boat accidents

How Do You Establish Liability in Boat Accidents?

When you take your boat out on a nice weekend, anything but an accident is on your mind. And why not? It is a time for relaxation and fun. Maybe you’ve decided to go fishing, or maybe you’ve decided to just go for a ride on the boat. The fact is, when a boat accident occurs, it happens when you least expect it.

And the very low chance of having an accident makes it harder to establish liability in an injury claim. Ward T. Berg here to clear the smoke on this often confusing topic of boat accidents.


In a boat accident where there is personal injury, it may be up to you to prove that it was the result of someone’s negligence. That means that you and your lawyer must be able to prove that another party acted without reasonable care in order to cover the damages with their insurance.

Since it can be quite complicated to denote negligence consistently with the types of boating accidents, we will outline some of the main occurrences along with  how negligence or fault is established.

Boat to Boat Collision

When two boats come into collision with each other, then there will most likely be something for both parties. Since both parties are at partial fault, they both may be able to set up legal cases against each other. However, if a motor boat collides with a sailboat, the motor boatist will likely be at fault due to the fact that motor boatists are not to go near sailboats, per boat safety.

Wake Collision

Wake collision faults can be hard to determine. This is due to all boatists being held to certain standards of safety in which they are responsible for determining the danger of objects like boats, wakes, and other debris that might be in the water. However, wake height, boat speed and direction, traffic, brace warnings are also factors taken into consideration when establishing fault in a boat accident case.

Lack of Safety Equipment

Federal and State boating laws require boats and boat owners to be outfitted with safety equipment and safety practices. Failure to comply with these regulations may result in being able to establishing a negligence claim on the owner of the boat.

There are a few ways to find fault in a boating accident. We at Ward T Berg are dedicated to those who have been injured and are in need of help. Visit our website today to see how we can help you.