Boating Accidents: How to Stay Safe While Boating

“I have been there so many times before and NOW I will be there for YOU and your family.”
- Tim Misny - The man that “Makes Them Pay!®”

“Please understand that the slogan, I’ll Make Them Pay!® is not a guarantee of payment. Both liability and real damages must be proven with preponderance of the evidence.” – Tim Misny

Boating Accidents: How to Stay Safe While Boating

Boat Accident Attorney Cleveland

As a Cleveland boat accident lawyer, I know all too well what happens when boating safety isn’t a priority, especially when you decide to enjoy a day on a boat!

Some Clevelander’s even head out onto Lake Erie and other bodies of water year round. Let’s review some safety strategies that can help you be safe while boating on our beautiful lakes.

Causes of Boating Accidents

Operator Inattention or Inexperience

A common cause of boating accidents is operator inattention or inexperience. When boat operators fail to pay proper attention to their surroundings, or lack experience in navigating waterways, it can lead to terrible accidents. These include collisions with other vessels, striking underwater obstacles, or running aground. Inexperienced operators may struggle to make correct judgment calls in various boating situations, increasing the risk of an accident.

Excessive Speed

Operating a boat at excessive speeds is another prevalent cause of boating accidents, particularly in congested waterways or during adverse weather conditions. Excessive speed reduces the operator’s reaction time and increases the likelihood of collisions with other vessels, docks, or obstacles in the water. The outcome of such accidents can be severe, resulting in injuries and property damage.

As an experienced boating accident attorney, I’ve seen first hand what happens when excessive speed is the cause of a terrible accident. I’ve sat with, and the held the hands of parents and spouses beause their loved ones’ lives were taken by negligent boaters who were recklessly speeding.

Alcohol or Substance Use

Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a significant cause of boat accidents. Impaired judgment, impaired coordination, and delayed reaction times can lead to navigational errors, collisions, or other accidents on the water. Operators and passengers who consume alcohol or substances while boating increase the risk not only to themselves, but also to other innocent boaters.

Reckless or Unsafe Navigation

Reckless operation or unsafe navigation practices are responsible for many boat accidents. These include failing to yield the right of way, improper passing, ignoring navigational markers, or engaging in aggressive maneuvers. Such actions can lead to collisions with other vessels or cause hazardous situations on the water.

Mechanical Failures or Equipment Malfunctions

Boat accidents can also occur due to mechanical failures or equipment malfunctions, such as engine problems, steering failures, or malfunctioning navigation lights. These can result in accidents ranging from minor inconveniences to significant collisions. When such failures occur, it’s essential to determine whether negligence in maintaining or providing safe equipment played a role.

I have been a Cleveland boat accident attorney for more than 40 years, and I know how dangerous boating can be. You need to focus on your safety, but if you are involved in accident, you need to recover compensation for your medical expenses and property damage. I am here to help you!

Safety Strategies

Check the Weather

Before embarking on a boating trip, it is essential to check the weather forecast. Pay attention to the current conditions, and any potential weather changes throughout the day. It is so important to be especially careful in adverse weather conditions such as thunderstorms, high winds, or fog. These can pose significant risks to your safety on the water. Stay informed, and be prepared to alter your plans if necessary to ensure a safe and enjoyable outing.

Create a Float Plan

Prior to setting out for a day on the lake, be sure to complete a critical safety measure which is to create a comprehensive float plan. You should include your intended route, departure and return times, the number of people on board, and contact information of the boat operators. Share this float plan with a trusted friend or family member who can act as a point of contact in case of a boat accident in any of Ohio’s waters. Having a float plan in place greatly aids search and rescue efforts if you encounter difficulties while boating or have a boat accident injury.

Inspect the Boat

Before launching your boat, you should conduct a thorough inspection to ensure it is in proper working order. Check the engine for any signs of malfunction, inspect the hull for leaks or damage, and ensure all electrical systems, including navigational lights, are functioning correctly. Confirm safety equipment such as life jackets, fire extinguishers, and signaling devices are on board, and in good working condition. Regular maintenance and pre-departure checks are vital to prevent boat accidents and emergencies while on the water.

Wear Life Jackets

The use of life jackets is a non-negotiable safety measure when boating. Ensure that every person on board has access to, and wears a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Life jackets provide crucial buoyancy and can be life-saving in the event of a boat crash or unexpected immersion. Educate all passengers on how to wear life jackets correctly, and emphasize the importance of keeping them on at all times while on the boat.

