Boating Accidents Attorney in Maui, Hawaii

The ocean waters around Maui offer opportunities for boat tours, cruises, snorkeling and scuba diving, and fishing adventures for both residents and vacationers. Unfortunately, boaters may be exposed to risks and accidents, even while on water. Getting injured in an accident involving boats, watercraft, kayaks, or jet skis can result in lasting injuries.

If you or a family member were injured in a boating accident or other water-related mishap caused by another person's negligent or careless actions, you are eligible to receive financial compensation. At Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, our attorneys are poised and ready to support, guide, and represent victims of boating accidents and their families in their injury claims.

As your legal counsel, we can evaluate and investigate the surrounding facts of your unique situation, help determine liability, and explore your possible options to recover damages. Our trusted Maui personal injury lawyers will fight vigorously to protect your legal rights and help you seek rightful financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other possible damages.

Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, proudly represent boating accident victims throughout Maui, Hawaii.



Boating Accidents in Hawaii

To operate your vessel legally on Hawaii waters, you must have a Hawaii Certificate of Number and registration stickers. Hence, all vessels must be registered except:

  • Vessels owned by the United States government

  • Manually propelled recreational vessels (non-motorized)

  • Motorboats used solely for racing

  • Recreational vessels documented by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG)

  • Recreational boats that are 8 feet long or less and propelled by sail only

  • A vessel's lifeboat used exclusively for lifesaving purposes

  • Boats with a valid temporary Certificate of Number

  • Vessels registered in other states or countries using Hawaii waters for 60 days or less

Types of Hawaii Boating Accidents

Below are some of the most common causes and types of boating accidents in Hawaii:

  • Collisions with other boats or vessels

  • Collisions with fixed objects

  • Fires

  • Capsizing, sinking, swamping, or running aground.

  • Flooding

  • Accidents involving a skier or person on a towable object

  • Falls overboard

  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Explosions

  • Equipment failure

  • Operator errors

If you or a family member were hurt in a negligent boating accident, you need to retain a knowledgeable personal injury attorney immediately. Your lawyer can investigate every detail of your case thoroughly and help establish liability.

Liability for a Boating Accident

Depending on the surrounding circumstances or events leading to the incident, a number of different parties or entities may be held liable for a boating accident. These include:

  • The driver/owner of the boat the injured person was on

  • The driver/owner of the other boat involved in the crash

  • The dock owner

  • Manufacturer of the boat or vessel

  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI) – operating or driving a boat while under the influence of drugs, intoxicating liquor, or alcohol

  • Any other person who negligently contributed to the boating accident or your injury

A skilled attorney can enlighten you about laws addressing boating accidents, identify the liable parties, and help you seek fair financial compensation for your injuries.

Laws Addressing Boating Accidents

There are federal and state laws that address boating operations and accidents that occur on navigable and non-navigable-waters.

State Laws

Here are some Hawaii state laws that address boating operations and accidents:

  • Vessels and boats must be registered annually.

  • Every person who operates a motorized vessel in Hawaii must take a boating safety course and show proof of certification.

  • A use permit is necessary to utilize any harbor facility.

  • All boats must have a Coast Guard-approved life jacket for each individual aboard.

  • No person below 15 years may operate a personal watercraft (PWC) or boat.

  • Boating while intoxicated (BWI) is prohibited under Hawaii laws.

  • Boating accidents that result in a serious injury, disappearance from the boat, death, or property damage of over $2,000 must be reported.

  • Vessels operating more than one mile offshore must be equipped with a properly functioning EPIRB or VHF-FM Radio.

  • Boats propelled by an internal combustion engine must be equipped with an efficient muffler or other modern devices to reduce engine exhaust noise.

A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can evaluate the full magnitude of your injuries and losses and help prove negligence.

Proving Negligence

To prove negligence in a boating accident, the plaintiff must show that:

  • The at-fault party owed you a legal duty of care.

  • The at-fault party breached that legal duty of care owed.

  • The at-fault party's breach directly caused your injuries.

  • You suffered bodily injury, actual harm, or other losses from the accident.

An experienced attorney can help prove negligence, establish liability, and explore your possible legal options to seek damages.

Work with an Experienced

Personal Injury Attorney

Being involved in a negligent boating accident can be overwhelming and can have a significant, long-term impact on your financial, mental, and physical health. Nonetheless, you don't have to suffer the financial challenges and liability by yourself. Therefore, when you are hurt in a boating accident, you need to act quickly and hire an experienced personal injury attorney to help protect your legal rights and pursue the financial justice you deserve.

At Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, we have the resources, diligence, and experience to help you hold those responsible for your boating injuries accountable. Using their comprehensive understanding of the laws addressing liability in boating accident cases, our reliable team can help guide you through the often-complex claims process. Our dedicated attorneys will advocate for your best interests and help you recover the maximum possible compensation.


If you or a loved one were hurt in a negligent boating accident, you may seek fair compensation. Contact Ranken, Shnider & Taylor, Attorneys at Law, today to schedule a simple case assessment. Our skilled legal team can offer you the detailed legal counsel, support, and compassionate representation you need in your boating accident claims. We're proud to serve clients throughout Maui, Hawaii, and surrounding areas.