Oregon Boating Accident Attorney

Oregon boating accident attorney, Travis Mayor, has years of experience protecting the rights of individuals injured in boating accidents. Issues such as insurance, right-of-way laws, establishing at-fault liability, and seeking fair compensation are only a few of the ways we can help if you have been injured in a boating accident on Oregon’s lakes and rivers. Regardless of whether the accident involved a recreational boat, commercial vessel, kayak, canoe, raft, or jet ski, you need to protect your rights and recover financial compensation for your injuries. When you hire Mayor Law, LLC not only will you receive the highest quality legal representation, but you will also have a lawyer who is accessible, knowledgeable, and can produce superior results.

Oregon boating accident lawyer Travis Mayor is ready to help you understand your legal rights, learn about your claims and injuries, and provide insight into what your Oregon boating accident claim is worth. Call today to discuss the details of your case, for free: (503) 510-0005 or 1 (800) 949-1481.

Challenges Facing Oregon Recreational Boaters

More and more Oregonians are taking advantage of opportunities to sail, boat, participate in recreational water sports, and fish. This increased level of boating activity creates a growing challenge for Oregonians to share the waterways and have fun while maintaining a safe environment.

Oregon has almost 170,000 registered boats vying each weekend for access and right-of-way to Oregon’s amazing rivers and lakes. This competition can often create an environment of increased accident risk, especially when combined with too much alcohol/drugs and inexperienced boat operators. In 2015, Oregon boaters experienced more than a 100% increase in the number of fatal boating accidents, bumping Oregon’s accident rate to almost double that of the US average boating accident rate.

Examples of serious boating accidents in Oregon include:

Oregon Boat Owners Are Not Required To Maintain Liability Insurance

Oregon does not require boat owners to maintain liability insurance coverage in the same way they require auto insurance for all drivers. After a boating accident in Oregon, it can be difficult to get the immediate medical coverage you need. The good news is that boat owners can add boat liability protection to their home owner’s insurance policy for only $200-$300 per year on average. If the negligent boat or motorized water vehicle operator is uninsured, you may need to sue them and seek recovery from their personal assets. In either scenario, having an experienced Oregon boating accident attorney represent you can make the difference in receiving compensation for your boat accident injuries and not receiving compensation.

Seeking reimbursement for your boat accident medical expenses can be a daunting proposition especially when dealing with insurance adjusters, who are aggressively representing their insured boat operators and who work to negotiate the lowest possible settlements.

If you have been involved in an Oregon boating accident where you have incurred medical expenses and lost wages, then an experienced boating accident attorney should review your case. Experienced personal injury law firms, like Mayor Law, LLC can maximize your personal injury settlement while dealing with the complexities of insurance, liability issues, and also protecting your rights.

Oregon Boating Accident Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

I was injured in an Oregon boating accident — what should I do?

Answer: There are many things you should do, and not do if you have been injured in an Oregon boating accident and need to file a claim for your injuries.

First, anyone involved in an Oregon boating accident is obligated to remain at the accident scene and provide aid to any injured party. Leaving the accident before performing these duties is a Class C felony with serious penalties and fines. If you were injured in a boating accident or sustained more than $2,000 in property damage, Oregon law requires you to file a Marine Board Accident Report within 48 hours of the injury, or within 10 days of a property-damage-only boating accident.

Second, take the time to record (written notes) what you remember about the boat accident details: what happened, who was involved, details of the accident location, names of involved parties and witnesses, and comments made by anyone involved in or who witnessed the accident.

Third, preserve any documents or information you have such as digital photos, video, recordings, information exchanged, etc.

Fourth, seek the help and assistance of an experienced Oregon boating accident attorney to evaluate the merits of your case and guide you on what to do next. We always recommend having your attorney deal with insurance company adjusters and their attorneys. Do not provide a recorded statement to any insurance company without first discussing the statement with your attorney. Having an experienced Oregon boating accident attorney on your team will change how the negligent boat operator’s insurance company addresses any potential settlement and the degree to which they take your claims seriously.

