injury lawyers in Las Vegas

Our injury lawyers in Las Vegas want you to stay safe on the water this season. Becoming a new boat owner likely represents the attainment of an exciting personal goal. You’re eager to leave your daily cares onshore and enjoy the freedom and fun of the open water. For the most part, recreational boats are easy to operate, but you should never discount the importance of safety. Serious accidents can happen in the blink of an eye and send victims looking for a boating accident attorney Las Vegas.

Nevada Boating Regulations

Nevada requires people born on or after Jan. 1, 1983 to pass a boater education class before operating a boat with a motor of 15 or more horsepower. This rule applies to boaters on:

  • Lake Mead
  • Colorado River
  • Lake Mohave
  • Lake Tahoe
  • Topaz Lake

If you fall into this age group, make sure that you obtain the necessary boater education. Lacking this credential could weaken your legal position if you’re accused of negligence by an accident victim. An accident attorney representing an injured person will investigate the status of a boat operator involved in an accident.

Regardless of your age and experience, you don’t want to be complacent about boat safety. Best practices will prevent most accidents or reduce harm if something goes wrong unexpectedly.

boating accident attorney Las Vegas
boating accident attorney Las Vegas.

No Drinking and Boating

Many people consume alcoholic beverages while boating, but the operator of the boat has a legal obligation to stay sober. Just as when driving a land vehicle, you can be criminally charged with Operating Under the Influence if you are intoxicated by drugs or alcohol while operating any type of watercraft. Having a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more will expose you to prosecution.

On top of legal considerations, you may be more susceptible to feeling drunk on the water than on land. The motion of waves, hot sun, and vibration of the motor can increase a person’s impairment.

Never Let Anyone Get Near a Moving Boat Propeller

Those spinning blades that move the boat inflict terrible injuries often resulting in amputation or death. Good safety protocols should spare you from being involved in such a terrible event.

Avoid propeller accidents by:

  • Showing guests where the propeller is
  • Warning guests of propeller dangers
  • Never starting the motor when someone is in the water by the boat
  • Confirming all guests are on the boat before turning the key
  • Shutting off the motor as soon as anyone goes overboard
boating accident attorney Las Vegas
boating accident attorney Las Vegas

Use Life Jackets

Ideally, everyone will wear life jackets while on the water. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, people could avoid about 80% of boating fatalities if they had worn life jackets. Although the law does not generally require adults to wear life jackets, children must. As the boat owner, you should insist that children wear life jackets appropriate for their age and size. An adult life jacket on a small child will not suffice.

Even if adults do not wear their life jackets, having one jacket for each passenger on hand still promotes safety. People could grab the jackets in an emergency.

Don’t Overload a Boat

Boats have capacities, and manufacturers should provide new boat owners with guidance about weight and passenger limits. An overloaded boat could sink, and too many people on board makes it harder for the operator to keep track of everyone safely.

boating accident attorney Las Vegas
boating accident attorney Las Vegas

Obey Posted Boating Rules

Some public waterways will have information posted at the boat launches. Always take the time to find out the specific rules at your boating location. Obey all signage. If it says “No Wake” then you must only idle slowly. Stay away from any areas labeled for swimming.

Prepare for Success

Breaking down on the water increases the risk of accidents. Another watercraft might hit you, or someone might get in the water in a dangerous location.

Ensure that your boat is mechanically sound before launching. If available at your location, ask the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to give your boat a Vessel Safety Check (VSC).

You should always have a full tank of gas when you head out for the day. Stay on top of regular maintenance by checking engine oil and transmission fluid. Confirm that your battery is fully charged as well.

boating accident attorney Las Vegas
boating accident attorney Las Vegas

Stock an Emergency Kit

When something happens on the water, you are restricted entirely to what is on hand when confronted by an emergency.

Keep these supplies on your boat:

  • Flashlight
  • Small mirror for signaling for help
  • Bucket
  • First aid kit
  • Rope
  • Whistle
  • Fire extinguisher

Learn Boat Towing and Trailering

Towing a boat transforms your driving experience. It will not feel like regular driving. You will need more time to accelerate and more time to slow down. A wreck on the road with your new boat could involve you in a bad accident. What should have been a day of fun on Lake Mead suddenly results in searching for personal injury attorneys in Las Vegas Nevada.

Before you intend to visit the water, set aside some time to practice towing your boat and backing it up. This will prepare you to enter and exit boat ramps. When launching or trailering your boat, take your time. A mishap could result in a crushed finger or even a blow to the head.

boating accident attorney Las Vegas
boating accident attorney Las Vegas

Check the Weather

You get used to nothing but sunny days in the desert Southwest, but the weather can turn ugly on occasion. Monitor the weather so that you can avoid being on the water in very high winds or heavy rain.

Moss Berg, Las Vegas Injury Lawyers, Are Here to Help

Anyone hurt in a boating accident can learn about Las Vegas injury law at Moss Berg Injury Lawyers. Our award-winning legal team knows how to approach complex personal injury claims and pursue maximum compensation. Ask us for a free consultation today.