Boating Accidents: Part One

Any type of accident can be potentially frightening and almost always confusing. Many people are familiar with the procedures after a car accident, but what happens after a boating accident? Similar to auto accidents, boating collisions have the same potential for injury, and thus, resulting insurance claims. You may think that boating accidents are few and far between, and yet the Coast Guard documented 4,463 accidents involving recreational boating in 2016 that resulted in 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries, and an estimated $49 million dollars of property damage.

What is a Boating Accident?

Boating accidents are defined by the U.S. Coast Guard as one of the following occurrences:

  • Person(s) on a boat are injured beyond the capabilities of first aid or they’ve died.
  • Person(s) on a boat have gone missing and it is suspected they might have been injured or dead.
  • A vessel has been in an accident, i.e. it has caused or sustained damage.

These are some of the common questions surrounding this topic:

Is there ‘fault’ in a boating accident?

As in any other situation involving an accident, boating requires that operators to be familiar with the rules and regulations of safe boating. If a driver is operating his or her vessel in a manner that is deemed irresponsible or in such a way that they disregard the water traffic laws (right-of-way, following local shoreline laws, etc.) then they may be held responsible for the damages that occur.  You should consult with a boat accident attorney for more information.

What are the Common Causes or Contributors to Boating Accidents?

Accidents can occur for many reasons. A few of the common contributing factors are:

  • Inexperience, recklessness, or inattention by the operator
  • Alcohol
  • Passenger behavior
  • Hindered or limited vision
  • Poor weather/hazardous waters
  • Equipment failure

What Types of Boats are Usually Involved?

A large percentage of boating accidents involve powerboats.  To a lesser extent, jet skis and sailboat accidents can occur.  When it’s a combination, the worst injuries often occur to occupants of jet skis and sailboats due to the vulnerability and exposure that a smaller watercraft inherently provides.   

If you’ve been recently injured in a boating accident, contact a boating accident attorney or injury lawyer to find out if you’re entitled to further compensation. The Allen Law Firm can file an accident claim with your insurance company on your behalf after an accident. Call us today.

If you’ve been recently injured in a boating accident, contact a boating accident attorney or injury lawyer to find out if you’re entitled to further compensation. The Allen Law Firm can file an accident claim with your insurance company on your behalf after an accident. Call us today.