What Are The Most Common Boating Violations?

Answer: Most boating accidents occur as the result of capsizing, collisions, passenger falls or ejections overboard, and reckless operation of the boat. These boat accidents are most frequently caused by violations associated with alcohol/drugs, hazardous waters, and boat operator inexperience or errors.

The requirements to operate a boat in Oregon are very similar to those for operating a car: you must be educated on the proper rules of operating a boat, carry a boater education card, register and title your boat, and operate the boat in a safe manner. Oregon law states that “a person commits the crime of unsafe operation of a boat if the person operates a boat in a manner that endangers or would be likely to endanger any person or property”[1].

  • Reckless Operation – It is a crime to operate a boat carelessly and heedlessly in willful disregard of the rights, safety, or property of others[2]. For example, It would be reckless of a boat operator to overload the boat with more passengers and cargo than the boat is equipped to handle; or not provide life vests for all passengers, or fail to maintain a proper lookout while the boat is underway.
  • Reckless Speeding — It is a crime to operate a boat “at a rate of speed greater than will permit that person in the exercise of reasonable care to bring the boat to a stop within the assured clear distance ahead[3].” For example: It would be reckless of a boat operator to speed at a rate that creates a wake that could capsize another boat; or not be able to stop if a swimmer is in the water; or your boat runs over or into an object such as a floating log, because you are traveling too fast to see or stop in time. This is similar to tailgating another car.
  • Under the Influence – In a similar way that driving a car while having a BAC ≥ .08, “operation of a boat while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or controlled substance is prohibited on all Oregon waters[4].” Operating under the influence is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine up to $6,250, in addition to losing the privilege of operating a boat for 1 year.
  • Owners/operators of personal watercraft, such as a water scooter, jet ski, or another device where the operator stands or sits while riding must:
    • Be 18 years or older, with certain exceptions;
    • Wear, and have passengers wear an approved flotation device;
    • Attach a lanyard-type cutoff switch to shut-off the watercraft if the rider falls or loses control;
    • Operate the watercraft with required lights between sunset and sunrise;
    • Operate the watercraft in a reasonable, safe manner, avoiding unsafe or reckless maneuvers endangering people and property, including weaving through congested boat traffic, operating too close to another boat, or swerving to avoid collision with another watercraft.

Do I need an Oregon boating accident attorney?

Answer: Every Oregon boat owner owes invited guests onto the boat certain obligations such as safety and security. The boat owner must license, maintain, and operate the boat in a safe manner. In addition, boat owners must exercise care to discover conditions on the boat that create an unreasonable risk of harm to passengers.

If the boat owner or operator is negligent in meeting such obligations, then they can be held liable for your injuries, to the same extent as the owner of a motor vehicle is held liable for their negligent actions in a motor vehicle accident[5].

A boating accident case can be complex, requiring immediate investigation to establish certain facts in the case — foremost is what the owner or operator knew (or should have known) about the hazardous condition causing the accident. This is where an experienced Oregon Boating Accident Attorney can step in and document the facts of the case and preserve evidence before memories fade and evidence is lost. To be successful you must address and establish the following:

  • The owner or operator of the boat had a duty to provide a safe and secure environment: they owned, controlled, or operated the boat.
  • Notice or awareness of the hazard: they knew or should have known that the hazard would cause harm to anyone invited on the boat, and did nothing to correct or limit exposure to the hazard.
  • The boat operator was not aware of and paying attention to their surroundings, which includes other boats, swimmers, paddle boarders, jet skis, etc.
  • The hazard or behavior was dangerous: the hazard or operating behavior that caused the accident was dangerous and not a minor problem.
  • You were injured and suffered damages as a result of the hazardous condition or operating behavior. Your damages, for which you can seek compensation, can include your medical bills, lost income, pain & suffering, emotional distress, and punitive damages in certain cases.

