Experienced Legal Team Helping Victims of Boating Accidents in VA
Fighting for compensation for your injuries
Virginia has hundreds of miles of gorgeous coastline boaters love to explore. But if an accident ended your day on the Chesapeake or the Atlantic Coast, you need to contact an attorney with experience in boating accidents. For more than 35 years, The Stallings Law Group, P.C. has provided highly professional and aggressive representation for victims of boating accidents. You may be eligible to receive compensation for your medical bills, lost earnings, pain and suffering, and your emotional distress. We are dedicated and talented trial attorneys who fight to see that you are fully compensated.
Common boating accidents and their causes
According to statistics from the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,062 boating accidents in 2013 that produced 2,620 injuries and 560 deaths. The most common types of boat accidents were:
- Collision with a recreational vehicle
- Collision with a fixed object
- Skier mishap
The primary contributing factors in boating accidents were:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Machinery failure
- Alcohol use
- Navigation rule violation
- Force of wave/wake
- Hazardous waters
Most of these factors strongly suggest negligence, which would be grounds for a personal injury lawsuit. Of all these factors, alcohol use was the one linked to the highest number of deaths, 75.
What is the law in Virginia for “boating while intoxicated”?
Virginia law prohibits boating while intoxicated (BWI) under the same terms as driving while intoxicated (DWI):
- Adult BWI — No one is permitted to operate a vessel with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 percent or greater.
- Baby BWI — Persons under the age of 21 may not operate a vessel with a BAC of 0.02 percent or higher.
These laws hold for any boat, sailboat, personal watercraft or recreational device, such as water skis or a sailboard. The law extends to boaters whose operation of the vessel is impaired by drugs or alcohol. Violators face sanctions including up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, removal of watercraft operation privileges for 12 months and mandatory enrollment in the Alcohol Safety Action Program. If you’ve been injured by a boater you suspect is under the influence, make your suspicions known to the authorities, so they can perform the appropriate forensic tests.
Contact our legal team for your Virginia boat accident case
If you or a loved one sustained an injury in a boating accident, choose a reputable attorney who understands the law. The Stallings Law Group, P.C. has experience with complex accident cases and fights to see that you are fully compensated. Call us today at 757-422-4700 or contact our office online to schedule your free consultation.