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Boating is often thought of as the ultimate leisure activity, offering individuals the ability to explore the open water and participate in unique recreational activities such as water skiing. The National Marine Manufacturers Association reported that US boat sales reached a 13-year high in 2020, which had not been seen since the 2008 recession (spurred in part by those looking for outdoor entertainment during the COVID-19 pandemic). In addition to new purchases, the online boating rental platform GetMyBoat reported 700% growth in 2021.
Unfortunately, this increased interest in boating has also brought a rising number of related accidents. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, hiring the right boat injury lawyer for your case can be critical in obtaining proper compensation.
How common are boating accidents?
In recent years there has been a noticeable spike in boating accidents. The US Coast Guard reported 767 boating fatalities in 2020, a 25% increase from the previous year. Overall, there has been a 26% increase in boating accidents reports, and a 25% increase of non-fatal injuries.
What is the primary cause of boating accidents?
One of the first steps of boat safety is knowing what causes these accidents in the first place. In many cases, the primary cause of boating accidents is operator error. As with any motor vehicle, boats require that the driver has been properly trained in its operation, and it is essential that the operator is paying attention to their surroundings at all times.
Operator error can be a result of any of the following reasons:
- Improper training
- Lack of experience
- Distractions such as phone and other passengers
According to the Coast Guard, 77% of fatal boating accidents in 2020 involved a boat operator who had not received any training. What this training entails varies by state. For example, Alabama is the only state that requires recreational boaters to have a boating license, and in California only people 40 years old or younger are required to take the boating course
Regardless of your state’s particular guidelines, ensuring that the boat’s operator has gone through the necessary training can greatly reduce your risk of a boating accident.
Additional causes of boating accidents to be aware of include:
- Excessive speeding
- Rapidly changing weather
- Operating while under the use of drugs or alcohol
Can I file a boating accident lawsuit?
Boating in the open water always carries the risk of accident, injury or death. Any of these unfortunate incidents are sufficient grounds for the pursuit of a lawsuit, which (if successful) can help cover expenses stemming from medical bills, loss of income from being unable to work, or to compensate for any pain or suffering experienced as a result of the accident.
Physical injury is not the only reason to file a lawsuit, but this can vary by state. For example, in California, a boating accident that results in property damage is grounds for filing a lawsuit against the responsible party.
It’s important to remember that filing a boating accident lawsuit is not the same as filing an insurance claim. Your attorney should have specific knowledge and experience working with victims of boating accidents. This is why it is beneficial to work with a skilled boat injury lawyer who can help you navigate this process and reach a fair settlement.
Where can I find a boat accident lawyer near me?
If involved in a boating accident causing serious bodily injury, hiring the right boating accident attorney for your case is crucial. In the majority of cases, obtaining proper compensation after a boating accident is not possible without the help of a knowledgeable attorney. If you (or a loved one) have been injured in a boating accident, seeking the guidance of an experienced personal injury firm like Avrek Law is the first step toward receiving the compensation you deserve.
Our team has more than 50 years of combined experience resolving cases in favor of clients who were wrongly injured, recovering more than $1 billion in compensation for injury victims in over 25,000 cases. We’re here to help – contact us for a free boating accident lawsuit consultation to learn more!