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Hawaii Motorboat Accident Attorney

Hawaii Motorboat Accident Attorney

Hawaii Motorboat Injury Attorney Preston Easley Helps Victims of Motorboat Accidents in Honolulu and throughout HI Collect Maximum Compensation for Their Injuries and Losses

Perhaps because motorboats are vastly less numerous than cars, many people mistakenly assume that motorboats are somehow “safer” and less likely to be involved in accidents. The fact is, though, that hundreds of people are killed in motorboat accidents every year, not only these ship’s operators, but also recreational swimmers, fishermen, and other residents and tourists enjoying these states’ ample marine attractions.

Maritime Accident Lawyer Preston Easley is a Graduate of the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. You Can Rely on His Expertise in Maritime Law to Protect Your Rights. Contact Him Today For a Free Consultation About Your Case.

Lax Requirements For Motorboat Operators

As you can imagine, given the extensive waterways and coastlines in Hawaii, there are some very specific regulations concerning the operation of motorboats. Hawaii’s regulations concerning motorboats are very similar to those of California, with a couple of important exceptions. The age limits in Hawaii are lax: there’s no minimum age requirement to pilot a boat, though the operators of “thrill crafts” must be at least 15 years old. The state of Hawaii defines “thrill crafts” as vessels less than 13 feet long and capable of exceeding 20 miles per hour, which includes many motorboats and jet skis. Hawaiian law requires that the operators of thrill crafts complete a state-accredited safety course before taking to the water.

In addition to state regulations, local restriction and regulations are in place for the following areas: Waikiki ocean waters, Makapuu ocean waters, Kealakekua Bay ocean waters, Kailua Beach ocean waters, Ahihi-Kinau ocean waters, Pokai Bay ocean waters, Ala Moana Beach Park ocean waters, Manele-Hulopoe marine life conservation district, and Kaanapali ocean waters. And DUI laws are identical to those on the mainland, with a blood alcohol limit of 0.08 percent.

Boat Rental Company Liability

All boat rental companies (“liveries”) in Hawaii bear the responsibility for ensuring required equipment is provided to renters before a boat departs. Specifically:

“Neither the owner of a boat livery nor the owner’s agent or employees may permit any hired vessel to depart from the owner’s premises unless it is provided, either by the owner or renter, with the safety equipment required by federal and state law.”

Boating Licenses Are Not Required

Hawaii does not require, nor issues licenses to motorboat owners or operators, nor are they required to carry boating insurance, although the vessel does have to be registered each year, with prominently displayed stickers showing the registration number.

The following vessels do not require annual registration in Hawaii:

  • Documented vessels;
  • Lifeboats used strictly for that purpose;
  • Recreational vessels that are manually propelled;
  • Recreational vessels eight feet long or less that are propelled only by sail;
  • Motorboats used only for racing; and
  • Vessels owned by the U.S. government.

In lieu of licenses or other means of regulation, the state of Hawaii offers various boating safety classes.

There are no published statistics on how many Hawaiian motorboaters take advantage of boating safety classes unless it has been ordered to by a judge after a serious accident or infraction. (It should be noted that Hawaii does require mandatory boating safety education for all operators of Personal Watercrafts (PWCs), this includes both residents and non-residents.)

The Right To Sue For A Boating Accident

As a general rule in Hawaii, the drivers of motorboats, their passengers, and any bathers or fishermen in the immediate vicinity are subject to the same liabilities, and opportunities to recover damages, as their car-driving counterparts on the mainland. If you are an innocent bather or recreational boater who has been injured by a recklessly driven motorboat, you can sue the owner and/or operator of the boat for damages, and if you’re a driver or passenger who has been involved in an accident caused by a defective motorboat, you can potentially sue the manufacturer. The motorboat’s operator can also sue recklessly behaving passengers, or other boaters whose negligence directly precipitates the accident.

Honolulu, Hawaii Motorboat Accident Claims and Wrongful Death Attorneys

Hawaii maritime law concerning minors—and the high percentage of motorboat accidents caused by inebriation—it should be no surprise that many motorboat mishaps in this state involve some combination of underage drivers and excessive alcohol. If you have been injured by a motorboat piloted by an inappropriately supervised minor, you may be entitled to sue the parents (or the boat’s owner) for damages, and if the driver of the motorboat (whether a minor or an adult) was inebriated, you may have recourse to recover damages from the restaurant, bar or liquor store that provided the alcohol. Only an experienced maritime lawyer can tell you for sure — call or email our law firm today for a free consultation.

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Cases We Handle

  • maritime worker working on ship

    Longshoremen & Shipyard Workers

    Longshoring and shipyard work are very dangerous occupations. Workers in these fields, along with marine construction workers, are covered by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, a very generous no-fault workers’ compensation system. It covers medical expenses, temporary disability, permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation.

