Boating Accidents

What should I do if I am injured in a Boating Accident?

Personal Injury Claims and Liability After a Boat Accident got you feeling like you can bearly keep your head above water?

What should I do if I am injured in a boating or marina accident? 
Generally, just as in a car accident, persons are at fault for a boating accident if they act negligently. Most boating accidents occur during the day, on inland waters, with good weather and light winds.

What are the most dangerous boating accident types?

  • Collisions with other vessels is most dangerous for boaters: The highest percentage of boating accident deaths and injuries involve crashes between two watercraft.
  • Collisions with fixed objects can cause serious damages: When boaters collide with buoys, rocks, jetties, and other immovable objects, passengers are often seriously hurt.
  • Flooding and swamping of a boat can happen in good weather from other boaters or marina activities: A boat is swamped by water coming in over the side, often from large waves. Wake from a larger boat can swamp and damage small recreational vessels.
  • Grounding can come out of nowhere and escalate quickly with high damages and risk to passengers and to the vessel: Grounding occurs when the boat runs aground on a reef, rock, or pilings. Grounding can cause enough hull damage to sink the craft.
  • Overboard falls: Passengers can fall overboard because of unexpected changes in speed, or movement of the boat.

 

What are the Top Ten Causes of Boat Accidents?

  • Operator Inattention is the leading cause of boating accidents. Just as on land, when a driver is talking on a cell phone, taking photographs, or texting, they’re not paying attention to where they are going.
  • Improper Lookout: Boaters must be vigilant. Boat operators are required to keep an eye out for hazards that are common on the water.
    Lack of Experience: Most states require boat operators to be licensed after passing a boat safety course. Unlicensed, inexperienced boaters are a leading cause of boat accident deaths and injuries.
  • Equipment Failure on a watercraft can be a serious safety risk to all both on the craft and those around the boat: Boat machinery failure can include malfunctioning motors, propellers, lights, steering, or other mechanical malfunctions, some failures are due to negligent watercraft maintenance and some are due to manufacturing negligence.
  • Intoxication is always an act of negligence on the water just as it is on the road: Alcohol use is the primary cause of boating accident deaths, involving both intoxicated boat operators and passengers and should always be considered a serious situation.
  • Excessive Speed while moving on any body of water: Speed is always dangerous on a body of water. Maneuvering by turning too sharply or sudden attempts to stop can result in passengers falling to the floor or overboard or becoming hurt in the process of attempting to manage their position on the watercraft.
  • Violating Navigation Rules is negligent regardless of knowledge of the rules: Navigation rules on the water are as important as traffic rules on the road. Boat operators must know when to yield, how to pass other vessels, and much more.
  • Weather both temperate and extreme can cause a wide variety of risks: Boating in bad weather is not only dangerous but may be a violation of navigation rules governing boats by size and capacity.
  • Hazardous Waters from materials in the water, flooding and changes in the pattern of flow: Channel signs, buoys, and various “water markers” designate the areas where commercial and private boats can safely travel. Traveling in dangerous waters puts the boater and passengers in peril.
  • Wakes and Waves from other boats and water activity or construction: The force of natural waves and wakes from other vessels can easily swamp or capsize recreational boats.