Boating Accidents

Seattle Lawyer for Watercraft Injuries

Boating accidents can happen in many different ways. The operator of the vessel may be boating while intoxicated. They may fail to keep a lookout for others with whom they share the water, such as other boaters and swimmers. A lack of proper equipment or a lack of training may contribute to an accident. Some boating accidents are the result of speeding. Drowning is a big risk of boating. Oxygen deprivation during drowning may cause brain damage. Some boating accidents result in fatalities. If you were injured or a loved one was killed in a boating accident caused by another, you should discuss your situation with the Seattle boating accident attorneys at Blair & Kim.

Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can result in tragic catastrophic injuries such as permanent brain damage, head injuries, neck injuries, spinal cord damage, back injuries, broken bones, sprains, strains, and internal injuries. Your ability to recover compensation will be dictated by state boating laws, general maritime law, the unseaworthiness doctrine, or the Death on the High Seas Act. The body of water where the accident occurred will affect which law applies.

Under RCW 79A.60.030, a penalty applies if a boater operates a vessel in a negligent manner. Operating a boat negligently means that the boater operates the vessel without taking into account careful and prudent operation or the conditions existing on the water. Conditions to which a boater should pay attention include the size of the body of water, effect of a vessel’s wake, the nature of the water traffic, and whether the boater’s view is unobstructed. A boating accident attorney in Seattle can evaluate you case by investigating the circumstances of the accident.


If you’re the victim of a recreational boating accident covered by state law, a lawyer can help establish negligence to recover damages. To prove negligence you’ll need to show: (1) you were owed a duty of care, (2) breach of the duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) damages. The duty of care can be breached by illegally operating a boat, reckless operation of a jet ski, speeding, operating a boat under the influence of drugs or alcohol or taking a sharp turn too swiftly in the water. If, for example, a boater under the influence of alcohol travels into an area reserved for swimmers and strikes you while you are swimming there, you may have a basis for recovering damages for the traumatic brain injury you sustained.

If liability for a boating accident in which you were injured is successfully established, you may be able to recover both economic and noneconomic losses arising out of the accident. These can include lost income, medical bills, mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment and loss of consortium. A Seattle boating accident lawyer can review the injuries you sustained and the harm that resulted to determine the full amount and nature of the damages that should be sought in your case.

Wrongful Death

Boating accidents can result in fatalities. Under RCW 4.20.010, when someone’s death is caused by another’s wrongful act, neglect or default, his or her personal representative can maintain an action for damages against the person who caused the death. The purpose of the lawsuit is to recover economic and noneconomic losses sustained by beneficiaries of the decedent, such as a spouse and child. You can bring a civil wrongful death lawsuit even if the matter is also being prosecuted in criminal court.

Federal maritime law will apply to deaths on the high seas. Families and dependents of decedents who die due to negligence or unseaworthiness in a location more than three nautical miles from the shores of the United States may be able to recover damages under the Death on the High Seas Act.

Consult an Experienced Seattle Attorney

If you suffered catastrophic injuries or a loved one dies as a result of a boating accident, the emotional and financial consequences can be devastating. When the boating accident was caused by someone else, you may be able to pursue compensation by bringing a lawsuit. In Seattle, the seasoned boating accident lawyers of Blair & Kim counsel and represent clients throughout the region. Call us at (206) 622-6562 or contact us through our online form.

Client Reviews
Mark C. Blair has no rival in his field in Seattle. A consummate professional. Communication was brief, straightforward, easy to understand, and without a typical condescending tone you can sometimes experience from attorneys on top of their field. Correspondence was timely and always affective. Any in need of criminal defense, should have a conversation with Mr. Blair, and you will quickly see and feel, no further contacts, referrals, or phone calls need be made. The money and time that can be saved by streamlining future contact and collateral damage in the sentencing process will far and away be worth every penny of the fee structure. Thank you very very much Mark Blair. N.Mark French
Sara Kim of BlairKim is a great attorney. I had never before had representation or dealt with the legal system and she made it very easy for me. She converted the legalese into laymans terms for me and helped me to understand the steps of the process. When I hesitated on certain decisions, Sara gave me the confidence and encouragement to proceed – especially since it was most beneficial to me in the long run. Sara is very straightforward and professional while also being personable and pleasant to deal with. Tamara
Sara Kim was the perfect lawyer for our situation. We were determined not to involve the courts in our divorce. Within the first 30 minutes of consultation, Sara proposed an equitable formula for division of property which we used to negotiate an agreement that felt fair to both of us. Our flat fee arrangement with Sara covered the filing of paperwork which alleviated much pressure for us during a very stressful time. I highly recommend Sara for her flexibility, professionalism, and efficiency. Carrie