What You Need to Know About Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can be terrifying, devastating, and may result in loss of life. If you were harmed in a boating accident, or if your loved one’s death was due to someone else’s negligence, you will likely benefit from the services of an experienced boat accident attorney. Your lawyer can tell you whether or not you have the right to pursue a legal claim to recover compensation for your damages or the wrongful death of your family member.
As a victim of a boating mishap, you may be entitled to monetary compensation for your medical expenses, lost earnings, and pain and suffering. If you will need future medical treatment and are unable to return to work, you might be compensated for these, too. However, you will need the right legal assistance to maximize the value of your claim. Without the advice of an attorney experienced in boating and maritime law, you may inadvertently settle for a lower amount than your claim is worth.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
There are many ways a boating accident can happen. Some of the more common causes are as follows:
- Reckless or careless operation of a vessel. If the operator of the boat captain is careless or reckless in their actions, it can lead to a collision or an accident. If passengers are not sitting in the correct places, they may fall overboard when the vessel hits a wave. Collisions also occur when boat captains do not yield to another boat or violate low wake rules.
- Inexperience. Some boat operators just don’t have a lot of experience driving a boat solo. Without the proper skills, the captain could panic or make a wrong split-second decision, leading to an accident. Passengers may want to know as much as possible about the boat operator or owner before getting on a boat.
- Alcohol or substance use. A boat captain needs his or her wits about them and should refrain from imbibing or using another substance that causes impairment. Unfortunately, too many people drink and then think they are fine to operate a boat. A lot of accidents happen this way, resulting in significant injuries or wrongful death. Anyone who operates a boat under the influence and is charged with impaired boating may be fined thousands of dollars, face jail time, and have their license to operate a vessel suspended.
- Speeding. Speeding is an all-too-frequent common cause of boating accidents. Watercraft such as boats and jet skis need to always operate at a safe speed. Excessive speeds increase the risk of losing control and causing an accident.
- Inclement weather. An individual operating a boat should always check his or her safety equipment before embarking. There should be sufficient and working lifejackets on board. Attention should be paid to the weather forecast before boating. High winds can make boating treacherous. If there are small craft advisories—don’t go!
Boating accidents can lead to many types of injury and can be deadly. Concussion and traumatic brain injuries are common, as are broken bones, cuts, bruises, and spinal cord injuries. Don’t risk permanent damage disability—follow safe boating practices!