Understanding Liability After a Boat Accident

Understanding Liability After a Boat Accident

No matter how skilled you are on the water, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong. Whether it’s because of another boater, unforeseen changes in the weather, or a careless mistake on your own part, accidents happen. It’s important to understand the liability you face as a boat owner in case you’re even in a boat accident in Ontario. Here are some of the things you should know before about the liability you hold as a boat owner. Most also apply if you are the boat operator. 


If a person is hurt while boating, the boat owner and/or operator is liable for any bodily harm they may have sustained during the accident. The boat owner may be sued for negligence, especially if they didn’t have the proper safety equipment on board and failed to hand it to their passengers. They may also be found negligent if they haven’t been maintaining the boat properly, or if they didn’t check it for possible problems such as engine failure or holes before taking it to the water. If the boat owner allowed an unlicensed or inexperienced person to operate the boat, that’s another liability to consider.

Drinking and Driving

If you’re drinking and boating, not only can you be found at fault for the accident, but you could be handed criminal charges as well. If someone is seriously injured or, worse, is killed in the accident, the operator is almost certainly at fault if intoxicated at the time. Regardless of whether it was alcohol or drugs in their system, they could have charges pressed against them. If the boat owner knew that the operator was intoxicated and allowed them to operate the boat anyway, they could also be sued and potentially charged.

Boat Collisions

Individuals considered victims are the passengers on each boat, having no say in the navigation of the vessel, whereas the ones held liable are the operators and/or owners of each boat. All appropriate individuals will be held liable unless one is found to have been negligent. Boat owners want to be sure to equip themselves with proper insurance in case of a collision; it can help cover the cost of medical expenses for themselves and anyone injured in the crash. 

Have you been in a boat accident? Let’s help you protect your finances and peace of mind. Based out of Kingston and Ottawa, the Zuber Brioux team has over 30 years of combined experience in personal injury law. We’re here to make the legal process easier, so you can focus on recovering. Contact our dedicated personal injury lawyers at Ontario Injured today. We’re here to put your needs first!

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