BOATING ACCIDENTS ATTORNEYS
IN DURANGO, COLORADO
From large lakes to winding rivers, streams and ponds, boating is a favorite pastime that many Colorado residents enjoy. Despite being landlocked, residents have some of the most scenic marine environments the nation has to offer. Be it fishing, riding jet skis, or simply enjoying the peaceful tranquility of the still waters, boating is an enjoyable pastime. But what happens when an enjoyable pastime turns into a painful injury?
No one expects someone to get hurt during an outing on the water. Complex maritime and boating laws can make navigating a boating accident claim a nightmare. When injuries happen, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer to review your case and provide legal advice on how to move forward.
Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC understands personal injury cases and the network of laws surrounding maritime and boating accidents. Our attorneys are proud to serve clients in Durango, Colorado, as well as the neighboring areas of Telluride, Pagosa Springs, Cortez, and The Four Corners.
Boating Accidents In Colorado
Under Colorado law, any watercraft with a motor or sail operated in any public body of water must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. There are exceptions, however, including:
Vessels propelled manually (canoes, kayaks, paddleboards, and rafts)
Boats with a valid marine document issued by the United States
Foreign vessels using state waters temporarily
Boats with valid registration and in compliance with applicable federal or state laws and not used in Colorado for a period of over 60 consecutive days
Non-resident racing boats on days before, of, and at the site of authorized racing events
Airboats, motorboats, tugboats, wave runners, sailboards, jet skis, watercraft, powerboats, yachts, inflatable boats, and diving boats are required by state law to be registered.
Types Of Colorado Boating Accidents
Though Colorado is a landlocked state, there are lakes, rivers, and reservoirs throughout the state that permit boating. Some common boating accidents that can occur include:
Colliding with fixed objects
Colliding with other vessels
Accidents involving skiers or riders of towable objects
Carbon monoxide poisoning
Liability For A Boating Accident
The following parties may potentially be held legally responsible for a boating accident:
The driver/owner of the boat the injured person was aboard
The driver/owner of the other boat in the accident
The boat manufacturer
The manufacturer of defective flotation devices, parts, or other equipment
The owner of a dock
Any person operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol
Any other party that contributed to the accident
It’s vital to reach out to a skilled attorney to help you navigate your personal injury claim after someone’s negligence contributed to your boating accident.
Boating Accidents Laws
Federal and state laws are in place to govern boating operations and accidents.
Examples of federal laws governing commercial boating accidents in navigable waters include:
The Jones Act (protecting workers at sea)
The Oil Pollution Act (mandating the removal of oil spills and implementing procedures regarding liability)
The Death on the High Seas Act (allowing families of deceased sailors to pursue wrongful death claims)
Colorado state laws concerning boating operations and accidents include:
All vessels must be registered with Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Persons under the age of 16 are not allowed to operate a vessel
Boating accidents resulting in injury, death, or more than $500 of property damage must be reported
If a fog signal is heard in times of restricted visibility, boaters should reduce speed to the minimum at which the boat can be kept on course
When operating a power-driven vessel, boaters must avoid any sailing vessel, any vessel not under command, unable to move, or engaged in commercial fishing
When operating a sailing vessel, boaters must avoid any vessel not under command, unable to maneuver, or engaged in commercial fishing
If two vessels are running in the same direction, the vessel that desires to pass by must give a short blast to indicate its intention
If meeting head-on, either vessel must signal its intention with one short blast and alter its course
Operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol (with a blood alcohol content of 0.10-.08%) is against the law
In order to prove negligence on the part of another individual following a boating accident, the claimant must show:
The defendant owed a legal duty of care
The defendant breached that duty of care
The breach of care caused the claimant’s injuries
Getting injured in a boating accident can change your life. Such an accident can create emotional distress, financial strain, and a lasting impact on your physical health. Regardless of the nature of your injuries, you don’t have to face the challenges alone. An experienced attorney can review your situation and explore the best legal options to recover damages.
BOATING ACCIDENTS ATTORNEYS
IN DURANGO, COLORADO
If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, hiring an experienced boating attorney can make a difference. At Downs, McDonough, Cowan & Foley, LLC., we will work hard to hold the responsible party accountable and help you seek compensation. Our firm serves accident victims and their loved ones across Durango, Telluride, Pagosa Springs, and the rest of Colorado.