How do I know who was at-fault in my boat crash? | Shapiro, Washburn & Sharp

Just like a driver, a boat operator or personal watercraft rider cannot exceed a posted speed limit, operate while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or act recklessly. By the laws in most states, reckless operation on the water includes jumping wakes, following too closely and weaving in and out of slower-moving vessels.

Boaters who violate these rules and crash into swimmers, other watercraft, objects in the water or the shore can be ticketed or charged with criminal offenses and asked to pay compensation and damages.

Questions regarding who caused a boat crash often come up when one watercraft crossed in front of another. Boaters in Virginia and North must follow rules of the road that dictate yielding right of way to the vessel on one’s right-hand, or starboard, side.

Establishing that one boater violated another boater’s right of way can require doing a crash reconstruction and interviewing witnesses. Working with a personal injury lawyer who has experience handling boat crash cases will ensure these things happen.