Summer Boating Accidents: Tips for Legal Liability and Prevention
As summer begins, more Americans head to the lakes and oceans to suntan, swim, and go boating. While spending the day on a boat can be a lot of fun, it is important to make sure you follow proper boating safety standards to assure your safety, that of others in the boat, as well as nearby swimmers.
Recreational boating accidents can happen unexpectedly and it is important to take precautions to prevent any injuries or death. In the unfortunate case of an accident, it is helpful to know where your liability begins and ends.
Boating Under the Influence
One of the best ways to prevent boating accidents is to never operate one while intoxicated. In addition to the alcohol, the heat of the day may add to the disorientation.
While people do drink on boats, operating one while drunk is dangerous, and it will be the helmsman’s fault if something happens. Also, if pulled over by law enforcement at any time, an intoxicated boat pilot can get arrested. Ensure you have a designated driver or hire one to avoid boating accidents caused by alcohol.
Wear a Life Jacket
Using proper safety equipment can help reduce boating fatalities. The U.S. coast guard reported that over 4,000 people were injured in a boating accident in a 2018 accident report. Among these, 77% of these victims drowned. A life jacket reduces the risk of drowning and should be worn by all boat passengers at all times to ensure safety. Make sure there are enough life jackets on the boat for everybody on board, including child-sized jackets for children.
Pay Attention to the Weather
Bad weather can make boating very dangerous as it amplifies all the risks already involved. Navigation can become more difficult, as the shore, as well as other markers, will be more difficult to spot. Also, other boaters on various experience levels may also be out there with you, making navigation more challenging.
Take Boater Education Classes
Consider taking a coast guard approved safety course if you plan to spend a lot of time on the water. You can learn a lot of safety tips to prevent personal injury cases from occurring, as well as be able to predict, prevent, and prepare for external factors that might make your boating trip more dangerous. This is especially important if you rent out your boat or boating service, as you will be liable for those on board.
If you or a family member has been injured in a boating accident, contact a personal injury attorney at Cochran, Kroll, and Associates, P.C. to learn about your rights. If the accident was caused by negligence by another boater or boating company, you may be eligible for compensation.
Call Cochran, Kroll, and Associates, P.C. at (866) 642-4529 for a free consultation and more information regarding boating accidents and liability.