Boat accidents can result in serious, and sometimes deadly injuries. But these accidents can be prevented by being a responsible boat operator. Whether the accident happened on a small sailboat or a large cruise ship or navy vessel, innocent people can be seriously hurt if the boat operator or crew is negligent in their duties.
When there’s been an accident, an extensive legal investigation and evaluation of its causes may be necessary, and injured victims and their families will want a highly trained and experienced boat accident attorney on their side.
The Barnes Firm has a team of attorneys who have a deep understanding of Maritime and Admiralty laws and the Jones Act, which are both crucial laws that could help you and your family get the best result possible from an injury claim.
If you or a family member has been injured in a boat accident, contact The Barnes Firm for a FREE case evaluation.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Not all accidents involve a collision; in fact, crashes and capsizing result in only a portion of all boating injuries.
Other causes of injuries include:
- Slip and falls
- Boat malfunctions
- Food poisoning
- Propeller accidents
- Water skiing accidents
- Other recreational accidents
Unfortunately, most recreational injuries, such as jet ski accidents or tubing accidents, can be traced back to a boat operator who is intoxicated.
That’s why it’s ALWAYS important to be a responsible boat operator.
Boating Safety Tips
Before setting sail, it is essential for everyone on the boat (including the operator) to follow these safety tips:
- Check the weather forecast before leaving the port or marina
- Head for shore immediately if there is any indication that a storm is developing
- Always carry flares and a first aid kit
- Make sure someone on-shore knows where you’re going, and when you expect to return
- Check your boat’s engine and fuel supply before leaving
- Learn to swim – the best way to stay safe when around the water is to improve your swimming abilities
- Never drink alcohol – intoxication causes the majority of all boating accidents
- Have enough life jackets on-hand for yourself and ALL of your passengers
The Jones Act
If you work aboard a vessel as a crewmember or commercial fisherman, you could receive compensation under a law called the Jones Act in the event that you suffer an injury at sea. The Jones Act assists crewmembers and sailors who suffer an injury or death due to an employer’s negligence.
The Barnes Firm is well-versed in the Jones Act, and our boating accident lawyers will work with the best boating experts in the country to help you and your family get the best result possible.
Jet Ski Accidents
Jet skis can provide your family with hours of fun, but they can be extremely dangerous in the hands of negligent, inexperienced, and/or intoxicated drivers.
Statistics have found that more Americans are hurt on jet skis than on any other type of watercraft.
Some of the most severe injuries that result from a jet ski accident can include:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Head Injuries
If you or a family member has been injured in a jet ski accident, the negligent driver and/or owner could be responsible for your injuries. Contact an experienced jet ski accident lawyer at The Barnes Firm for a FREE case evaluation.
Boat Accident Statistics
Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard keeps track of reported recreational boating accidents. These statistics were gathered from all U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia (2015, the most recent year):
- 4,158 boating accidents reported
- 626 fatalities
- 2,613 injuries
- $42 million in damages to boats and property
- 76% of all boat accident fatalities were drownings
- 71% of all boat accident fatalities involved an operator who had not received boating safety instruction
- 80% of drowning victims were using boats less than 21-feet in length
- 17% of all boat accidents involved a drunk operator
The Most Common Types of Boats Involved in Accidents
- Motorboats (45%)
- Personal watercraft (19%)
- Cabin motorboats (17%)
Vessels with the Highest Percentage of Fatalities
- Motorboats (46%)
- Kayaks (12%)
- Canoes (11%)
If you or a family member has been injured in any type of boat accident, let the experienced boat accident lawyers at The Barnes Firm help you get the best result possible. Contact us or call us for a FREE case evaluation at 1-(800) 800-0000.