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Boat Accidents Caused by the Failure to Maintain Proper Lookout

By John Macfarlane on April 26, 2016


A boat sinking in a lake after a collisionMillions of people around the world have taken up boating as a pastime because they yearn for the peace, leisure, and relaxation that the open sea has to offer. While boating can provide outstanding recreation for individuals and families, it requires tremendous responsibility from those who choose to become boat operators. Those who do not take their responsibilities seriously, or who fail to exercise full caution at all times, can cause serious, potentially fatal boat accidents that might otherwise have been prevented.

One of the most important responsibilities of any boat operator is to maintain proper lookout for other boats. If a boat operator fails to fulfill this responsibility and an accident ensues, he or she can be held liable for any resulting injuries or deaths. If you or someone you love has been harmed in such an accident, the experienced boat injury lawyers of Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC can help you pursue the justice you deserve. When it comes to handling claims involving boat accidents and the failure to maintain lookout for other boats, our Salt Lake City, UT personal injury attorneys have the skill, resources, and tenacity necessary to win even the most complex cases.

We urge you to arrange a case evaluation by contacting our law firm today.

What Does it Mean to “Maintain Lookout for Other Boats”?

Unlike our nation’s roadways, our lakes, rivers, bays, and other bodies of water do not have neatly marked lanes to guide traffic. It is therefore incumbent upon boat operators to be vigilant in keeping an eye open for other boats and doing whatever they can to avoid collisions. While there is some room for interpretation as to what “proper lookout” may constitute, it is indeed a legal term that is part of the boating Rules of the Road, enforced by the United States Coast Guard:

Every vessel shall at all times maintain a proper look-out by sight and hearing as well as by all available means appropriate in the prevailing circumstances and conditions so as to make a full appraisal of the situation.

What this rule (Rule 5, incidentally) makes clear is the duty of care that boat operators owe to one another. If one boat operator fails to uphold this duty and another is injured as a result, then the former has acted negligently. If you were injured in such a manner, it would be up to our attorneys to present evidence showing that:

  • The boat operator did not maintain a proper lookout;
  • In failing to maintain a proper lookout, caused the accident that led to your injury;
  • Your injury resulted in demonstrable losses and expenses;
  • The boat operator responsible for the accident is therefore financially liable for those losses and expenses.

Arrange for an Evaluation of Your Boat Accident Case

To arrange for an evaluation of your boat accident case involving the failure to maintain lookout for other boats, please contact Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC today.

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