Boating Accidents

At a time, when recreational boating is at an all-time high, the threat of fatal boating accidents serve as a harsh reminder of the importance of education and safety. Every year, boating enthusiasts fill our nation's lakes and sea lines with millions and millions of boats. According to the United States Coast Guard, a total of 12, 764,616 recreational boats were registered in 2003. Of these nearly 13 million boats, 5,438 boating accidents were reported. These accidents were the cause of 3,888 injuries, 703 fatalities, and over $40,000,000 in property damage. The most common types of boating accidents occur when a passenger falls overboard, or when two boats run into each other. These two situations account for over half of all boating deaths. Sadly, 70% of the people who die in boating accidents die of drowning. And, nearly 90% of all of these boaters who drowned were not wearing life jackets or any form of personal flotation device. This means that the vast majority of these deaths were easily preventable. Perhaps the greatest tragedy is the fact that 60% of boating fatalities involving children under the age of 12 report drowning as the cause of death.

Causes of Boating Accidents

According to the United States Coast Guard, the leading causes of all boating accidents are the result of human error. At the time of most accidents, drivers are usually not paying attention, drinking, acting recklessly, operating at dangerous speeds, and/or they are inexperienced boat operators. In 2003, 80% of all accidents occurred because the driver had not been educated with basic boating safety instructions. Alcohol accounted for over 30% of accidents in 2003. While most accidents can be accredited to human error, manufacturer defects in the boat or boating equipment has also been known to be the cause of boating accidents. It is vital that each boat has enough life jackets for every person onboard, and even more importantly, it is vital that these people are wearing these jackets at all times. It is also, important for the driver to remember that he/she is responsible for everyone onboard.

Legal Action - What To Do After a Boating Accident

If you are suffering with an injury or death caused by a boating accident that was not your fault, it is very important to seek the compensation you deserve. If boater recklessness or manufacturer defaults are to blame for your pain and suffering, then you should waste no time in consulting a lawyer to handle your case. Your attorney could work to get compensation that would cover bills related to the accident and injuries. Compensation can also be demanded if the injury caused a loss of earnings in you or your family's income. Wrongful death suits can be filed if you feel that your loved one's death was the fault of another. If you or a loved one has recently been involved in boating accident and wish to consult an attorney, there are important steps to take to ensure yourself the best chance for receiving your due compensation. You should immediately see a doctor or medical specialist, even if you feel fine, medical inspections can serve as vital records in the legal process and they can make sure that your injuries are not more serious than you were aware of. The next step to take is the accumulation of all records and papers dealing with the accident and injuries. It is vital that you collect dated records that describe the location of the accident, the people involved, witnesses, the manufacturing specifications of the vehicle itself, and your own copies of insurance information. If the local law enforcement arrived at the scene of the accident, obtain their records, as they might prove that someone else was at fault due to reckless behavior, drinking, etc. Creating an organized portfolio of your evidence is highly important and will help to accelerate your legal actions. It is important to take immediate legal action, as many states have a statute of limitations for filing lawsuits dealing with boating accidents. Finally, it is important that you refuse to talk about the details of your accident/injury with anyone and never sign a document related to your accident/injury without your lawyer present.