasonably careful manner and operate the boat in a reasonably safe manner so as not to cause needless injuries to others in and around the water. Usually, the existence of a duty of care is not contested.
  • The drunk boater breached the duty of care. This requires evidence showing that the boater did not act in accordance with the duty of care but instead acted unreasonably under the circumstances. Boating while intoxicated is unreasonable because most safety courses clearly tell boaters not to consume alcohol while on the water and certainly not while they are at the helm of a boat.
  • The drunk boater’s breach caused your injuries. In other words, there must be some causal connection between the careless and negligent acts of the drunk boater and your injuries. Sometimes this can be straightforward: a boater was drunk, did not see you swimming, and as a result he or she hit you while you were in the water. In other cases, causation may be more difficult because there were a number of people whose actions that contributed to your injuries.
  • Your injuries can be compensated with money. A court that finds you have been injured through the carelessness of another will seek to “make you whole” again by awarding you monetary compensation. If your injuries are such that no amount of money, however small, can compensate you or make you whole, then there is nothing a court can do for you. Typically, this element of a case is not contested, but it is important that you indicate what amount of compensation you are seeking when you file your case.


How Zinda Law Group Can Help

 At Zinda Law Group, we recognize that drunk boaters can be just as dangerous to others as drunk drivers. We have helped numerous swimmers, boaters, and beachgoers who have been injured by drunk boaters recover compensation for their injuries, their medical and other expenses, and other losses they experience. Call us now at (800) 863-5312 if you have been hurt by a drunk boater and learn how we can help you.