Recreational boating is fun and relaxing. Being out on the blue waves under the clear sky after a long workweek in the city can help a person enjoy life again. However, it is important to remember that the water is inherently dangerous, and when boating accidents occur, the consequences can be severe. Unfortunately, serious injuries and drowning are all too common when boating, and it can be a difficult endeavor for victims to receive just compensation for their losses without the help of an experienced boating accident attorney at Rizio Law Firm.
What Is a Boating Accident?
While boating is not as regulated as driving is, federal and state laws are in place to help reduce the risk of crashes, property damage, injuries, and death. The following are all considered boating accidents, and when an incident occurs, it must be reported to state authorities:
- Someone in a vessel is injured and requires professional medical treatment
- Someone in a boat dies or disappears
- The boat is damaged beyond repair
- Property damage exceeds $2,000
Boating Accident Statistics
Boating accidents are more prevalent than most people believe. According to the data from compiled by the U.S. Coast Guard, a total of 4,158 accidents involving recreational boating occurred in 2015. In these accidents, 2,613 injuries were recorded, 626 people died, and $42 million of property was damaged.
Compared to the previous year, the number of accidents increased by 2.3 percent, the number of deaths increased by 2.6 percent and the fatality rate rose from 5.2 to 5.3 deaths per 100,000 registered boats.
The three types of vessels most prone to accidents are motorboats at 45 percent of incidents, personal watercraft at 19 percent and cabin motorboats at 17 percent. Open motorboats also account for the most boating deaths at 46 percent, followed by kayaks at 12 percent and canoes at 11 percent.
Other notable statistics from the 2015 U.S. Coast Guard report are as follows:
- Among boating fatalities, 76 percent drowned, and 85 percent were not wearing a lifejacket or personal floatation device (PFD).
- Propeller accidents accounted for 150 injuries and 27 deaths.
- Eight out of 10 people who drowned were in boats less than 21 feet long.
Types of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can happen in a number of ways, but the most common are as follows:
- Collision with another boat
- Collision with a stationary or submerged object
- Hitting the wake of another boat
- Wave contact
Causes of Boating Accidents
The U.S. Coast Guard also keeps tabs on the leading causes of boating accidents as determined by state and local authorities. Alcohol use is the leading contributor in boating fatalities while 70 percent of accidents are caused by human error or negligence. Other top causes of boating accidents are as follows:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Equipment failure
- Excessive speed
- Ignoring safety rules
Contact a Boating Accident Attorney
One of the worst issues surrounding boating accidents is that they can be extremely complex and involve a wide variety of factors. Discovering what, exactly, happened and who is at fault can be a daunting, nearly impossible task. However, an experienced boating accident attorney knows just where to look and what questions to ask to find out who is liable.
When you hire a boating accident attorney at Rizio Law Firm, your case will be handled with the compassion and professionalism it deserves. We will work tirelessly from the moment your case is accepted and will work hard to get you compensation for your losses.
For a free consultation with a knowledgeable and reliable boating accident attorney complete the form on this page, or call toll free (888) 292-8888.