Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of the summer in the United States, and over the next few months millions of Americans will head to our country’s waterways to participate in some type of recreational boating activity.
While boating and other water-based activities can be a fun way to relax and take time off, serious boating accidents can and do happen. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,291 accidents involving recreational boats and watercraft in 2017. As a result of those accidents, 2,629 people were injured, 658 people were killed, and approximately $46 million worth of property was damaged.
If you were injured in a boating accident and suspect you haven’t been treated fairly when making your personal injury accident claim, contact Linville Johnson to learn more about your options. Those affected and their families may be able to file a lawsuit and recover compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney.
We offer free, no obligation consultations, and we can help you determine whether you have a claim. You can contact us by filling out the form on this page, calling us at 501-777-7777, or emailing us at [email protected]
What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents?
It’s always best to understand what might cause an accident to occur so that an accident can be prevented. Accidents involving recreational boats and other watercraft are caused by a number of factors, and according to the U.S. Coast Guard, operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, machinery failure and alcohol use were the top five factors which contributed to fatalities involving recreational boats in 2017.
What Kinds of Vessels Are Typically Involved in Boating Accidents?
The most common vessels on America’s waterways include:
- Personal watercraft
- Canoes and kayaks
- Rafts or other floating devices
Motorboats, personal watercraft and cabin motorboats were the most common vessels involved in reported accidents, and the vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats, kayaks and personal watercraft.
What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Boating Accident?
If you are injured in an accident involving a recreational boat or other type of watercraft, it is important that you get emergency help as soon as possible. Call 911 if you can or have someone call them for you if you are unable to make the call. If you are injured, emergency personnel can take care of you, even if the injures don’t appear to be serious at first. Once you have been evaluated, you can then be transported to a hospital for further help if necessary.
In addition to medical care, it is important that you document the accident as much as possible. Contact the local police department or law enforcement agency responsible for that particular body of water as soon as possible, take photographs of the accident scene, and allow witnesses the opportunity to provide a statement. The more information you have about the incident, the more information you have should you decide to hire a lawyer and pursue a claim.
How Can an Attorney Help?
If you or someone you love is injured or killed as a result of recreational boating accident, you may be able to pursue a claim and recover damages. Like other injury-related accidents, it is a good idea to contact a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases involving recreational boats and other types of watercraft.
An attorney who specializes in boating accidents can interview witnesses, review any evidence from the scene of the accident (such as video or photo evidence), read through police and accident reports, talk to medical staff and recreate the accident scene, if necessary.
In most cases, there is no cost to speak with an attorney. Personal injury attorneys will often answer any questions you might have, and if you decide to pursue a claim, they will then help guide you through the legal process.