Boat accidents can involve all types of seafaring vessels, including boats, ships, ferries, and personal watercrafts like jet skis. The United States Coast Guard counted close to 5,000 boat accidents in 2006. The operator and owner of a boat have a responsibility to take every precaution to decrease the chances of an accident and injury to passengers, swimmers, and others around the watercraft. When they do not exercise an appropriate level of concern and caution, tragedy can occur, and people can be hurt or killed.
Common Boating Accidents
The most common boating accidents involve collisions with other vessels; more than 1,400 such collisions were reported to the Coast Guard in 2006. Collisions between two or more vessels can cause irreparable harm and damage, and unfortunately occur much too often. Other commonly reported boating accidents include:
- collision with a stationary object
- passenger falling overboard
- injury to a waterskier or swimmer
Causes of and Contributing Factors in Boating Accidents
The majority of boating accidents are caused by inattentive, inexperienced, or intoxicated operators who speed or pilot recklessly. When an operator fails to exercise caution in operating his or her vessel and an accident results, he or she could be held liable for any injuries or wrongful deaths.
In other cases, a defect in the watercraft could cause significant damage and bodily harm to a passenger. The manufacturer or seller of the boat could be held responsible for any accidents that occur as a result of the defect.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Sustaining an injury in a boating accident can be debilitating and devastating, especially when the accident was caused by the negligent or careless actions of the operator or owner of another vessel. While the injured party or parties attend to immediate matters like medical attention and rehabilitation, an attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the incident, research maritime laws, and gather facts to build a case against the party responsible for the accident.
Contact a Boating Accident Attorney for More Information
If you have been injured in a collision with another vessel, or another type of boating accident, you could be entitled to compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Contact an experienced attorney in your area through our nationwide legal network.