Arizona may not be oceanfront property, but our state undoubtedly maintains its fair share of recreational boating areas. From Lake Havasu to its raging rivers, AZ is home to some of the top tourist destinations for water sports enthusiasts – and regularly draws locals into the scene as well.

However, like any popular recreational activity, boating is not without risk – thanks to several factors including:

  • Overcrowding of popular boating spots
  • Boating under the influence
  • Inexperienced watercraft operators
  • Technical difficulties onboard
  • Unexpected weather events
  • Failure to property navigate waterways in accordance with boating laws

At Wattel & York, our experienced Phoenix boating accident attorneys are able to help clients financially recover from the catastrophic impact of a severe boating accident. Whether the accident caused physical injury, property damage, or both, we are the attorneys for the job.


Boating accidents are much more common in the arid climate of Arizona than many people realize. In May, 2015, seven boaters were injured after their pontoon boat flipped out of Lake Pleasant and landed on shore. Allegedly, the boat was being pulled out of the water by a motorist who inexplicably accelerated, causing the boat to roll and its guests to hit the pavement. According to an eye witness, the driver was “trying to show off.” Nonetheless, all involved were transported to local hospitals for treatment.

Tragically, one boater was killed in a May 16, 2015 accident in Canyon Lake, Maricopa County. According to media reports, the operator of the vessel was navigating out of one cove and into another cove. During this time, he reportedly became distracted and allowed the boat to strike a large rock situated in the water. A 51-year old guest on the boat was killed in the collision, and all other guests were treated for injuries at local hospitals. According to preliminary police reports, alcohol may have been a factor in the deadly crash.


Boating accidents are heavily fact-driven, and no two cases are exactly alike. When an accident occurs, there are a number of factors at play including boater experience, weather, the condition of the water craft, and the conduct of other adjacent boaters. These facts can be difficult to sort out, leaving many victims wondering if a personal injury lawsuit is worth the time commitment.

At Wattel & York, we apply our civil litigation experience to our knowledge of boating accidents to help guide clients through the perceived labyrinth of obtaining fair compensation. Our team is trained to review police and Coast Guard reports, depose witnesses, gather surveillance footage, scan social media posts, interview experts, and examine the post-accident wreckage. If you have been involved in a boating accident in Arizona and suffered catastrophic injury, you can rest assured our personal injury lawyers will put our experience to work for your case.


Under Arizona law, victims of boating accident injuries have just two years to file a claim for negligence and/or property damage – so don’t delay! To learn more about your options for legal recourse and to speak to a reputable attorney about your case, please contact Wattel & York at 877-333-9545 today.


  1., 7 injured after boat flips in Lake Pleasant,
  2., 1 killed in boating accident at Canyon Lake,
  3., 2013 recreational boating statistics,

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