Erie, Pennsylvania, Boat Accident Injury Lawyers

Jed Dietrich, Esq. is Committed to Defending the Rights of Boat Accident Victims. If You or a Loved One Have Been Injured in a Serious Boat Crash, You Deserve Aggressive Representation and an Attorney Willing to Fight for Your Rights.

Erie, Pennsylvania, Bus Accident Injury Lawyers

Erie is among Pennsylvania’s most important ports, receiving an estimated 780,000 tons of goods and materials each year. As the Keystone State’s only lake port, Erie’s position along the Great Lakes attracts not only commerce but tourists from across the region. While Pennsylvania expects water sport enthusiasts to exercise reasonable care while traversing the state’s lakes and rivers, accidents still happen with alarming regularity. Studies suggest that many of these accidents could be avoided, with multi-boat collisions and overboard falls among the most common types of accidents resulting in injury.

According to researchers at the Pacific Institute for Research & Evaluation and the United States Coast Guard, boat accidents that result in injury cost significantly more than other vehicle-related accidents. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. believes that nobody should have to pay the price for another person’s mistake. If you or a loved one have been injured in an Erie boating accident that was not your fault, you could be entitled to significant compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. Please send us a message online or call us at 814-839-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation as soon as possible.

Pennsylvania’s Boating Laws

Erie, Pennsylvania, Bus Accident Injury Lawyers

Pennsylvania has stringent requirements for boaters. While the Keystone State does not require boaters to obtain a license or certificate to operate a canoe or kayak, education courses are required for the following:

  1. Personal Watercrafts: The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission defines a personal watercraft as any boat less than 16 feet in length that uses an internal combustion motor powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. Examples of personal watercraft include consumer brands such as Jet Ski, Ski-Doo, and Wave Runner.
  2. High-Powered Vessels: A boating safety certificate is typically required to operate any boat powered by motors greater than 25 horsepower. However, persons born on or before 1 January 1982 are exempted from this requirement.

Boating education courses are designed to teach basic survival and safety skills. Since many boating accidents are preventable, authorized courses also emphasize collision avoidance and practical decision-making. However, even Pennsylvanians who do not require boating education certificates are still subject to additional rules and restrictions. Many of these rules are similar to traffic laws. For example, the Commonwealth prohibits boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

When boaters make poor decisions, they endanger not only themselves but everyone around them. Since boat accidents can result in serious, even life-changing injuries, the costs of recovery could be immense. Even if you have a seemingly open-and-shut claim, the at-fault watercraft operator and their insurance company could try to offload liability by telling the court that your own negligence contributed to the accident. However, you do not have to accept these bad-faith excuses. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. has spent decades aggressively advocating for the rights of Pennsylvania boat accident victims. Please call us at 814-839-3939 to speak to a legal professional and discuss your options for rapid legal relief.

Common Causes Of Pennsylvania Boating Accidents

Boating accidents have a variety of potential causes. However, many boating accidents are avoidable events caused by operator negligence and inexperience. According to the United States Coast Guard, the most common causes of recreational boat accidents include, but are not limited to:

  1. Operator Inattention: Watercraft operators have a legal duty of care. In other words, they have a responsibility to maintain their vehicle, ensure their passengers’ safety, and pay attention to their surroundings. When boaters do not exercise a reasonable standard of care, they could be held liable for any resulting accident.
  2. Operator Inexperience: Simply taking a boating education course is no guarantee of practical experience. Since real-world water conditions can change rapidly—especially on large bodies of water like Lake Erie—experience is often the only way to avert an accident.
  3. Excessive Speed: Pennsylvania does not have a uniform speed limit for watercrafts. However, certain ports, locations, and bodies of water are subject to additional rules and regulations. For example, boats must maintain slow, no-wake speeds when traversing the Erie Harbor Entrance between the North Pierhead Light and Inter Range Tower. When boaters speed in low-speed zones, recklessly pass other watercrafts, or come too close to swimmers, they could be subject to criminal penalties and civil recourse.
  4. Machinery Failure: The United States Coast Guard has found that machinery failures are one of the top five most common causes of boating accidents. Machinery failures are often caused by manufacturing defects and equipment failures. If a boat manufacturer sells watercrafts that are inherently dangerous, accident victims could file a product liability lawsuit to recover their damages.
  5. Alcohol Use: Almost 50% of all boating accidents involve drug or alcohol use. The Coast Guard estimates that tens of thousands of alcohol-related boat accidents occur annually.



Potential Damages After A Pennsylvania Boat Accident Injury

You should never have to pay for an accident that was not your fault. Fortunately, Pennsylvania law provides accident victims the right to recover their damages through a personal injury lawsuit. The Dietrich Law Firm P.C. could help you recover damages such as:

  1. Your medical expenses;
  2. Physical rehabilitation;
  3. Prescription medication co-pays;
  4. Long-term care;
  5. Lost income from work;
  6. Lost vacation days or paid time off (PTO);
  7. Diminished earning potential;
  8. Emotional pain and suffering;
  9. Loss of enjoyment;
  10. Loss of consortium;
  11. Disfigurement; and
  12. Wrongful death.

Please send the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. a message online or call us at 814-839-3939 to schedule your free, no-obligation consultation.

Call the Dietrich Law Firm P.C. immediately at 814-839-3939 so that our aggressive, tenacious, and hardworking personal injury lawyers can fight to obtain the best result for your personal injury claim in Erie, Pennsylvania. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and there is never a fee until we WIN for you!

Client Reviews
I am a medical doctor and have worked with many of the best lawyers in Buffalo and I can say without question that Jed Dietrich is the only lawyer I would trust with my injury case in Buffalo New York. B.O.
Dogged, Determined, and Dead-set on getting you the Maximum settlement for your injuries! T.F.
No one will work harder, smarter or better; I have retained Jed and he obtained the best result for my case. D.P.
The definition of an "A" type personality-exactly who I would want to represent me in a serious personal injury case. E.S.
Jed is a Master in the courtroom without an equal. S.C.
Marquis Who's Who
Elite Lawyers of America