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Boating Accidents: Causes, Prevention, and Hiring a Boating Accident Lawyer

Boating is a popular leisure activity enjoyed by millions of people around the world. Although it can be a fun and exhilarating experience, it also carries risks, as accidents can happen on the water just as easily as they can on land. In fact, boating accidents are more common than you might think, with thousands occurring every year.

On this page, we provide a closer look at boating incidents, including the most common causes and how they can be prevented. We’ll also share some tips for staying safe on the water, so you can enjoy this exciting activity without putting yourself or others at risk.

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If you or a loved one were injured in a boating accident, you don’t have to handle the legal, medical, and financial battles on your own.

The following information will help you better understand liability and compensation in boating accidents, and provides resources to help you and your family choose a boating accident lawyer to help navigate the legal process of a boating accident lawsuit.

Our law firm is dedicated to securing compensation for people harmed at no fault of their own. We’re prepared to help you and your family through this difficult situation. Reach out to us for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

The amount of compensation that you can receive from a boating accident lawsuit depends on certain variables.

You can gain compensation for several different types of damages like:

  • Physical pain
  • Emotional suffering
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Lost wages
  • And more

Usually, more significant injuries result in a higher amount of compensation.

First, you should make sure that all passengers are safe and out of danger.

Once all passengers have been accounted for, you should dial 911 and contact emergency responders.

After first responders have arrived, they will help you report the incident and take you through the next steps.

Typically, the boat operator is the person who is most likely liable for any accident.

The driver is responsible for obeying the laws on the water and ensuring that safety protocols are being followed.

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Boating Accident Statistics

When it comes to boating, safety should be the top priority. Unfortunately, accidents happen, and it’s important to know the statistics surrounding them.

Here are some interesting facts and figures:

  • In 2021, there were 4,439 reported boating accidents in the United States.
  • These incidents resulted in 658 deaths, 2,641 injuries, and an estimated $67.5 million in property damage.
  • Alcohol use was a factor in 16% of all recreational boating fatalities.
  • Around 81% of fatal boating accidents are due to drowning, and 83% of those who died were not wearing a life jacket.
  • An estimated 75% of accidents occurred on boats where the operator did not receive safety instructions.

These statistics clarify that even though boating can be a great way to relax and have fun, safety should always be the top priority.

What Is the Primary Cause of Boating Fatalities?

Boating accidents can have devastating consequences and can occur in a split second. It’s essential to understand the common causes of these incidents to stop them from happening in the first place. The primary cause of many boating accidents are:

  • Operator inattention: Many accidents occur when operators lose focus and become distracted by passengers, phones, or intoxication. It is crucial to stay alert and focused while operating a boat.
  • Operator inexperience: Boating requires a high level of skill and experience. Those who lack knowledge and training on basic safety rules and navigation can cause accidents.
  • Improper lookout: Keeping a lookout is a crucial part of boating safety. Failing to watch for other boats, swimmers, and navigational hazards can result in a collision.
  • Machinery failure: Mechanical malfunctions, such as engine failure or steering problems, pose a significant risk of accidents.
  • Excessive speed: Speeding on the water can result in serious injuries or fatalities. At higher speeds, boats become harder to steer, and collisions become more severe.

Preventative measures like following safety regulations and regular boating education courses can ensure you’re prepared and equipped to handle emergency situations.

Where Do Most Boat Accidents Occur?

Boating is a popular recreational activity for many Americans. Whether you enjoy fishing, water skiing, or just taking a relaxing ride, there’s no doubt that being out on the water is a great way to spend a day.

However, risks are involved with any activity involving machines and the outdoors. With that said, here are the top five states with the highest boating accidents in 2021:

  1. Florida: 723 accidents;
  2. California: 454 accidents;
  3. Texas: 238 accidents;
  4. South Carolina: 184 accidents;
  5. North Carolina: 171 accidents.

All the states on the list have a significant number of waterways and boaters. It’s not surprising that Florida tops the list, as it has the highest number of registered boats in the country. However, that doesn’t mean that boaters in other states can afford to be less cautious.

Preventing Boat Accidents

Every day, boat accidents occur, resulting in injuries and even fatalities. Fortunately, boaters can take steps to prevent these accidents from happening. Here are some tips to keep you and your passengers safe on the water:

  • Always wear a life jacket: One of the most essential safety measures is a life jacket. It will keep you afloat and help you survive in case of an accident.
  • Follow safety regulations: Make sure you follow safety regulations such as speed limits, no wake zones, and avoid drinking while boating.
  • Take a boating safety course: These courses teach you everything you need to know about safety on the water, including navigation, safety equipment, and emergency procedures.
  • Check the weather forecast: Before heading out on the water, check the weather forecast. Sudden storms can be dangerous, and catching one by surprise could be deadly.
  • Maintain your boat: Regular maintenance and inspections may prevent mechanical failures and other issues that cause accidents.

