What Factors Can Cause a Boating Accident
In 2018, the Coast Guard recorded 4,135 recreational boating accidents across the United States. Boating is a fun activity for the whole family, but every boat owner should remain alert and attentive while driving. If you or a loved one has been tragically injured in a boating accident, contact Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., for legal advice about how to proceed.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Some easily mitigated common factors in boating accidents include operator inattention, operator inexperience, and boating under the influence.
Alcohol use is often a significant factor in boating accidents and can leave the driver open to liability suits. Boat operators with alcohol in their system are more likely to keep an improper lookout and fail to see oncoming traffic before it’s too late.
It may be tempting to speed through the water, but excessive speed was among the top five contributing factors to accidents in 2018. Observe all speed limits and regulations every time you operate a boat.
Even the most attentive, best-prepared boaters can be struck by catastrophe. If the weather conditions change for the worse, return to shore as quickly and safely as possible. Boating in hazardous waters might look exciting on TV to thrillseekers, but it can have disastrous consequences.
Life jackets should always be worn by all passengers, especially during a storm. Remember, life jackets are not one size fits all. Children and babies require smaller sizes. Life jackets for adults will not keep a child afloat.
Tips for Mitigating the Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Equipment failure can happen to anyone. Be sure to inspect all your equipment before each trip, with extra attention after winter or a long period of non-use. The first few times you take your boat out, bring an experienced boater with you. They can help you inspect your boat and assist you until you have a few boating trips under your belt.
Everyone is inexperienced at the start, but there are ways to improve before stepping foot on a boat. Accidents and injuries occur less often if the boat operator has participated in a boating safety course.
Before leaving shore, double-check the weather radar. Some weather systems can form quickly, and even if the radar shows clear skies the night before, the forecast could change. While on the water, keep an eye on the skies for sudden wind changes and dark clouds.
What to Do After a Boating Accident
Involvement in a boating accident can be a traumatic ordeal, especially if you or a loved one is injured or killed. In the immediate aftermath of the accident, call the authorities and make sure everyone receives medical care if necessary.
If you were the boat operator when the accident occurred, you must report the accident to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources as soon as possible. If someone was seriously injured or killed, you need to inform the Department within 48 hours of the accident.
Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer
In the days following the accident, you will want to investigate all your legal options thoroughly. To ensure that you are aware of your rights, contact a law firm with extensive experience handling boating accident cases.
Especially if required medical care, consider a law office that also has experience with personal injury cases. Eileen Kroll, a senior attorney with Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., is an experienced and capable lawyer who also has years of experience as a registered nurse.
Register for a Free Consultation
If you’ve recently been involved in a boating accident, call (866) 868-3779 to set up a free consultation. At Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C., you can expect a smooth and easy attorney-client relationship and a drive to get you the best settlement outcome possible.
Boating accidents can leave lasting scars, both physically and monetarily. By choosing a trusted and experienced boat accident lawyer, you can start on your journey toward healing.