Recreational boating is a pastime enjoyed by millions of Americans each year. But what is supposed to be a pleasurable activity can quickly become dangerous--even life threatening--when accidents occur. Distracted or intoxicated drivers, passengers who are goofing around, inexperienced boaters and adverse weather conditions can all lead to accidents and injuries. If you've been hurt or a family member has been killed in a power boat, sail boat or personal watercraft accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Under state personal injury laws, the person responsible for the accident can be required to pay damages if that individual was acting in a reckless or negligent manner. And the boat's manufacturer or retailer may be held responsible if the accident was a result of a product defect. A personal injury attorney with experience representing clients injured in boating accidents can help determine if you have a claim under your state's personal injury or products liability laws, or under federal admiralty and maritime laws.