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Summertime, Boating Fun!

With the summer in full swing, many boating enthusiasts will be eager to get out onto the water. Living on Georgian Bay means we have the luxury of enjoying some of the most spectacular recreational boating in the world. Making sure you are up to date with current boating safety regulations, as well as following some basic safety tips, will help close out another boating season safely.

Boating Safety Regulations

In many ways, operating a boat is similar to driving a car. There are numerous laws, regulations and local rules covering such things as speed, right of way, lights, signals and collisions. Boats also need to be registered and licensed.

Boating regulations passed by the federal government require anyone operating a power-driven boat in Canada to prove they are competent, meaning they understand the “rules of the road” for Canada’s waterways and how to operate a boat safely. As outlined by Transport Canada, the most common way to prove competency is to obtain a Pleasure Craft Operator Card (PCOC). In many cases, operators will take an accredited boating safety course to gain basic boating safety knowledge and obtain a PCOC.

For a further discussion on boating safety and how to stay safe on the water, you may enjoy reading Personal Injury Lawyer discusses Boating Safety Laws in Ontario.

Personal Injury in a Boating Accident

Accidents can happen on the water. Boats travelling at high speeds may collide with swimmers or other vessels and may cause serious injuries to drivers and passengers alike. In the unlikely event that you are injured because of a boating mishap, you need to be aware of significant differences between car accident and boating accident laws in Ontario.

The first important difference is that no-fault benefits are not available for boaters. Instead, anyone injured in a boating accident is restricted to seeking damages against the at-fault party. Furthermore, there is a limit to the amount of money that will be paid out as a result of a boating accident.

In Ontario, liability for personal injuries that occur while boating are governed by the Marine Liability Act. Among other things, this Act and its accompanying regulations set out the rules regarding the apportionment of liability for personal injuries and fatalities, the limitation period as well as the maximum amount payable for any distinct occasion involving a ship. Currently, for a ship with less than 300 gross tonnage, the maximum is $1,000,000 for loss of life or personal injury, regardless of the number of people injured and making claims.

Contact Ontario’s Injury Lawyers

If you have been involved in a boating accident, one of our experienced  Ontario personal injury lawyers would be happy to speak with you regarding your rights and potential remedies. Contact us online for a free legal consultation or by phone at 1-800-563-6348.

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