Injuries from serious boating accidents can lead to legal action. For help in determining who was at fault and if compensation can be pursued, contact a catastrophic injury attorney in Denver.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Resource Center, in 2011 there were 4,588 boating accidents in the U.S. These resulted in 3,081 injuries and 758 fatalities.
Of all fatal accidents, 70 percent involved drowning, and eight out of ten victims were using a vessel that was less than 21 feet long. A staggering 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket.
Even land-locked Colorado had its share of boating accidents. In Colorado, if a boating accident results in at least $500 worth of damage, injury or death, it must be reported. In 2011 there were 58 accidents resulting in 10 deaths.
Common Injuries in Serious Boating Accidents
Unfortunately, injuries from a boating accident can be very severe. As a result, compensation could be available if it was the result of negligent actions on behalf of another individual.
The following are some of the types of injuries that may be sustained in a serious boating accident:
- broken bones;
- loss of limb;
- brain damage;
- spinal cord injuries; and
- drowning deaths.
Common Causes of Serious Boating Accidents
Depending on the circumstances, a personal boat injury can happen because of weather conditions, carelessness or recklessness of the operator, malfunctioning or defective equipment, safety violations and alcohol/drug impairment.
Although these are factors that may contribute to a crash, the following are some of the common causes of boating accidents:
- collision with another boat or object;
- falling overboard;
- sinking; and
- mishaps while on jet skis, wave runners, etc.
Determining Liability in Serious Boating Accidents
In order to file a personal boat injury claim, you will need to prove that it was the result of someone else’s negligence. For instance, weather conditions might have raised a red flag to return to land. An operator who chooses to ignore potential dangers may be liable if it causes injury.
If an emergency onboard the boat required everyone to put on a lifejacket but there weren’t enough available and someone drowns, this could be considered negligence. The U.S. Coast Guard requires that each person on a boat have access to a lifejacket.
Injuries on a boat are many times the result of recklessness. For example, someone might be using a water skies behind the boat and the boat’s operator goes at an excessive speed or gets too close to another boat. If the person on the water skies is injured, the operator could be liable.
Of course, some activities on a boat carry with it known risks. So if you were waterskiing and suffered injuries, it will be up to you to prove that it wasn’t just a slip-up from you, but was caused by the negligent actions of another person.
Seeking Help from a Catastrophic Injury Attorney in Denver
The state of Colorado offers a variety of small lakes and large reservoirs for boating, such as Cherry Creek State Park or Barr Lake State Park. If you or a loved one were the victim of a personal boat injury, contact D.J. Banovitz at 303-300-5060 to review your serious boating accident and resultant injuries.