Boating can be the ultimate relaxing, therapeutic, and calming escape from daily boring routines. But this relaxing escape could turn into a terrifying nightmare when an accident happens. A startling statistic from the U.S. Coast Guard showed that the fatality rate in boating accidents was 5.3% per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. In Massachusetts, a boat operator operating under the influence led to passengers falling into the water and one woman severing her arm when she came in contact with the boat’s propeller. In South Carolina, two boats collided on a lake one night, leaving two people dead and three hospitalized. In Louisiana, two university students were violently catapulted out of their boat when a locknut suddenly came loose from the boat’s steering . In Florida, two people were ejected from a 20-foot boat, killing one in the process.
Boating accidents happen every year, especially with the increase of registered recreational vessels. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in 2015, there were 11,867,049 registered recreational vessels in the U.S., up 0.5% from the year before. In that same year, there were 4158 reported boating accidents, 14% of which resulted in deaths. About 71% of boating accidents occurred where the operator did not receive boating safety instruction. In terms of the types of boats more likely involved in fatal boating accidents, open motorboats account for 46% of deaths, kayaks at 12%, and canoes at 11%. The primary cause for boating accidents may include, but are not limited to:
- Operating under the influence.
- Excessive speed.
- Failure to vent.
- Improper lookout.
- Restricted vision.
- Violation of navigation rules.
- Machinery Failure.
- Inadequately trained operators.
- Operator distraction.
- Inclement or unsafe weather conditions.
- Fire on the boat.
- Operating in hazardous waters.
- Equipment failure.
- Operating in congested waters.
- Sharp turns.
For more information on boating safety, prevention, and statistics, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Massachusetts Boat and Recreation Vehicle Safety Bureau are great resources to refer to. If you or a loved one was harmed in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. Compensation may include but are not limited to:
- Medical Bills (including current and future medical expenses).
- Loss Wages from the Incapacity to Work.
- Loss Earning Capacity.
- Pain and Suffering.
Here at Mitcheson & Lee, our personal injury attorneys will act quickly to collect evidence before it is compromised and to get you the compensation you so rightfully deserve. Boating accidents could be complex to litigate, often times involving issues of boat or equipment defects, various liable parties, jurisdiction, and insurance disputes. Our experienced attorneys understand how to navigate these ropes to support your claim, and aim to get you the maximum amount of recovery.
At Mitcheson & Lee, our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys are prepared to represent your claim. Your health and safety are our top priorities. The goal at our firm is to obtain justice and maximum compensation for our clients and their loved ones. If you or someone you know was injured in a boating accident due to the negligence of someone else, please contact Mitcheson & Lee at (617) 939-4388 or (781) 223-3635 to schedule a complimentary consultation.