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4701 S 19th Street, Suite 300 | Tacoma, WA 98405
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Maritime Injuries / Boating Accidents

Tacoma Attorneys Seek Compensation for Recreational Boating Injuries

Making wrongs right when negligent boat operation causes harm

The natural beauty of Puget Sound entices recreational boaters from all over the world to visit. That makes for very busy waterways, and inevitable accidents when boat operators fail to exercise due care. Since 1959, personal injury attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC have asserted the rights of injured boat operators and their passengers to full compensation for their losses. From property loss to serious bodily harm to wrongful death, our concerned and capable trial lawyers fight to make wrongs right.

Washington boat operators must follow safety regulations

The state of Washington has numerous regulations governing:

  • Operator age and education
  • Safe navigation
  • Vessel length and capacity
  • Proper fueling
  • Properly securing a boat to a trailer
  • Boat launching
  • Required safety equipment
  • Pollution control
  • Recreational activities on the water
  • Rental vessel safety

When a boat or personal watercraft operator fails to adhere to these regulations, and that failure causes or worsens an accident, the operator will almost certainly be held liable for damages. Proprietors of boat rental companies can also be liable if they do not stock their vessels with proper safety equipment. Safety equipment companies may be held strictly liable for design defects and manufacturing defects that cause harm to boaters. Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC thoroughly investigates your boat accident to discover regulatory violations and firmly establish liability.

What are the major causes of recreational boating accidents in the United States?

The leading causes of boating accidents are remarkably similar to the causes of traffic accidents. According to U.S. Coast Guard statistics, the top five contributing factors in recreational boating accidents are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Improper lookout
  • Operator inexperience
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use

Alcohol use is the leading contributory factor in fatal boat accidents. When wrongful death occurs through accidental drowning, the overwhelming majority of victims are determined not to have been wearing life jackets.

More stringent laws for boating under the influence in Washington

In 2013, Washington State toughened its laws for boating under the influence (BUI), making the violation a gross misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $5,000 and 364 days in jail. Testing for BUI is consistent with testing for DUI and includes alcohol and marijuana testing.

If you suspect that a boat operator’s alcohol or drug use played a role in your boating accident, make sure you express these concerns to the local sheriff when you report your accident. A positive chemical test for BUI can go a long way to establishing that operator’s liability for the accident.

Contact our Tacoma injury attorneys for your boating accident in Washington State

The seasoned trial attorneys at Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler PLLC have the resources to successfully prosecute your boating accident case. If you or your loved one has been harmed in an accident in Puget Sound or the state’s coastal waters, we can evaluate your case free of charge. Call us at 253-383-5388 or contact our office online.

Are You a Victim of the MultiCare-Good Samaritan Hospital Hepatitis C Exposure?
Our firm is actively taking on representation of clients who were patients at MultieCare-Good Samaritan Hospital and were exposed to Hepatitis C and perhaps other diseases. We are investigating the actions of MultiCare and its employees as well as the MultiCare system itself that led to this crisis occurring.

If you have information about this incident, or previous incidences of MultiCare employees misusing narcotic medications intended for patients, or if you have legal questions about this matter and your rights, our lawyers are available to assist you at 253-383-5388.
Case Results
  • "Client was disabled from working in prior profession after sustaining a severe closed head injury and brain trauma in an automobile accident on Interstate 5. $7,845,000. "

  • "Pedestrian client was struck by semi-truck, and the trailer wheels rolled over client’s body causing severe injury. $1,145,000. "

  • "Client was involved in a head-on collision when a bus crossed the center line. Client suffered a severe closed head injury preventing him from returning to his previous employment. $884,998. "

  • "Client was involved in serious head-on collision with uninsured motorist while on-the-job, resulting in physical injury and posttraumatic stress disorder. Client can no longer work as a commercial truck driver. $708,000. "

  • "Client was a rear seat passenger in a vehicle that was involved in an automobile accident. Client was severely injured as the result of a defective seatbelt, while the other three occupants of the vehicle sustained only minor injuries. $650,000. "

  • "Client was killed in automobile accident caused by defendant’s failure to yield the right-of-way. $650,000. "

  • "Minor client was on his way to school and was struck by a vehicle while crossing the street in a marked crosswalk. Defendant driver had pulled into oncoming lane to pass another vehicle and struck client, causing serious injuries. $500,000. "

  • "Client was killed as a result of an in-cab fuel tank, which caught fire after an automobile accident. $350,000. "

  • "Client riding a bicycle was struck by a motorist who failed to yield the right-of-way. Client sustained numerous injuries, including a closed head injury. $120,000. "

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Awards and Affiliations
  • "I have been a client of Dan Kyler’s since 1996. Having had numerous car accidents, I rely upon Rush, Hannula, Harkins & Kyler to help me through them. The most obscure questions have been answered and help is given on all levels. Thanks."

  • "John Wilson demonstrated his professionalism by keeping us current on our case, explaining our options, giving us realistic expectations and demonstrating the highest level of ethics and integrity beyond reproach. We have the highest confidence that we were well represented."

  • "Dan Hannula’s hard work helped to settle my auto accident case. "

  • "Having a motorcycle accident was bad enough, let alone dealing with insurance companies. John Wilson and his staff made everything easy to understand and hassle free. "

  • "I am extremely satisfied with the service I experienced with this firm and I would recommend them to anyone that needs legal representation. Michael Fisher and his staff are great people. "

  • "Vern Harkins perseverance and hard work made it possible to get the maximum settlement from the insurance company. I know he had my interest in mind as demonstrated by his actions. "

  • "The office staff were courteous, pleasant and kept me informed as to what was going on throughout the whole ordeal. "

  • "Molly Crowley is a very professional and knowledgeable lawyer. I felt I was very well represented!! "

  • "Molly Crowley was knowledgeable, kept me informed every step of the way and just did a great job! "

  • "We got a fair settlement and were treated with respect and dignity throughout the whole process. -Blake W. "

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