Drunk Boating Accident Lawyers


Although boating is typically a relaxing and entertaining pastime, driving a boat while intoxicated can result in serious injury, or even death, to the driver or to another individual. Boat operators who have been drinking can become careless or distracted and may fail to see swimmers, crash into other boaters, or neglect to avoid other hazards in the water.

If you have suffered injury due to an individual who was drunk while driving a boat, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact a Zinda Law Group injury lawyer as soon as possible following your accident; we may be able to help investigate your case, determine who is at fault, and help build you the strongest case possible. Contact us today at (800) 863-5312 to discuss your potential lawsuit; you do not pay us anything unless we are successful in winning compensation in your case.

Statistics involving boating accidents

Interestingly, there are those who would never drive a car while drinking, but who do not think twice about operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol. Perhaps those individuals feel as if the lake or ocean provides additional space that a highway does not. Or, maybe, they feel as if a boating accident will not result in the same, serious kinds of injuries that often occur from a drunk driving accident.

It is the unfortunate truth, however, that drunk boating accidents occur nationwide and may result in catastrophic injury, or even death. Below are different statistics involving boating accidents across the country in 2019:

  • The Coast Guard reported 4,168 boating accidents.
  • There were 613 boating accident-related deaths.
  • There were 2,559 injuries.
  • There was approximately $55 million dollars of property damage.
  • Compared to 2018, the number of accidents increased 0.6%.
  • Compared to 2018, the number of deaths decreased 3.2%.
  • Where the cause of death was known, 79% of boat accident victims had drowned.
  • Of the total number of drowning victims, 86% were not wearing a lifejacket.

You should never drink or do drugs while operating any kind of motor vehicle, including boats. Drunk boating can result in serious, or fatal, injuries to the boater, the passengers, or to other individuals nearby. If you or a loved one was injured due to a drunk boat operator, contact a Zinda Law Group boating accident attorney today; we may be able to get you the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Causes of boat accidents

There are many different ways a boat accident may occur; some accidents may be unavoidable, while others are not, for they are due to the unpredictable negligence of the boat operator or the intentional actions of another boater. These accidents may result in severe injury or death. Examples of different causes of boat accidents include:

Drunk Driving

Operating a boat while intoxicated is extremely dangerous; in fact, almost half of all boating accidents involve alcohol. Not only is it a bad idea to operate a boat while drinking, but it is also illegal; operating a boat while drinking is a federal offense and subject to a hefty fine. There may also be criminal penalties as high as $5,000 with the possibility of jail time.

States are getting more stringent on boating under the influence as well. In most states, it is illegal to operate a boat with a blood alcohol content of .08% or greater. If you do operate a boat while intoxicated, some states will suspend your boating license and seize your boat; your driving record may also be affected in this situation.


Driving a boat at excessive speeds creates unnecessary dangers to the operator, passengers, and all those nearby. Further, operating a boat in excess of the posted signs is illegal and may result in legal consequences.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is not only dangerous on the road, but also on the water. There are a number of distractions in today’s world, especially those involving cellphones; this includes texting, scrolling through social media, surfing the web, and more. Distracted boating may easily lead to an accident, resulting in catastrophic injury, mental anguish, or possibly death.

If you have been injured due to a driver who was texting or otherwise operating the boat while distracted, you may need an experienced distracted boat driving lawyer to help you get the maximum amount of compensation available. If you were hit by a boat driver, injured due to a distracted boat operator, or were involved in an accident with a drunk boat operator, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

Zinda Law Group injury attorneys have the experience, resources, and technology necessary to help build the strongest case possible for your damages. Contact our team as soon as possible to discuss your potential boat accident case.

how do i recover compensation from a drunk boater?

In order to receive compensation for your boating accident, you must be able to prove certain elements in your lawsuit; for instance, you need to show that the drunk boat driver acted negligently, or carelessly, and that his or her negligence caused your injuries. If you are able to prove to a judge or jury that you were injured due to the boater’s actions, you may be able to receive compensation for your damages. A detailed explanation of the elements you must show follows:

1. You must first be able to prove that the drunk boat operator owed you a duty of care to act in a certain manner. The evidence must show that the boat operator was to conduct himself or herself in a reasonably careful manner and to operate the boat so as not to cause unnecessary or needless injury to others in the boat or surrounding area. Typically, the existence of a duty of care is not contested.

2. Next, you must be able to show that the boat driver breached his or her duty of care. This requires evidence showing that the boat operator did not act in accordance with the duty of care, but instead acted unreasonably under the circumstances. One way of showing this breach is to prove that the boat driver was operating the vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as it is unreasonable to operate any motor vehicle or boat while intoxicated.

3. The third step is to show that the boater’s breach actually caused your injuries; put in other words, there must be some causal connection between the boat operator’s negligence and your injuries. In certain situations, this step is relatively straightforward; for example, the boat operator was drunk, failed to see you swimming nearby, and hit you while you were in the water. In other cases, however, this link may be more difficult to prove, as there may be multiple individuals who contributed to your accident and resulting injuries.

4. Lastly, you must be able to show that your injuries can be compensated with a monetary award. A court that finds that you have been injured due to the negligence of another will seek to make you whole again by awarding you financial compensation. For instance, $5,000 may help with your medical bills and pharmaceutical costs, but that same amount of money will not help if your only injury was slight embarrassment.

If you were hit by a boat driver and believe you might have a personal injury claim, contact Zinda Law Group personal injury attorneys today. Our team can investigate your case and help you prove the necessary elements in order to seek the maximum amount of compensation for your injuries.

Boating FAQs

The United States Coast Guard has provided answers to some commonly asked boat-related questions. Examples of these questions and answers include:

When should I wear my life jacket?

The United States Coast Guard recommends that you wear your life jacket at all times while boating.

What are the federal regulations for children wearing life jackets?

Children under the age of 13 must wear an appropriate life jacket when they are below deck or within an enclosed cabin; however, some states may have stricter mandates.

Am I required to carry a life jacket on my stand-up paddleboard?

Yes, if you are using your stand-up paddleboard beyond the narrow limits of the swimming, surfing, or bathing area.

When should I file a float plan?

You should complete and file a float plan every time you are underway. Visit this site and follow the instructions to fill out a float plan.

What is teak surfing?

Teak surfing is when a person hangs onto a swim platform, often made of teak wood, at the back of the boat while the boat is moving. The U.S. Coast Guard advises boaters not to teak surf, as it is extremely dangerous and may cause injury.

Properly following the U.S. Coast Guards recommendations and answers may not only prevent you from being injured, but also may keep you out of legal ramifications. If you have been injured and believe the boat operator broke federal or state law, contact a Zinda Law Group personal injury lawyer today to discuss your case.

Call a zinda law group drunk driving boat attorney today to discuss your unique claim

Zinda Law Group boat accident lawyers recognize that drunk boaters can be just as dangerous as drunk drivers. Drunk boating accidents can cause serious injuries, such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries. Our team has helped numerous swimmers, boaters, and beachgoers recover compensation for their medical expenses, mental trauma, and more.

If you have been injured while on the water, contact a Zinda Law Group boat accident attorney today at (800) 863-5312 for your 100% free consultation. You do not pay us a cent unless we are successful in winning you compensation in your unique personal injury case. That is our No Win, No Fee Guarantee.

Meetings with attorneys are available by appointment only.