With the proper knowledge and preparation, you’ll enjoy your time with peace of mind.

What To Do if You Are Involved in a Boating Accident

Boating is fun, but accidents can occur no matter how careful you are. If you ever find yourself involved in a boating accident, here’s what you can do:

  • Make sure everyone on board is safe: The safety and well-being of everyone on board should be your top priority in the event of an accident. Check for any injuries and make sure everyone is wearing a life jacket.
  • Assess the damage: Determine the extent of the damage to the boat and the surrounding area. Move it to a safe location to prevent further damage if necessary.
  • Call for help: Contact the Coast Guard, Marine Patrol, or local authorities, depending on the severity of the accident. They will be able to provide assistance and help you file a report.
  • Take photos and gather information: It’s important to document the accident by taking pictures of the damage and any injuries sustained. And remember to collect contact information from any witnesses.
  • Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company of the accident and provide them with all the necessary information.
  • Create an accident report: Reporting your boating accident to the U.S. Coast Guard will help them track any dangerous trends, which could ultimately help save lives.

Remember, prevention is always better than the cure. Make sure you’re following all the safety guidelines and regulations when boating so that you can minimize the risk of an accident happening in the first place.

Legal Options for Boat Accident Victims

When someone is involved in a boat crash due to the negligence of another party, they have legal options to pursue compensation for their losses, including representation by an attorney.

Here are some of the legal options available to boat accident victims:

  • Personal injury lawsuit: Victims of boat accidents can file a personal injury lawsuit against the party responsible for the accident. The lawsuit seeks financial payment for damages, including medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. It’s important to note that mitigating injuries can reduce the amount of compensation that is awarded.
  • Wrongful death lawsuit: If a boating accident results in the death of a loved one, the survivors can file a wrongful death lawsuit. The lawsuit seeks compensation for financial losses such as funeral expenses, loss of earning capacity, and loss of companionship.
  • Admiralty and maritime law: Admiralty and maritime law is a specialized area that governs accidents that occur on waterways. Victims of boat accidents can seek compensation under this law if their accident occurred on navigable waters.
  • Insurance claims: Boat accident victims can file insurance claims to cover their losses. This may include lawsuits filed with the responsible party’s or victim’s insurance policy.

It is also important to know the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit, which may vary by state. An experienced lawyer can help victims understand and navigate their legal options to seek the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one have been injured in a boat accident, don’t hesitate to seek legal advice.

Hiring a Boating Accident Lawyer

Boating accident lawsuits can be time-consuming and complex.

An experienced boating accident lawyer will help you navigate the legal system to ensure your case is as strong as possible.

This will increase your chances of a successful boating accident lawsuit and maximize your potential settlement.

Building a strong attorney-client relationship is important, so make sure your lawyer is easily accessible and will keep you updated on your case.

Before hiring a lawyer for your boating accident lawsuit, it’s important to ask:

  • Do you have experience with boating accident lawsuits? If so, what was the outcome?
  • How do I pay for your legal services?
  • Will you keep in contact throughout the case?

Hiring a personal injury lawyer can be a difficult decision, so be sure that you ask any questions you have before choosing a boating accident lawyer to represent you.

TorHoerman Law: Your Boating Accident Lawyers

Do not hesitate to seek legal representation from a boating accident lawyer right away.

Your state’s statute of limitation laws limits the amount of time that you have to file a lawsuit after a boating accident occurs.

You should also do everything in your power to mitigate injury and additional costs associated with your injuries – one of the first steps to mitigating injuries is to seek proper medical treatment right away, regardless of the perceived severity of your injuries.

If you or a loved one have been in a boating accident and wants to guarantee you receive the compensation you deserve for your pain and suffering, it’s important to seek out an attorney experienced in both personal injury law and boat accident law.

At TorHoerman Law, we have a network of boating accident lawyers available to help you successfully file your boating accident lawsuit.

Our law firm offers free, zero-obligation case consultations for all of our potential clients, and our legal services are based on contingency fees.

This means none of our clients pay until we have helped them receive compensation.

Contact the legal team at TorHoerman today to learn more and for a free consultation.

Tor Hoerman

Tor Hoerman

Owner & Attorney - TorHoerman Law


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