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  • sea vessel docked at US shore

    Jones Act Seamen

    A seaman is a member of the crew of a vessel or group of vessels under common ownership or control. The vessel can be anything from a raft to a cargo ship. We represent seamen who work aboard recreational vessels, tugboats, dredges, barges, skiffs, workboats and cargo ships. We also represent seamen who are marine construction workers

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  • Diving

    We represent people who have been injured in SCUBA diving accidents and Commercial diving accidents. We also handle diving boat accidents. Diving can be very dangerous. We successfully represented a commercial diver who was seriously injured while cleaning the propeller of a U.S. Navy ship at Pearl Harbor

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  • accident at construction site and hard hat on floor

    Construction & Industrial Accidents

    Construction and industrial sites can be very dangerous. Although you generally cannot sue your own employer for a construction site or industrial accident (generally workers’ compensation is your exclusive remedy against your employer) there are many circumstances in which you can file a third party lawsuit against an entity other than your employer for an unsafe condition at a work site which causes you to be injured

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  • Forklift and Crane Injuries Lawyer

    Crane & Forklift Accidents

    The Easley firm has extensive experience with crane and forklift accidents and workplace accidents involving dangerous equipment and machinery. These accidents can be caused by operator error and they can be caused by the unsafe and defective condition of the equipment

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  • auto accident involving two cars on a city street

    Motor Vehicle & Truck Accidents

    Motor vehicle accidents can result in serious injury and death. These kinds of accidents can involve automobiles, trucks, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians and unsafe road design and unsafe road conditions

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  • Catamaran Injuries Attorney

    Passenger Vessel Accidents

    Passenger accidents are common on recreational vessels, catamarans, tour boats and cruise ships.  They are frequently caused by rough sea conditions and unsafe conditions aboard the vessels.  The Easley firm has extensive experience in the field of maritime law.  We have made new law in the field of maritime law with numerous precedent setting decisions in the State Appellate Courts, the Ninth Circuit Federal Court

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  • Defense Base Act

    The Defense Base Act is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act which covers civilian employees of U.S. defense contractors injured overseas, including war zones. The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensations Act as extended by the Defense Base Act is a very generous no fault workers’ compensation system

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Areas Where We Practice

Preston Easley is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD. He served five years of active duty as a Naval officer — three years as a deck officer on a fast frigate and two years as a patrol boat skipper. Mr. Easley also served aboard a tank landing ship in the reserves.




Let Us Get You The Compensation You Deserve

Preston Easley is an experienced lawyer with considerable expertise in handling federal and state personal injury cases. He will aggressively seek the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled to receive. Attorney Easley represents victims of serious and fatal accidents involving cars, trucks, construction projects and maritime work.

Construction Workers We Help

  • Crane and Forklift Operators
  • Pile Drivers
  • Scaffold Workers
  • Iron Workers
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Operating Engineers
  • Electricians

Maritime Workers We Help

  • National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) Shipyard Workers
  • Manson Construction Company Workers
  • Manson Dredging Workers
  • Dutra Dredging Workers
  • Commercial Divers
  • Scuba Divers
  • Commercial Fisherman
  • Government Maritime Claims Against the Navy, Army Corps of Engineers, or the US Coast Guard, etc.
  • Marine Construction Workers
  • Offshore Oil and Gas Workers
  • Seamen
  • Shipyard Workers
  • YYK Enterprises, Inc.
  • Pacific Tugboat Service
  • Long Beach Container Terminal
  • Tugboat, Dredge, Longshoremen, and Ferry Workers
  • Barge Crews and Barge Workers
  • Marisco Limited
  • HL Welding
  • SSA Marine
  • Catalina Express
  • R.E. State Engineering
  • Shimmick Construction
  • Nova Group
  • American Scaffolding
  • Safway Scaffolding
  • Kirby Tugs
  • Crowley Tugboats
  • P&R Water Taxi
  • Continental Maritime
  • Pacific Ship Repair
  • Seaward Marine
  • Healy Tibbitts
  • General Construction
  • BAE Shipyards
  • South Coast Welding
  • Matson
  • Pasha
  • Hawaii Stevedores, Inc.
  • McCabe, Hamilton & Renny
  • Young Brothers
  • Sause Bros.
  • Foss Maritime
  • Fenix Marine Services
  • ITS
  • Total Terminals
  • TraPac
  • PCMC
  • Maersk
  • Yang Ming
  • China Overseas Shipping
  • Evergreen

Boating Accidents

  • Catamaran Accidents
  • Charter and Tour Boats
  • Cruise Ship Accidents
  • Passenger Accidents
  • Jet Ski and Personal Watercraft
  • Motorboat Accidents
  • Recreational Accidents
  • Scuba Diving Accidents
  • Speed Boat Accidents
  • Yachts and Sail Boat Accidents
  • Repair Accidents
  • Crew Accidents
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