Oklahoma is a paradise for water lovers, with more miles of shoreline than both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts combined. The state is home to over 200 lakes, with over 1 million surface acres that are just right for fishing, boating, swimming and other activities. However, the water can also be dangerous. If you were injured in a boat accident or you may have been responsible for an accident, you need legal assistance.
Advice for People Injured in an Oklahoma Boating Accident
If you were injured in a boating accident, you may have a personal injury case. Many of the same parameters apply to boating accidents as car accidents. For example, did the boat operator act recklessly by not taking normal precautions that most people would have taken under the same circumstances? Was the boat operator drunk or under the influence of drugs? Was the boat driver speeding? Was the boat itself in safe condition, or did it have obvious safety problems?
Types of Oklahoma Boat Accident Claims
Boat operators can be considered negligent for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Contact with propellors
- Operating at an excessive speed
- Hitting a wake or wave at high speed
- Navigating in heavy weather, resulting in someone falling overboard
- Failing to have safety equipment on the boat
- Collisions with fixed objects or other boats
- Overcrowding the vessel
In addition, boating under the influence is a serious charge, particularly if someone is injured because of the driver’s intoxication.
Reckless and Careless Boat Operation in Oklahoma
Reckless operation in Oklahoma means failing to exercise the care necessary to prevent the endangerment of life, limb, or property of another person. This includes being reckless with a vessel, water skis, a parasail, a surfboard or other device. For example, if a person operates a boat in a restricted area or fails to stop or yield to an authorized emergency vessel which made a clear signal, the boat owner may have criminal and civil liability for injuries to persons or property.
Careless Operation is operating, or giving permission to operate, a vessel in a manner that is not careful and prudent. For instance, parking, mooring, or beaching a vessel, within or at the edge of a marked swimming area are actionable offenses.
Advice for Oklahoma Boat Operators
Most Oklahoma boat operators do not think about taking precautions for personal injury accidents until there is a catastrophe. But it is essential that boat owners plan ahead to reduce the risk of harm. Be sure you have the all safety equipment you need, including life preservers, ropes, first aid kits and emergency communication equipment. Also be aware of all local rules, including speed limits and no-wake zones. Keep your boat insurance updated and ask your insurance agent about Uninsured Motorist coverage. Also be certain that you have a Personal Injury Protection policy along with your coverage.
Always be sure to have a designated driver on hand just as you would in a car. Boating under the influence is just as serious as DUI. Oklahoma’s implied consent law also applies on the water. Boat operators who are pulled over by law enforcement are required to take a chemical blood alcohol content test if the officer has a reasonable suspicion to believe you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
Contact Our Oklahoma Boating Accident Lawyers Today
If you have been a victim of a boating accident, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for personal injuries and property damages. Our team has years of experience in boating accidents. Call 405-542-2529 (542-CLAW) and one of our attorneys will speak with you about the circumstances of your case. Read more about our team, or continue reading and researching our free legal information library, or enter live chat.