Boating Accidents in Ontario and Personal Injury Law

Boating Accident Ottawa Lawyer

Boating Accident Law in Ontario

It’s finally here…Summer and that means lots of time outside and for many lots of time on the water.  What many people do not know is that when it comes to driving a boat, there are many similarities to driving a car.  A boat is considered to be a motor vehicle and must follow the laws, regulations and rules such as being licensed and registered. 

Did know that from 1991-2008, there were over 3,000 boating related deaths reported by the Canadian Red Cross, of which 86% were from recreational boating?  In many ways, operating a boat is similar to driving a car. There are numerous laws, regulations and local rules covering such things as speed, right of way, lights and signals and collisions. As well, boats need to be registered and licensed. In order to be licensed to drive a boat in Ontario, drivers must learn the rules of the waterways and other boating safety information.  Ontario boaters must pass a regulated boating exam. If successful, a Pleasure Craft Operator card is issued. 

Boating Accidents and Injuries

Should you become injured in a boating accident, the Ontario ‘MARINE LIABILITY ACT’ provides a maximum of $1,000,000.00 in compensation from injuries resulting from a boat operated with negligence, depending on your injuries.  Boating accidents are complicated as there are several sets of laws that come into play; there is both  marine and the Ontario motor vehicle laws. 

Boating Accidents and Compensationboating ontario

There are differences when it comes to seeking compensation for injuries and damages.  In Ontario,  no fault benefits do not apply in a boating accident.  People who suffer a personal injury in a boating accident are limited to seeking compensation against the at fault party. Our lawyers are familiar with boating laws and personal injury compensation when it comes to boating accidents and can help provide you with the best analysis of your boating accident and next steps. 

We hope you are enjoying your summer and boating safely.  Should you need any information that relates to Ontario laws that relate to boating accidents or compensation for injuries and damages resulting from a boating accident, our Ottawa personal injury lawyers are here to offer free consultations.  We understand the nuances of the law and boating accidents and we can help. Contact any one of our lawyers and we would be happy to help provide you with the information you need. 

Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth on boating safety and National Water Safety Week.

Boating Accident

Ontario Boating Accident Lawyers David Hollingsworth.  I have 3 kids and make no mistake of it, as they head of to school each morning they know that their school days are numbered for the year and the summer holidays are just around the corner.  For us, summer is swimming , boating and running wild with no schedule. We are all excited for summer holidays and spending some time out on a lake.  For some, these activities have already started on weekends.  Unfortunately, it’s also the time of year when we see a rise in boating accidents.  This week happens to be National Water Safety Week and we need to all have a reminder of the importance of water and boating safety to avoid injuries and drownings.

Obviously, prevention is the single most important thing we can do.  We need to talk and enforce the rules around water, pools, boats and be role models. Yes, that means even the adults throw a life jacket on while boating.

If you are near a pool or own a pool supervision is critical.  Even if children know how to swim, they need to be supervised.  You never know when a child might get a cramp, slip getting into a poll and drownings can happen in an instant. Children can drown in less than 2 inches of water and 38% of children who drown  are from  swimming pools drownings.  Make sure your pool is ALWAYS secured and that no one can get in a gate or in your pool.  Toddlers wander off too often and we know of countless tragic stories of toddlers drowning when their parent or guardian was with them minutes before.

Did you know that drowning is one of the leading causes of death for Canadian children from the ages of 1-4   and that  men between the ages of 15 – 44 have the greatest risk of drowning ?

What can you do to ensure your safety and the safety of others while boating?

  • Always wear a proper fitting  lifejacket
    Always wear a Transport Canada approved and properly fitted Lifejacket or Personal Floatation Device (PFD)  and ensure passengers do the same. It can save your life and the life of your family and friends!
  • Drinking alcohol on a boat is the same as drinking and driving. Don’t do it
  • Sadly,  alcohol is one of the main causes of boating fatalities.
  • Be Prepared:
    Make sure all safety equipment is in good working order and that you and your  passengers are familiar with the equipment. Review with your crew what to do in an emergency in case something happens to you while boating.
  • Take a boating safety course.
    Boating safety courses will help you better understand “the rules of the road”.  These courses can often be done online from the comforts of your own home.
  • Get Certified:
    Get your Pleasure Craft Operator Card or Canadian Boating Licence. All operators of recreational powered watercraft vehicles who operate within Canadian waters must  have their Pleasure Craft Operator Card. There is a $250 fine for boat operators caught without a licence.

I hope we all have a great safe summer season and are able to get out on the water. We live so close to so many great places to swim and boat are very lucky to have all these wonderful places so close to the Ottawa community.  Enjoy your summer responsibly.

Ottawa Ontario Boating Accident lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ontario boating accidents, Ottawa lawyer David Hollingsworth

Ottawa boating accident lawyer David Hollingsworthboat

It looks like it’s going to be a great start to the summer this week.  If you are planning on being out on the water , please keep in mind some basic boating safety .  There are far too many Ontario boating accidents in Ontario each summer. As an Ontario boating accident lawyer, I wish to remind you that boats (including  jet skis and sea doos) are motor vehicles and often times people  forget that driving rules apply when operating a motor vehicle on the open water. As an Ontario boating accident lawyer, I represent victims of boating accidents who have suffered serious injury and wrongful deaths resulting from serious boating accidents in Ontario. Most often, with Ontario boating accidents, alcohol is a contributing factor. We all know not to drink and drive a car, but this also needs to be the rule when it comes to boating.

Boating Accident Statistics

The Recreational Boating statistics in 2010 indicated that alcohol contributed to 19 % of boating deaths, which means that alcohol was the leading contributing factor in all fatal boating accidents. This shocking statistic is an increase by 3% points from 2009, when alcohol was indicated as the leading contributing factor to 16 5 of boating deaths. The primary contributing factors in most boating accidents were alcohol, speed, driver inattention, improper lookout and inexperienced drivers.

A Canadian Red Cross study covering 15 years of boating deaths in Canada (1991 to 2006) found that of 2,232 people who drowned or died of hypothermia, only 12% were wearing a life jacket properly. Approximately 85% of boating deaths occur in Canada’s fresh waterways, according to a 10-year study by the Canadian Red Cross published last year. According to the study, 393 recreational boaters drowned in B.C. between 1991 and 2006, accounting for 18% of all such deaths in Canada. Contributing factors in the deaths were lack of flotation devices, water temperature and drinking. 68% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket, and of those, 27% of motorboaters had life jackets on board but chose not to wear them, while 13% of people in nonmotorized boats died with their flotation devices stowed out of reach. Boaters who don’t have enough life vests on board face a fine for every life jacket they’re missing.

Please, be safe out there and enjoy the water and this beautiful summer we are having!