Learn and Follow Boating Regulations

Boat operators should familiarize themselves with both local and federal boating laws, including speed limits, no-wake zones, and navigational rules. Complying with these regulations not only keeps you safe, but also contributes to the overall safety and orderliness of the waterways. Boating courses and educational resources can help you gain a comprehensive understanding of these rules.

Carry Essential Safety Equipment

Equipping your boat with essential safety equipment is a fundamental aspect of boating safety. This equipment includes life jackets for everyone on board, a throwable flotation device like a life ring, and a fire extinguisher suitable for marine use. You should also have a sound signaling device such as a horn or whistle, proper navigational lights, a comprehensive first-aid kit, and an anchor with sufficient line. Ensure all safety gear is in good condition and readily accessible.

Learn Boating Skills

To navigate the water safely and confidently, it is advisable to enroll in a boating safety course or receive instruction from a qualified boating expert. These courses cover various topics, including navigation techniques, seamanship, emergency procedures, and safety practices. Gaining proficiency in boating skills enhances your ability to respond to different situations, promotes safe practices, and increases overall confidence on the water.

File a Float Plan

In addition to informing a trusted contact person about your boating plans, it is wise to file a formal float plan with relevant authorities or organizations. This serves as an extra layer of safety for boat accident victims and helps ensure that your trip details are recorded and accessible to search and rescue teams in case of an accident. This complements your personal float plan and provides an official record of your intended voyage. I know, this may sound excessive, but it’s a small step to ensuring another layer of safety.

Carry Communication Devices

Boat operators should have reliable communication devices on board, such as a marine VHF radio or a cell phone with a waterproof case. A functioning communication device is necessary for reaching out for help in the event of a boat crash or a different emergency. Make sure these devices are fully charged and tested before departure so they function when needed most.

Pack Adequate Supplies

Before leaving the dock, prepare for your trip by packing enough food, water, and supplies to sustain yourself and your passengers throughout the journey. Consider potential delays and bring extra provisions accordingly. Additionally, pack essentials such as sunscreen, wide-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and clothing suitable for the expected weather conditions. Staying well-nourished and protected from the elements enhances your comfort and safety on the water. Packing additional preserves helps in case you become stranded.

Assign Responsibilities

To promote effective teamwork and readiness in case of emergencies, assign specific roles and responsibilities to passengers and crew members before departure. Everyone on board should be aware of their duties, including tasks related to navigation, safety equipment operation, and emergency response. Clear roles and communication enhance your ability to address challenges swiftly and efficiently.

Check Fuel and Oil Levels

Before leaving the dock, ensure that your boat has sufficient fuel for the planned journey. Additionally, check oil levels, and carry spare oil, and engine fluids in case of unexpected mechanical issues during the trip. Maintaining proper fuel and oil levels will help to prevent breakdowns and ensures a smooth boating experience.

Maintain a Pre-Departure Checklist

Establishing a pre-departure checklist is a valuable practice to ensure you’ve completed all necessary safety checks before setting sail. This checklist should include items such as confirming the condition of safety equipment, verifying communication device functionality, checking the weather forecast, and inspecting the boat for any issues. By systematically reviewing this checklist before departure, you reduce the risk of overlooking critical safety measures.

Stay Sober

I can not stress this enough! The consumption of alcohol or any substances that impair judgment, coordination, or reaction time should be strictly avoided while boating. Operating a boat under the influence is not only illegal, but also dangerous. Impaired boat operators significantly increase the risk of accidents and jeopardize the safety of everyone on board. Prioritize sobriety to ensure responsible and safe boating practices.

Respect Buoy Markings

Navigational buoys and markers serve as important guides and warnings on waterways. It is important to respect these markings and follow their instructions for safe navigation. Red and green buoys, for example, indicate the preferred channel direction, while yellow buoys may indicate hazards. Ignoring, or misinterpreting buoy markings can lead to navigational errors and potential boat crashes. Familiarize yourself with these markings and their meanings to ensure safe and efficient boating.

We’re so lucky that Ohio has many beautiful lakes for boaters to enjoy. It’s one of the many great outdoor activities we have! Listed above are steps to ensure your safety, and information to handle situations that may arise while boating. If you’ve been involved in a boating accident and suffered injuries, call me and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

After a Boat Accident

Ensure Personal Safety

After a recreational boating accident, the immediate priority is to ensure the safety of all individuals involved. Check yourself and others for injuries, and provide first aid or medical attention as needed. If someone is in the water, use flotation devices or life jackets, which are considered proper safety equipment, to assist them back to the boat. It’s essential for the boat operator to take charge of the situation and prioritize the well-being of all passengers.

