I was injured in a boating accident – do I have a claim?

row of boats at the marina
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This year’s summer has been marked by record temperatures. With the Civic Holiday gone, you’ve had the chance to engage in some recreational boating and soak up the sun. But what started as a peaceful and relaxing long weekend turned into an unfortunate boating accident. You’ve sustained injuries, and you’re wondering if you have a claim. Here are some things to consider:

Has a boating accident occurred?

In Ontario, liability for injuries that occur while boating are governed by the Marine Liability Act. Boating accidents encompass a broad area of law and can include accidents resulting from boating, jet skiing, scuba diving and even swimming and fishing accidents where a boat is involved.

What are the extent of your losses?

Losses stemming from a boating accident can go well beyond the actual injury itself. Have you missed work or are unable to return to your place of employment? Are you suffering from severe and ongoing pain? Do you have out-of-pocket medical expenses? If so, you may have a compensable claim.

When did the accident occur?

One of the first things you should be asking yourself is when the accident occurred. All boating accidents have a two year limitation period. This means that you have two years from the date of the accident to file an action to recover damages. If you are bringing the claim on behalf of deceased relative who died as a result of the accident in question, you have two years from the date of their death. These limitation periods are crucial, as missing a limitation deadline can result in you being unable to recover damages for your losses. If you are uncertain of when the limitation period began, contact a lawyer immediately.

Who was involved in the boating accident?

A very important consideration is ascertaining who was involved in the boating accident. Anyone acting carelessly can potentially be held responsible for damages ensuing from their negligence. If you were a boat operator, there is a possibility you could be exposed to liability as a result of any injuries your passengers or the passengers of another vessel sustained. You may also have a claim against a third-party for contributory negligence.

If you were a passenger, you may have a claim against more than one party. In accordance with the Marine Liability Act, liability for losses you have sustained can be apportioned depending on the parties at fault. You may have a claim against the operator of the boat you were on, the operator of another vessel involved in the accident, or the owner of a pier or dock where the accident occurred.

Who is your insurer?

Do you have an insurance policy? If so, it is important to check the wording of that policy. Not all insurance policies cover injuries or losses resulting from boating accidents. In the event your policy does address boating accidents, not all types of resulting losses are necessarily covered. It is important to understand the extent of your coverage, and if possible, seek reparation from your insurer in addition to filing a lawsuit.

Contact an Oakville Personal Injury Lawyer at Will Davidson

At Will Davidson LLP, our personal injury lawyers in Oakville have been representing individuals for over a decade. Will Davidson LLP has been representing clients for over 90 years. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident contact our office today. With our office conveniently located on Cornwall road our lawyers are well equipped to assist you with your needs. Call us today to schedule your no-obligation consultation.

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