Boating Accidents: Top Causes

Recreational boating accidents cause thousands of injuries and hundreds of death every year. The U.S. Coast Guard reports that in the year 2016, there were 4,463 recreational boating accidents counted that resulted in 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries, and about $49 million in property damage. Consider these top causes of accidents, and what to do if you are injured in a boating crash.

Over the past few years, boating’s rising popularity has led to numerous accidents. Any waterbound vessel, from a ship to a canoe, can fall under the title of boating accident. In fact, small watercrafts (wave runners and jet skis) make up a small percentage of registered watercraft, but amount for a disproportionately large percentage of accidents. A boating accident is referred as a death, missing person, injury, property damage, or total vessel loss.

Similar to auto accidents, boating accidents fall into many of the same categories when it comes to what causes collisions and other accidents. User error is the cause of almost 75 percent of all boating accidents, but there are other elements that come into play which can override good judgment or impede safe boat operator behavior.


Top Causes of Boating Accidents

 According to the report cited above, alcohol use is the leading factor in fatal boat accidents, and in 2016, was involved in 15 percent of recreational boating deaths.

In addition to alcohol use, some other common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Operator inexperience;
  • Improper lookout;
  • Struck by propeller;
  • Excessive speed; and
  • Machinery failure.

All of the causes of boating accidents listed imply that such situations could be avoided if more care was exercised. Understanding why accidents happen is a good way of learning how to prevent them and their related injuries and fatalities — a majority of which are avoidable.


What to Do if You Are Involved in a Boating Accident

 If you are involved in a boating accident where you suffer injuries, or if you are the surviving loved one of someone who is killed in a boat crash, it is important that you understand your legal options. When negligence was to blame for the accident, you can seek damages for the full extent of your losses, including compensation for pain and suffering.

When you are injured in a boat accident, you need the assistance and guidance of an attorney who specifically handles these types of cases. Our legal team has the experience and resources needed to successfully handling boating accident cases. We will make sure that we take every step necessary to protect the rights of our victims and help them and their families obtain compensation for their injuries, damage and other losses, including:

  • Past, current and future medical costs
  • Future potential earning
  • Medical bills, including diagnostic testing, hospital bills, rehabilitation costs, and physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • Permanent scarring or disfiguring injury
  • Loss of wages/Inability to work
  • Past, current and future pain and suffering
  • Loss of property
  • Other out of pocket costs incurred as a result of the accident

At the law offices of Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, our experienced boating accident attorneys work in states across the nation, and can help you to understand your options for filing a claim and seeking recovery. Contact us today for a free consultation.