Prevent Further Accidents

Once everyone is safe, take steps to prevent further accidents or damage. If the boat is operable and safe to use, the boat operator should navigate to a safe location away from any hazards, such as rocks, shoals, or other vessels. Ensure navigational lights are operational, especially if the accident occurred during low light conditions. This proactive approach can help avoid fatal boating accidents or additional recreational boating accidents.

Report the Accident

In many areas, including Cleveland, boating accidents are required to be reported to a boating accident authority. Contact the appropriate local agencies or the U.S. Coast Guard to report the accident and provide them with accurate and detailed information. Reporting is essential for documenting the incident and coordinating search and rescue efforts. It’s the responsibility of the boat operator to promptly initiate this process.

Gather Information

Collect as much information as possible about the accident. This includes documenting the location, time, weather conditions, and any contributing factors that may have led to the boating accident. Take photographs if possible, and obtain contact information from witnesses. This information can be valuable for insurance claims and investigations.

It is so important to ensure the continued safety of everyone aboard the boat. It is also necessary to document the situation. We will use this information to help you file an insurance claim, or if necessary, as evidence in lawsuit to hold the negligent party accountable. Boating accidents can be devastating, and it is important that you take time to heal physically and mentally. While you recover, let me take care of all of your legal needs. Call me today, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Call Me!

Boating is an enjoyable activity, but accidents happen! If you or a loved one is injured in a boating accident, I will find out what happened. As an experienced boat accident attorney, we will discuss what happened and create a plan to pursue compensation. Call me today for a free case evaluation. While there are many boating accident lawyers in Ohio, there is only one Tim Misny… I’ll Make Them Pay!®.


