Over four thousand people are the victims of a boating accident injury every year in the United States. Another 750 people are killed each year as a result of a boating accident. These boating accident injury cases also total over thirty-nine million dollars in property damage. Of those who are killed as a result of their boating accident injury, seven of every ten drown. Eighty percent of these victims were not wearing their personal flotation devices at the time of the accident. It is estimated that almost 500 lives could be saved each year if all water enthusiasts used lifejackets.
The most common types of boats involved in boating accident injury cases are open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats. In the last few years, boating accident injury occurrences involving open watercraft and personal watercraft such as jet skis have increased.
Boating Accident Injury
Under federal law, a boating accident injury must be filed with the Coast Guard or state authorities and be reported to the Boating Accident Report Database system. Boating accidents involving the death or disappearance of any individual and any injury that requires medical attention exceeding basic first aid are required to be reported within 48 hours. Boating accidents that only involve property or boat damages exceeding $500 must be reported within ten days of the incident.
A boating accident injury can be caused by grounding, capsizing, collisions with other moving or non-moving vessels or fixed objects, falls or ejection overboard, fire or explosion, skier misfortunes, machinery malfunctions, sinking, and carbon monoxide asphyxiation. Most cases of boating accident injury are a consequence of boat operator negligence. Over forty percent of boating accident injury cases involve d a boat operator who was under the influence of alcohol. Over eighty percent of negligent boat operators have never taken a boating safety course.
Boat Operator Negligence
If you are the victim of a boating accident injury, you have the right to recover the damages you have suffered. As with any personal injury case, it must be proved that the boat operator’s negligence was the cause of the boating accident injury. Once s/he is proven liable, the insurance agencies or court system will decide how much compensation you will receive for your injuries, medical costs, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
The laws governing boating accident injury cases vary by location and circumstance, therefore it may be in your best interest to speak with an attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options. Keep in mind that there are usually time limits that restrict the amount of time you have to file a boating accident injury lawsuit.
Boating Accident Lawsuit
There are over twelve million numbered recreational boats registered in the United States. In 2002 alone, almost six thousand boating accidents resulted in 750 fatalities, over four thousand injuries, and over 39 million dollars in property damage. Alcohol is involved in over one-third of these accidents. In most fatal boating accidents, victims drown. Many who drown are not wearing their lifejackets, and it is estimated that 470 lives could have been saved in 2002 alone, had the victims been wearing their personal floatation devices.
Most boating accidents are due to operator negligence, inattention, carelessness, recklessness, inexperience, or excessive speeding. Nearly eighty percent of boating accident fatalities are caused by the negligence of an operator who has not received boating safety instruction. The most common type of boating accident involves a collision with another watercraft or a fixed object. Boat capsizing falls overboard, and skier mishaps, are also leading causes of injury in boating accidents.
Report the Accident
A report must be filed with the US Coast Guard or other state authorities when a boating accident occurs under the following circumstances: there is a fatality involved, medical treatment for injured victims exceeds basic first aid, there is more than $500 worth of property damages, or if anyone disappears as a result of the accident. Boating Accident Reports must be filed within 48 hours if the injury is involved, and within ten days if only property damage occurred. Failure to report may lead to a boating accident lawsuit. Failures to remain at the scene of the accident or to provide first aid when necessary are also grounds for a potential boating accident lawsuit.
Individuals who have been injured in this type of accident may file a boating accident lawsuit to seek compensation from the boat operator whose negligence caused the accident. Under federal and state laws, the victim of a boating accident has the right to seek monetary reparations for personal injury, medical costs, loss of wages, pain, and suffering, and property damages. There are generally statutes of limitation which govern how long you have to file a boating accident lawsuit.
If you think you may be eligible to file a boating accident lawsuit, you may wish to contact a boating accident attorney who can advise you of your legal rights and options. If a fatality was involved in the accident, the victim’s family may also have the right to file a wrongful death boating accident lawsuit to recover damages. The laws regarding boating accident lawsuits vary from state to state and in some circumstances Maritime or Admiralty law may apply. Because the laws governing boating accident lawsuits vary by location and circumstance, it is important to contact an expert legal professional who is trained to help you file your boating accident lawsuit.