While it may seem straightforward to establish these facts, it is not always simple. To someone who was invited to go out for a day on the water, and through no fault of their own suffered a spine or brain injury, the facts are straightforward. But to an insurance company and their legal team defending the boat owner, the injured party’s conduct can be used to paint a different picture:

  • Did you fall because you placed yourself in a situation that was inappropriate for your capabilities?
  • Why did you decide not to wear your life vest?
  • Your children were unsupervised and sitting on the bow of the boat when they fell – did that contribute to the accident and their injuries?
  • You were drinking and on your cell phone – did that distract you or contribute to the accident?
  • Have you slipped before?
  • Do you have pre-existing injuries to the same body parts you claimed were injured in the boat accident?

These are all tactics to raise questions about who was really at fault, meaning were you partially (or completely) at fault in causing the boating accident. If they are successful at creating the belief that your carelessness caused the accident, then you will have a lower probability of success. This is why you need a skilled, knowledgeable Oregon Boating Accident Attorney to represent your best interests.

What type of damages can I recover if I’ve been injured in an Oregon boating accident?

When boat owners or operators breach their duty to provide a safe and secure environment, free of dangerous hazards, they can be held liable for the damage they cause. Recovering from serious injuries suffered in a boating accident can be an expensive proposition requiring months of medical treatment and, in some cases, lifelong support. To recover for these losses, we recommend seeking the assistance of an experienced Oregon Boating Accident Attorney to lead the effort; one who knows how to recover compensation including:

  • Medical expenses – hospitalization, doctors, surgery, physical therapy, and medications
  • Long-term medical, physical, and occupational therapy
  • Lost wages, income – during your treatment period and potentially in the future if you are unable to work
  • Other expenses – transportation, household duties, personal care
  • Long term care – dealing with the consequences of traumatic brain injury, or other physical and mental impairment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and psychological harm

Obtaining compensation for injuries sustained in a boating accident, with significant damages can be a lengthy and complex process that is best performed by knowledgeable legal professionals. In most cases, you must deal with two large organizations, the boat owner and/or operator and their insurance carrier, staffed with seasoned lawyers. It will not be their first time defending a boating liability case! This is why you need the services of a knowledgeable Oregon Boating Accident Attorney who is equally aggressive.

Can an Oregon boating accident attorney help me?

Yes! First, Portland is a city on the water. The Portland metropolitan area contains the Columbia, Willamette, Clackamas and Tualatin rivers. There are hundreds, and maybe even thousands, of boaters, swimmers, paddle boarders, fishermen and other recreational users of these 4 rivers throughout the year. Portland is also in close proximity to other rivers and lakes. Regardless of whether you sustained injuries in a boating accident in the Portland area or somewhere else in Oregon, an experienced Portland boating accident attorney can help you prove liability and recover financial compensation. Many marine and boat dealerships are also located in the Portland area making Portland a place with many people who are knowledgeable about safe boating operation and practices.

Getting results for Oregon families who are injured in boating accidents

Oregon Boating Accident Attorney Travis MayorAt Mayor Law, it is our goal to help the families of Oregon boating accident victims achieve justice and restore their lives.  Boating Accident Attorney, Travis Mayor will help you by reducing the hassle, complexity, and anxiety of navigating the legal process, while maximizing your financial compensation. Travis Mayor has recovered millions of dollars for families of personal injury victims.  For every Oregon client who has suffered through serious a boating injury accident, Travis offers personal service with proven results.

Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation and case evaluation. At Mayor Law, LLC, we understand the legal implications of a boating injury lawsuit.  More importantly, we understand your family’s pain. We use our experience, knowledge, and resources to build a strong case and secure the compensation you need to cope with the injury for potentially years to come.

Please review our clients’ personal accounts of working with attorney Travis Mayor:  Google+, Yelp, and AVVO pages.

Boating resources:

[1] Unsafe Operation ORS 830.305.

[2] Reckless Operation, ORS 830.315.

[3] Reckless Operation – Speeding, ORS 830-315.

[4] Under the Influence, ORS 830.325.

[5] Liability of owner for negligent operation of boat, ORS 830.330.