Krystle Banks
Krystle Banks
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Christine Filippelli
Christine Filippelli
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DeAndre Merritt
DeAndre Merritt
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Jake Ferri
Jake Ferri
23:46 01 Aug 22
I have no case and no one that I need Tim Misney to make pay, just wanted to say the best part of my day is getting to... drive by his billboards. His People's Eyebrow is immaculate and the new billboard with him on the motorcycle is downright bitchin'. Thank you Tim Misney for significantly improving the quality of my more
Jennifer Malainy
Jennifer Malainy
22:44 19 Jul 22
My favorite lawyer. Truly one of the kindest, smartest, and most genuine humans I have ever met. There is only one TIM... MISNY and he will make them pay!! God more
01:16 16 Feb 22
I spoke to Amy and Christine about a possible personal injury case involving my father and they were both helpful,... professional, knowledgeable and responsive. Although they could not help us with our case, I would highly recommend them!read more
Stephen Burks
Stephen Burks
20:12 21 Jan 22
It really comes down to what people say and do when they don't think anyone that matters is listening or they'll get... anything in return.There's the Tim Misny you see on the billboards and on TV, but there's another Tim Misny that I know up close and personal.The Tim Misny I know is genuinely passionate about helping the hard working little folks who get pushed around the big folks. He actually, really honestly cares about people who run into bad luck at no fault of their own. Tim has quietly, out of the sight of cameras and with no fanfare shared generously with the marginalized in our society; single moms, Veterans and others without expecting anything in return.He calls them like he sees them and you wouldn't want to take your troubles to anyone more
mark colucci
mark colucci
14:33 06 Dec 21
Mr. Misny is an angel here on earth and the BEST attorney in Ohio. He has helped my daughter who is in law school when... she needed the guidance most. He is a class act, a great family man, and extremely caring. If you need a lawyer in this field I would HIGHLY recommend. There is no other lawyer, in my opinion, better than Tim Misny.Thank you Tim for being a light in this community!read more
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
Damon Mitchell Sr .1st. (The Old-Man !!! Pop's !!!)
02:43 27 Nov 21
Advice on Law question? Also Advise to do more research for Different types of Situations that’s Criminal and Civil... Pursuits!City, State and Above State Level Situation .Pro Se !read more
Gianna Colucci
Gianna Colucci
12:56 04 Nov 21
Mr. Misny is the best! I am a 27-year-old single mother, and I am finishing law school in May at Cleveland-Marshall... College of Law. When I found myself jobless during the height of the pandemic, I knew I needed help. Going into the legal profession, I wanted to be JUST LIKE Mr. Misny because I knew he was the most successful attorney in the industry. I called him up one day just for the hell of it to see if there was anyway he could help me. I never thought such a big name/reputation like him would respond to me. However, when he learned of my financial situation he PERSONALLY called my cell phone within 5 minutes of my email. Not only has he helped me secure employment, but he continues to teach me every single day what it takes to be the BEST lawyer in the legal profession. I am forever thankful for Mr. Misny. He changed my life. He continues to inspire me every single day, and I am so proud that he took me under his wing and is my mentor. He is the most intelligent, kindest, caring attorney I have ever met, and he is giving me the tools I need to be the most successful lawyer I can be o give my four-year-old son, Gregory, the life he deserves. THANK YOU MR. TIM MISNY. I owe my entire future legal career to you because if you didn't take the time out of your busy day to call me that day and help me when no one else would, I would not have been able to stay in law school. You change lives every single day. Keep being you Tim. There is no one like Tim more
Brandon Hagerdon
Brandon Hagerdon
20:53 18 May 21
I met Tim 6 years ago when he was working with my mother. Since then we were able to stay in touch and build a... relationship. I reached out to Tim recently about an opportunity and he was able to connect the dots and help me with this. During this process he gave me his direct number to contact him if need be. If you are in need of any sort of help, I would recommend Tim every more
Jimmie Graham
Jimmie Graham
19:26 30 Mar 21
Tim is hands down the best lawyer in town. He was able to guide me through the legal process and keep me informed at... all stages. Which allowed me to not stress and focus on life. He was able to get me the best deal possible in my court case. One thing that blew me away is that he gave me his direct cell number and answered anytime I had a question which is rare with most lawyers. 100% Misny is the guy! There's a reason he's on literally every billboard in more
Paul McFadden
Paul McFadden
13:29 20 Jan 21
My relationship with Tim goes back over 30 years and is one of great trust and mutual respect. Tim represented me at a... critical point in my life and I will always be indebted to him for the difference he made. He is always just a phone call more
Rick Miller
Rick Miller
18:55 21 Dec 20
If I could reach into the sky just to pull more than 5 stars down for a rating I would! I have used other lawyers in... the past and it was such a pain to reach them when I needed them. Tim is in all honesty there for you. He gave me his personal phone number, and at anytime or any day he answered. If I had to leave a message I could count to 10 and he would already be calling me back. He also was willing to talk on the weekends! He didn’t just forward me to an impersonal automated system or a person with no experience. I will NEVER use another person for legal advice. He’s gracious enough to give me guidance whenever I have a question. No matter how complex. This may sound like an advertisement but I assure you this man was more in touch when I had an issue than my own family. A reasonable and caring family man who will MAKE THEM PAY!Thank you Timread more
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
PJ Camargo/Authentik Movement Training
01:51 22 Oct 20
I've had the pleasure of getting to know Tim personally over the past 2 years. Beyond him being an incredible lawyer &... 'Jack of all trades ' he is an amazing friend. One thing I love most is that he is family oriented & always making quality time for his loved ones. He inspires me to be a great role model &father figure one day. Tim loves nature & shares the true beauty of nature with how he raises his kids. From biking through trails & having his kids learn how to nurture the family garden - he teaches valuable lessons on how to appreciate the world we live in. I know that Tim is just a phone call away & always urgent to responding no matter the situation. He has given me some of the greatest advice & continously throwing positive energy my way! I'm honored to know him & be a friend of his. He is the true practioneer of changing lives & paying it forward. He has taught me so much in just a short amount of time. Tim Misny, a man that wakes up every single day to make a difference!read more
Scott Plate
Scott Plate
16:49 10 Oct 20
