High temperatures and low gas prices contributed to a rise in the number of boaters on area lakes in recent years, and the number of boating related accidents increased accordingly. Victims of boating accidents sought an injury attorney in dozens of incidents in 2015, seeking compensation for damages to their vehicles and for personal injuries.
Injuries By The Numbers
Boating accidents can cause serious health problems that require the services of an injury lawyer. The most common injuries include:
- Lacerations and Contusions (39%)—Also known as cuts and bruises, lacerations and contusions are by far the most reported boating injuries. These injuries typically occur when one boat strikes another and drives an unsuspecting rider into a hard surface inside the victim’s boat.
- Head and Neck Injury (20%)—Any sudden movement of the head and neck may result in damage to the soft tissues under the skin. An injury attorney may seek compensation for whiplash and other frequently occurring injuries.
- Back Injuries (14%)—Back sprains and strains occur when a violent collision or incident causes ligaments to separate or tear in the victim’s body. Back injuries often happen to boaters who are seated at the time of the accident.
- Drowning (4%)—In the most tragic instances, a boating accident results in death through drowning or other means. At that point, the claim moves beyond a personal injury case to a wrongful death claim.
Operator error is the leading cause of boating accidents, either through willful negligence or operator mistake. The latest numbers show the most frequent operator related accidents to be caused by:
- Inexperience and Inattention (38%)—Inexperience and inattention cause more accidents than any other error. Boaters lack the experience to adjust to changing water conditions or fail to respond properly to a boating emergency.
- Reckless Behavior (24%)—Even the most experienced boaters are subject to reckless behavior, such as speeding or bringing the boat too close to the shore or other water hazard.
- Drunken Boating (21%)—Alcohol is a cause of 21 percent of total accidents, but accounts for 43% of boating related deaths.
- Passenger Behavior (6%)—Rowdy passengers distract boat pilots, and may be partially responsible for related accidents.
A day on the lake is a great way to spend time with friends and family, but that good time can turn to tragedy when an accident occurs. An injury attorney may be necessary to secure fair compensation for all victims involved.