Boating accidents are common and can be serious at times. Many people are injured due to boating accidents on an annual basis. These injuries can occur from lack of care, improper operating maneuvers, intoxication, lack of experience or negligence of the driver or operator of the boat. Injuries can be devastating. Considering the speed and accident conditions, injured parties can suffer serious to fatal injuries. Anything from drowning or severe brain injuries. If you find the information in this article helpful, contact our offices for a free case evaluation.
Boat Injury Statistics
Annual boat injury statistics revealed by the Coast Guard show a decrease in injuries, nonetheless occurrences persist. Some boat injury statistics are as follows.
- In 2013 there were 4062 recreational boating accidents. Of these accidents, 13% resulted in fatal injuries;
- Recreational boating accidents account for approximately $39,000,000 in damages to property annually. This figure includes only property damage and does not include personal injury claims;
- Most fatal injuries resulted from drowning, which could have been avoided had proper flotation devices been provided;
- Drunk driving or BUI is considered a primary issue in accidents from operating a vessel or recreational watercraft;
- Some of the top contributing factors resulting in the accidents include lack of operator attention, improper lookout, lack of experience by the boat operator, failure of the boat machinery, excessive speed, violation of navigation rules, alcohol use or weather conditions.
Liability for Boat Injuries
Many injured parties often inquire as to who is liable for the injuries. Liability can depend on a number of factors. For instance, if the boat was defective, it is possible to hold the manufacturer of the vessel or any commercial reseller of the watercraft liable for your injuries. If the injury resulted from the negligence of another boat operator, then that driver will be held liable.
Boats much like any other vehicle are required to adhere to many of the same rules and regulations regarding the operation of the vehicle. When operators fail to adhere to the “rules of the road”, they may be held liable for injuries sustained.
Common rules include understanding navigation signals, how to engage in meeting or crossing situations and proper floatation device requirements. When a boat operator fails to adhere to these requirements or procedures they may be liable for injuries sustained.
Maritime laws require certain safety devices when the vessel in under 16 feet in length, they include; fire extinguishers, backfire flame arrestor, muffling systems, ventilation systems and sound signaling devices. Boat or vessel operators are required to keep these devices in good working order and in a visible place.
When a boat operator fails in their duty to meet these requirements and injury occurs, they may be held liable.
Duty of Vessel Operator Causing Injury
Boating laws impose certain duties on boat operators. California Boating Law 656 imposes a duty on the boat operator to render assistance when they are responsible for the accident. Section 656 states that it is the duty of the party causing the accident to provide help when they are responsible or the party causing the injury.
If the accident caused injury, it is the duty of the operator to provide his name, address and all other reasonable information and provide assistance. There are many requirements imposed on those who are responsible for the injury. It is important to know your rights. Speak with a qualified boat accident attorney to better understand your injuries.
Boat Laws in California
There are a number of rules and regulations pertaining to boat or vessel operation in California. Most of these rules and regulations are not known or followed. Click here for a comprehensive list of California Boating Laws.
Most commonly it is the passenger who is injured in a boat accident. These passengers who sit in the back of the boat or in the passenger seat generally suffer the most severe injuries. Many are often left without proper representation or do not pursue their rights. In turn they are left with piles of medical bills and insufficient funds to satisfy these cost. Even worse, many fail or neglect to seek treatment for their injuries and end up living with the pain and suffering for years.
Passengers are required to be cared for and taken care of. Boat operators owe a certain duty of care to these passengers. When they fail to provide proper care or fail to follow safety guidelines they will be held liable. If you are a passenger in a boat involved in a accident contact the Los Angeles boat accident lawyers at Farzam Law for a free case evaluation.
Common Boating Injuries
Due to the fact that boat injuries occur on water, there are a number of different injuries which may occur. Injured parties fail to understand or appreciate the extent of their injuries. They may lack the ability to understand the depth thereof.
When you have been involved in a boat accident, common injuries can include:
- Brain injuries; these injuries can occur from carbon monoxide poisoning or lack of oxygen to the brain;
- Spine injuries;
- Severe neck injuries;
- Facial lacerations;
- Traumatic eye injuries;
- Drowning fatalities.
While this is not a comprehensive list, it outlines some of the more common occurrences. If you have been hurt as a result of a boat accident, contact us today for a free case evaluation. We have experience in handling these types of cases.
Contact our offices today for a free case evaluation.