Under the Alaska Statute 05.25.030 the owner of a boat is liable for injuries or property damage caused by his or her negligence (there are a few exceptions to this rule). This is also true if the owner is not operating the boat as long as the operator has the permission from the owner to use the boat. It is generally presumed that immediate family relatives have permission from the owner of the boat. While boating accidents are relatively uncommon in Alaska, they do occur. In the event of a boating accident, Alaska state laws require that the operator of the boat involved in an accident submit a written report to the Office of Boating Safety when the incident:
- Caused a death
- Led to the disappearance of one or more persons
- Caused a serious injury requiring more that basic first aid treatment
- Resulted in property damage of more than five hundred dollars ($500)
- Damaged the vessel to the extent that it is a total loss
In the case of the first three instances the accident must be reported within forty eight hours and with regard to the other cases, the report must be made no more than ten days after the accident occurred.
Boating accidents are normally the result of the negligence of the person operating the boat. Such accidents are often serious because of the added threat of drowning when compared to a car accident, hence there is need for a thorough investigation and evaluation to be conducted into the causes of a boating accident. More than fifty percent of the boating accidents are a result of human error and negligence. Common causes of boating accidents are:
- Inexperience of the operator
- Drug or alcohol impairment of the operator
- Operating the boat at an excessively high speed
- Operating a boat that is unequipped or poorly maintained to be on the water.
Therefore, those injured through the carelessness of a boat operator should enlist the services of a law firm of professionals with the knowledge and expertise to carry out thorough investigations to establish fault and get the compensation deserved. Contact the law offices of the Crowson Law Group in Wasilla or Anchorage.