Boating and Personal Watercraft Accidents

Many people do not realize the dangers of operating a boat, however there are laws that must be followed in regards to boating laws so that a boating accident injury is avoided. A boating accident injury is often the result of negligent driving and failing to adhere to the boating laws that exist. Just like driving on the road, a boating accident injury is often suffered because of negligent driving due to the effects of alcoholic beverages.

Most commonly, a boat collision will be the cause of a boating accident injury. The boating accident injury can be caused by the boat collision or simply because of improper on deck safety precautions. When a boating accident injury is suffered a boating accident injury attorney should be contacted. The attorney will be able to evaluate the severity of the boating accident injury and the conditions it was suffered in to determine what type of damages could be recovered.

The United States Coast Guard Office of Boating Safety conducts a nationwide annual study on boating accidents. According to their 2003 report, there were 5,438 accidents, 3,888 injuries and 703 fatalities (Alcohol was involved in 31% of these fatalities and California ranked the highest) as a result of boating and personal water craft use. In 2003, California had the most accidents reported (797 out of 5,438). As a result of the 5,438 accidents there was a total of $40,422,374 in property damage. The most reported type of accident was a collision with another vessel. The most common types of boats involved in reported accidents were open motorboats (1,891 or 42%), personal water craft (1,228 or 27%), and cabin motorboats (367 or 14%). Overall, operator inattention, carelessness/reckless operation, operator inexperience, and excessive speed are the leading contributing factors of all reported accidents.

If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to the following benefits: medical bills, wage loss, loss of earning capacity, pain and suffering, emotional distress and disfigurement.

As with any accident involving vehicles, there are a number of steps you need to take to ensure everything with your claim goes as smoothly as possible.

For your medical problems, see a doctor as soon as possible. Often times, an injury from a boat accident can be underestimated. You may feel fine now, but some injuries, particularly neck and back injuries, can become quite painful and debilitating in the long-term. A paper trail is also important throughout the process.

Get as much information you can about your boating accident. Key items include the names, numbers and addresses of all the people involved, including witnesses. You will also need to keep track of insurance information and the reporting process. Make copies.

Please do not talk to anyone about your accident other than law enforcement personnel. Anything you say to insurance company representatives or investigators could make it harder for you to settle your claim. It is also a good idea not to sign anything, particularly some kind of release form, without talking to a lawyer first. This is just a smart way for you to protect yourself.

It is important to know what to do to protect the legal rights of yourself and your loved ones. Selecting the right attorney is an important decision. You should choose someone who is experienced, aggressive and dedicated to working to get fair compensation for your injuries. Over the past we have successfully handled thousands of injury and death cases. That is why you should contact the Law Offices of Clancey, Doyle & O’Donnell