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Cleveland Boating Accident Attorneys

Lawyers Get Justice for Cleveland Boating Accident Victims

Boating is a delightful activity. With popular places to dock — like Fairport Harbor, The Flats, and Bay Point Sandbar — it's not surprising that boating is a popular activity in Cleveland. After all, the city is situated on majestic Lake Erie. But boating can be dangerous, especially when boat owners and operators fail to take the necessary precautions.

If you were injured in a boating accident, contact the Cleveland personal injury lawyers at George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law. For over 35 years, our attorneys have been helping people in Ohio. We will investigate the accident and seek compensation to help you get the money you need to recover from your injuries.

George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, has a Distinguished Peer Rating for High Professional Achievement from Martindale-Hubbell, and Super Lawyers recognizes the outstanding service we provide our clients based on peer reviews and independent research.

Call (216) 621-3930 to schedule a FREE consultation with one of our Cleveland boat accident lawyers today.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Boat Accidents?

Many Ohio boat accidents stem from operator error. Negligence, such as distracted or inexperienced boat handling, is often a major factor. Despite strict boating under the influence (BUI) laws, alcohol consumption remains a significant cause of boating accident injuries.

Equipment failure, including engine issues or damaged safety gear, can also lead to accidents. That's why regular boat maintenance is so important. Speeding is another common cause of boating accidents because it reduces the operator's time to react to obstacles, wakes from other boats, or sudden changes in water conditions.

Environmental factors, like severe weather or choppy waters, can quickly turn a day on the lake into a dangerous situation, especially if the boat is not equipped for such conditions or the operator is ill-prepared.

How Your Cleveland Boating Accident Lawyer Can Help

George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law, will file a claim or lawsuit against anyone whose negligent behavior contributed to your injuries. This may include careless or intoxicated boat operators, owners who fail to provide the required safety equipment, and manufacturers of defective equipment.

A boat accident injury claim typically covers the following types of damages:

  • Current and future medical devices
  • Medical devices
  • Pain and suffering
  • Reduced earning potential
  • Disfigurement
  • Occupational therapy
  • Lost income
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Wheelchair ramps for your home
  • Wrongful death

What to Do After Being Involved in a Cleveland Boating Accident

Taking immediate action after a boating accident is critical for reducing injuries and collecting evidence that can be essential for establishing liability. That's why you'll want to follow these steps:

  1. Collect contact information and statements from all witnesses.
  2. Report the accident by calling 1-877-4BOATER.
  3. Seek medical attention, even if injuries seem minor at first. Medical records serve as concrete evidence of the injuries sustained, which is important when seeking compensation.
  4. Capture detailed photographs of the accident scene, including all vessels involved. This can help experts reconstruct the event.
  5. Contact George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law. We will begin investigating the accident right away by collecting important evidence like GPS data, boating logs, surveillance and cell phone footage, and maintenance records.

Boating Practices to Keep You Safe on Cleveland Waters

Ohio's boating laws are designed to ensure safety and responsibility on the water. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) mandates that all motorized boat operators carry an Ohio Boating Education Card. This requires taking an approved boating course and passing a proficiency exam approved by the Ohio Division of Watercraft. A person must be 16 or older to operate a boat of 15 HP or greater in Ohio.

Boaters should also avoid alcohol, as it impairs judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents. It is illegal to operate a boat in Ohio with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, and the legal limit is 0.02 percent for operators under the age of 21.

Practicing safe boating is the best way to prevent accidents and injuries. Always wear a life jacket, regardless of swimming ability, as it greatly increases the chances of survival if thrown overboard. You'll also want to avoid boating in unsafe weather.

All boats should be equipped with fire extinguishers, flares, and communication devices to call for help in emergencies. A first-aid kit is essential for managing minor injuries until professional medical help arrives. Regular boat maintenance, including engine checks and hull inspections, can prevent malfunctions that may lead to accidents.

Injuries Caused by Boating Accidents

It's crucial for accident victims to receive immediate medical attention. Frequent boating accident injuries include lacerations and contusions caused by impact with equipment or parts of the boat. Head injuries and traumatic brain injury (TBI) occur due to falls or being struck by objects.

Broken bones and fractures often result from boating accidents, particularly in collisions or when a boat capsizes. Drowning or near-drowning is a significant risk, especially if individuals are thrown overboard and are unable to swim or get trapped under the water. Hypothermia is a major concern in colder waters. Spinal injuries can happen from high-speed impacts and can lead to chronic pain and long-term disability.

Were You Seriously Injured in a Cleveland Boating Accident?

Sustaining injuries from a boating accident can be difficult. Call George Mineff, Jr., Attorney at Law for professional guidance on the next steps to take. We've dedicated our law firm to getting justice for people injured by the careless actions of others — and we want to help you get justice.

We treat every client like you're our only client. Call us at (216) 621-3930 to schedule a free consultation.

“George and his son Nick are exceptional attorneys. I can't express in words how much gratitude I have for their patience and compassion…”
- T. Kennedy, Google Review