Tim has created a highly visible and effective law practice, and despite his decades of experience, he has never once... forgotten why he got into this business in the first place: to help people. He puts his whole heart into his work, and he works hard for everyone he represents. He has a gift for tuning out the noise and tuning into the core of what his clients need, and making it clear he has heard them. As a result, we feel empowered. He is smart, resourceful, creative, positive, and solution-oriented. His abundant energy makes people feel better, stronger, and valued. He loves and promotes his community; he gives back generously, and he always leaves everything better than he found it. Tim is a true man of action, and a man of his word. Could not recommend him more more
Mike M
Mike M
04:44 09 Oct 20
As a young man, I worked at a local garden center. I came from a family that had too many problems to list. I felt I... was never destined to be anything good. I had always wanted to be a police officer since I was a little boy. But, one side of my family told me that I would never be good enough to do it. Anytime I brought it up, they knocked me down until I started to believe that I could never accomplish my dream. One day, about 20 years ago, while working at that garden center, a very tall man came in and asked me to help him select plants. As we walked around the garden center, he struck up a conversation with me. He was very friendly and kind. I was a skinny teenager in dirty blue jeans and a t shirt. This man was dressed very nicely and I was surprised at how nice he was to me. During our conversation, he asked me what I wanted to do with my life after school. I told him that I wanted to be a police officer but many people told me that I’d never make it. I told him how my very own father said I wasn’t smart enough, brave enough, and I was wasting my time. I remember looking at the ground while I explained this to him. The man stopped and got serious. His voice dropped an octave and he looked me dead in the eyes. He pointed his finger at me and told me that I could make anything of my life that I wanted. He told me that it was up to ME to make my life goals come true. He told me to ignore anybody who tells me otherwise. He assured me that if I studied hard in school and never gave up on my dreams that they would become a reality. He told me to say it. I said “I can do it”. In that moment, I thought that if a complete stranger saw something in me, than maybe it could be true.After I helped him through the checkout and he left, many different employees at the garden center asked me if I knew who that man was. I did not. They told me, “That’s Tim Misny!” Once I figured out “who” Tim Misny was, my confidence grew. It was a pivotal moment. One in which steered the rest of my life. His words stuck with me. I worked hard and obtained my Associate’s Degree in Criminal Justice. I was hired by a local Law Enforcement Agency at the age of 21. I was sent to the Ohio State Highway Patrol Academy, which was an extremely tough place to be, to say the least. At the Academy, they try to break those who don’t have a determined spirit. On days I wanted to quit, I remembered Tim’s words. Maybe it was fate, maybe it was random chance.... I’ll never know But, Tim Misny helped me have the confidence and determination that was necessary to be where I’m at today. I’ve been a law enforcement officer for over 16 years. I’ve told this story to many of my coworkers.Tim, you’ll never understand how your words that spring day helped shape my future. Your words enabled me to provide a great life for myself and my family. I’m forever grateful.Mikeread more
Eric Evans
Eric Evans
21:02 04 Oct 20
Tim has represented me twice, once 30 years ago and again just recently. I was too young to fully appreciate his... expertise when he represented me the first time (as i was a minor who was the victim of an accident - he won for us, incidentally), but I'm old enough and wise enough now to really appreciate how truly great he is. First off, how many attorney's actually give you their cell phone number and actually answer? I would contend very, very few. Secondly, he has a street fighter mentality combined with a sharp legal intellect which makes you immediately think "I'm so glad this guy is on my side." I was really in a bind recently and Tim came through in spades - he is THE person I would call if I were in trouble or needed help - at a minimum he would know who I should talk to and direct me there (he knows his own limits, which is the key to a wise person) - at a maximum he would take on my fight himself and I'd have full confidence in his ability to deliver the best possible outcome for me - he fights for you like you're family - can't say it better than more
Benjamin Firstenberg
Benjamin Firstenberg
19:32 28 Sep 20
I worked as an intern for Tim the summer of 2017 and it was an unbelievable experience both for my career and personal... development. He treats his employees with a level of respect, appreciation and honesty that I've truly not seen anywhere else that I've worked. We've stayed in touch these past few years and I'm still learning from Tim, whether it be the way he sees the world, his career advice or his commitment to his family. He's an honest man who treats people more
David Shelton
David Shelton
01:13 30 Jun 20
I don't know much about Tim the lawyer, but I do know about Tim the man. Tim the man befriended me as a youth and gave... me the motivation to excel in school. Tim the man wrote the letter that got me into college and got me a helpful scholarship. Tim the man gave me an internship while in college. Tim the man has been a friend to me for over ten years. He makes himself available day or night whether I need advice or just want to talk about the day. There a lot of stigmas about attorneys (and they are earned) but Tim Misny bucks the stereotype. And if Tim the lawyer is half a good as Tim the man, he will live up to his word, and make them more
Mike Mercer
Mike Mercer
00:16 17 Jan 20
WOW! It is the only way to describe the tremendous experience I was afforded, when I contacted and then retained Tim... Misny, to handle a case for me. I had been injured in an automobile accident and needed help and direction, Tim and his staff provided both.The personal attention and clarity of the matter and specifics, gave me a state of comfort and satisfaction that I could have found nowhere else! I will be forever grateful to have Tim Misny as my attorney and my friend!I am a businessman in the Greater Cleveland area and have directed various members of my staffs as well as personal friends to Tim for solutions to their personal injury case needs. All my referrals have been more than pleased with the service and personal treatment they have received from Tim and his staff.I strongly recommend Tim Misny and his associates should you ever need the finest legal services available in Ohio! Trust is his number one priority, trust in knowing that you will be his client second, his friend first!read more
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The Law Offices of Tim Misny

Cleveland Office
3100 E. 45th St.
Suite 444
Cleveland OH 44127
Mailing Address:
Interstate Square I
4230 Chillicothe Rd. Ste 200
Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Disclaimer: All lawsuits are different and the Law Offices of Tim Misny make no representation or promise that it can obtain the same results in other legal matters. Nothing in this webpage constitutes a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of any future legal matter.