When it comes to boating, it is absolutely essential to always follow the laws, regulations, and rules, as well as take extra precautions for safety.
Let’s discuss the most common causes of a boating accident, the laws surrounding boating, safety tips, and what to do if you do find yourself in an accident and are in need of a boating accident attorney.
Table of Contents
Understanding Boat Accidents and Their Impact
The Reality of Boating Accident Injuries
While a boating accident is not as common as a car accident, it can still have equally severe consequences.
Boating accident injuries can range from minor to severe, including:
- Broken bones
- Head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
Analyzing the Most Common Boating Accidents
These are the most prevalent types of boating accidents that occur.
Falling overboard is the most common boating accident that causes fatalities.
A boat that overturns or capsizes because of a strong wave or collision is also a common boating accident that causes fatalities.
A collision with another moving vessel or a fixed object also frequently causes fatalities.
A departed vessel is when a passenger dives or jumps off of a boat and causes a sudden change in direction that can be fatal for people in the water around the boat.
If a boat floods, the operator and passengers are at high risk of sinking, which can be fatal.
Fatal Boating Accidents: What Causes Them?
Fatal boating accidents are typically caused by:
- Operator Inattention
- Improper Lookout
- Operator Inexperience
- Excessive Speed
- Alcohol Use
- Machinery Failure
- Poor Weather Conditions
Legal Perspectives on Boating Safely
Boat Operator Responsibilities in Accident Scenarios
If involved in a boating accident, boat operators are required to:
- Stop their vessel immediately at the scene of the accident
- Assist anyone who’s injured or in danger, unless doing so would greatly endanger themselves, their vessel, or passengers
- Give, in writing, their name, address, and vessel identification to anyone injured or who had property damaged
When is a Boat Operator Required to Assist in Accidents?
Boating operators are always required to assist their passengers and any others involved in an accident that they are a part of.
Liability and Legal Consequences of Boating Accidents
As a boating operator, failure to render aid or exchange information after a boating accident is considered a misdemeanor, which can result in up to six months in jail and up to $1000 in fines.
Other actions that would be considered a misdemeanor with similar consequences are:
- Operating the boat in unsafe conditions
- Boating under the influence
If anyone or their property is harmed during any of these incidents, the legal repercussions will be more severe.
Proactive Safety Measures to Avoid Boating Accidents
Essential Safety Equipment for Every Boat
To ensure smooth sailing, there is certain equipment that should be on every boat for safety.
- Duct tape
- First aid kit
- U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets
Training and Education: Key to Prevention
If you’re born after 1983, you are required to pass the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s boating safety course before you can operate a vessel with more than 15 horsepower in the state of Nevada.
This boating safety course will include information on:
- Boating laws, regulations, and rules
- Responding to emergency situations
- Watercraft operation
This kind of training and education are key to operating a boat safely and avoiding accidents.
Weather and Environmental Awareness
It’s vital to always check the weather forecast before you go boating. Storms can develop without any warning, and high winds can be incredibly dangerous while out on the water.
Make sure that you’re aware of the weather conditions around you. You should get back to shore as soon as possible if you notice:
- Darkening clouds
- Rough waters
- A sharp increase in wind speed
What to Do if You’re Involved in a Boating Accident
Immediate Steps After a Boating Accident
After you’ve stopped your vessel, taken the steps necessary to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the accident, and exchanged information, you will want to:
- Contact the proper authorities to report the accident
- Collect evidence at the scene of the accident to support your claim, like photographs of the scene and damage, witness statements, and any official reports
- Contact a boat injury attorney as soon as possible for invaluable assistance
Seeking Legal Help for Boating Accident Injuries
Navigating a boat accident case can be overwhelming.
That’s why it’s crucial to reach out to our team of skilled lawyers at Naqvi Injury Law. Naqvi Injury Law is home to the “top one percent” of attorneys recognized by The National Association of Distinguished Council, who are 100% committed to offering you the legal protection needed, as well as the maximum payout possible. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation and speak to a boating accident attorney today!