Home Personal Injury Boat Accidents

Boating accident attorneys in Virginia


Get help from the experts

Thousands of people are injured or killed in recreational boating accidents every year in the United States. More than 4,100 U.S. boating accidents in 2019 cost 613 people their lives and injured 2,559 more, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

In Virginia alone, 84 boating accidents caused 20 fatalities and injured 33 people.

Several factors can contribute to boating accidents, including weather, congested waterways, and equipment failure. However, many recreational boating accidents are caused by operator negligence.

If you have been hurt in a boating accident caused by someone else, you may be eligible to recover compensation for losses you have suffered. GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys serves our neighbors, and we work to prevent injuries from happening by sharing safety information here. But when a serious accident happens, we consider it a calling to help those who are hurt.

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do. You are our neighbor, not a number. Let us help you after a serious boating accident. Contact GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys online or call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to schedule a free consultation and learn more.

Back to Top

How do boating accidents happen?

Boating accidents can have many contributing factors, such as equipment failure, environmental factors, and how passengers and gear are loaded, but the most important factor is the behavior of the boat operator or owner. When a boat owner or operator acts negligently, it endangers everyone on the water.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources investigates all boating accidents in the Commonwealth. In 2020, more than 110 boating accidents occurred, with 51 injuries and 21 deaths. The most common types of accidents in Virginia are:

  • Capsizing
  • Falling overboard
  • Colliding with fixed objects (“allision”)
  • Water skiing mishap
  • Grounding
  • Falling onboard
  • Colliding with other vessels
  • Fire or explosions
  • Sinking
  • Striking by propellers
  • Striking submerged objects
  • Colliding with floating objects
  • Flooding

Back to Top

Who is responsible for my injuries?

With recreational boating, injuries are almost always the result of boater negligence. Boat operators should take driving a boat just as seriously as driving a car, if not more seriously. Watercraft have to deal with rough weather, limited visibility, and hidden dangers like rocks or swimmers.

Boat owners are also required to take a safety course in Virginia and follow all boating laws in the Commonwealth. When boaters speed, boat while intoxicated, or fail to follow safety guidelines, they endanger themselves, their passengers, and other boaters.

At the end of the day, how the vessel is operated contributes the most to accidents, injuries, and fatalities by far. The most dangerous behaviors when boating include:

  • Alcohol use (involved in 10% of all boating fatalities)
  • Drug use
  • Excessive speed
  • Improper lookout
  • Sharp turns
  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator inattention
  • Navigation rules violations
  • Inadequate onboard navigation lights

If a boat operator did something like this and caused your injuries, you may be able to file a personal injury claim for compensation. Boating accidents often result in serious injuries, including brain damage, spinal cord damage, and broken bones. You are likely struggling to pay for your medical bills and treatment, but the person who injured you should be the one to pay, not you.

The best thing to do after a boating accident is to speak with a Virginia personal injury lawyer who has experience handling boating accident cases as soon as possible. You deserve to be compensated by the person who caused the accident.

The accident may be covered under the boater’s homeowner’s insurance policy or boating insurance. While the Commonwealth does not require boaters to have liability insurance for their boats, individual marinas may require it. If you were injured by a negligent boater, you may be able to recover full compensation through one of these policies.

Back to Top

Speak with our boating injury lawyers

Our Virginia water accident attorneys at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys have six decades of combined experience and a strong reputation for success in the courtroom. We are not afraid to fight aggressively for fair compensation at trial when necessary, but we also know how to fight smart.

We bring you big-city experience and small-town care. We’ve worked for big insurance companies, in big cities, as trial lawyers. Now we are proud to serve our neighbors here in Eastern Virginia with our experience and expertise.

We handle cases on a contingency basis, which means you do not have to pay unless and until we recover compensation for you. Our firm does not charge for consultations. Contact us or call us at (804) 413-6777 or toll-free at (855) 781-6777 to discuss what happened to you and find out what we can do to help.

Back to Top

Additional Information

Call our Eastern Virginia office today for a free consultation
at (804) 413-6777 or toll free (855) 781-6777.

No Fee Guarantee

It costs you nothing for our firm to represent you. We only get paid when you do. Learn more

Community Service

Prevention, empathy, and diligence are hallmarks of everything we do at GibsonSingleton Virginia Injury Attorneys. Our community can see these ideals lived out in our work to prevent personal injuries from happening.

  • Safety Education
    GibsonSingleton launches “Texts=Wrecks” campaign to reduce the number of people injured or killed by distracted drivers.
  • Annual Coat Drive
    During the fall, our team works to distribute coats to people in need in our community.
  • Hands-on Service
    John and Ken join the Gloucester Point Rotary Club in cleaning up the community.
  • Supporting Local Schools
    The Gibson family participates in Gloucester’s Botetourt Elementary Shuffle fundraiser.