The Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can result in some significant injuries that can in some cases have a significant impact on a person’s everyday life and routine. If you have been injured in a boating accident caused by another person’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim against the liable party and seek compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.
Of course, it is also important for you to ensure your own safety when you are out on the water. Here are just a few examples of some of the most common causes of boating accidents that lead to injuries.
- Inattentive operator: Just as distracted drivers are among the most common causes of car accidents, inattentive boating operators are among the most common causes of boating accidents. It is crucial that whoever is tasked with operating the boat stay alert to their surroundings at all times, and keeps an eye on the weather to catch early warning signs of coming storms.
- Speeding: Boat operators must keep the boat at a safe speed, which will give them plenty of time to react to any hazards they encounter in the water. Most waterways do have speed limits. Going too fast makes it more likely you will lose control and collide with other boats or objects, or roll over the boat.
- Alcohol use: Alcohol use is rampant on boats. Recent studies indicate in a given year it’s likely the same number of people will pass away from alcohol-related boating accidents as the next three causes of accidents combined. For most states, the same alcohol limits apply for boating operators as for drivers. While it is legal in many circumstances for passengers to consume alcohol on a boat, the operator must stay sober.
- Operator inexperience: Inexperienced operators can be a significant hazard on waterways. In the state of California, you must be at least 16 years old and have a California Boater Card to legally operate a boat. It is not uncommon for people to flout this rule, which makes it more likely the boater will be untrained and inexperienced. Persons age 12 to 15 may operate a boat if under the supervision of a person of at least 18 years of age who also has a California Boater Card.
- Weather: It is very important you check the weather forecast before you head out on the waters. Just because it’s sunny and clear now does not mean that weather will stay that way. Ignoring the weather forecast could put you in unnecessary danger.
- Equipment failure: You must stay up to date with your preventative boat maintenance to ensure your boat will be in good condition. Areas that are most likely to see mechanical problems include the steering mechanism, the hull and the motor.
- Waves and wake: The force that arises from waves and wake can be extremely dangerous if the operator does not know how to deal with them. This is one of the reasons why it’s so important for boating operators to be properly trained before they hit the water.
Contact us today to learn more about the most common boating accidents, how to avoid them and how to file a personal injury claim if you’ve been injured as a result of another boating operator’s negligence.
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Christopher Montes de Oca is an experienced personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. Chris is recognized as a “Super Lawyer Rising Star,” a recognition that only 2.5 percent of lawyers receive, because of the exceptional results he has seen and his dedication to his clients. Chris services clients throughout Los Angeles, including Echo Park, Maywood, Long Beach, Whittier, Glendale, La Mirada, Pico Rivera, Hacienda Heights, and Alhambra. Call him today for a free consultation at (562) 901-4664.