Boating injuries differ dramatically from a car injury, for the simple reason there is no compulsory third party insurance attaching to boats. CTP insurance for motor vehicles, attaches to the car itself through its registration. Even uninsured and unregistered vehicles are picked up by the Nominal Defendant.
Injuries caused by boats are very hit and miss. The prudent owner will usually have their own voluntary insurance in place for when things go wrong. There is, however, no means of determining whether insurance is in place without lodging a Notice under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act.
Even when a boat is uninsured, it may be possible to lodge a claim against the operator at fault through third party liability under their home and contents insurance policy. Once again, it would be necessary to lodge a Notice of Claim and make enquiries in this regard.
Examples that came across our office of people who were injured in boats are:
- Commercial tour operators, e.g. whale watching boats, operating in rough and unsuitable conditions.
- Collisions between recreational vessels.
- Boat ramp injuries during loading and unloading of vessels.
- Failing to properly stow and secure gear and equipment.
Given the difficulty in tracking down insurance for the parties at fault for injuries or claims, it is best to get advice at the first available opportunity.