Arizona is known for its dry, barren deserts. However, Arizona also has its fair share of beautiful lakes and rivers. These bodies of water offer the perfect place for boating enthusiasts. Boating is a wonderful recreational activity, but like any vehicle with a motor, these watercrafts are not exempt from accidents.
If you would like to know more, here are the answers to four frequently asked questions about boating accidents.
1. How Common Are Boating Accidents?
Over 2,500 people in the United States were injured in boating accidents in 2018. That same year, over 600 people died in this type of accident.
According to the National Safe Boating Council, Arizona ranks 8th in the nation for the most boating accidents. In just one year, boating accidents caused 80 injuries and over a dozen deaths in the state.
2. What Causes Boating Accidents?
Boating accidents are caused by a number of factors. Here are some main causes of boating accidents:
· Inattention. This occurs when the boat operator is distracted because they are on the phone, eating while driving, or they are paying too much attention to their instrument panel.
· Improper lookout. This happens when the boat operator neglects to maintain an unobstructed view from the helm and doesn’t watch for other boats or possible obstacles.
· Inexperience. This is when the boat operator doesn’t know enough about the basics of boating, the rules of navigation, or how to handle emergencies on the water.
Other causes of boating accidents include going too fast for the conditions, running out of fuel, ignoring the weather, boating under the influence, driving in hazardous waters, experiencing mechanical failure, and not having the proper safety gear aboard. This safety gear includes working flares, anchors, and backup propulsion.
Everyone in the boat should also wear a life jacket. If boaters don’t want to wear a life jacket, each of them should have one in the boat. It’s also important that the life jacket is the right size. Children should never wear an adult-sized life jacket, as it won’t keep them properly afloat.
In most cases, these types of boating accidents can be avoided if everyone on the boat, especially the operator of the boat, acts responsibly and takes all the necessary precautions when venturing onto the water.
By doing their part to prevent boating accidents, the boat operator will ensure everyone on the boat stays safe and enjoys their time on the water. The operator will also do their part to prevent a personal injury lawsuit against them.
3. What Common Injuries Occur During Boating Accidents?
Near-drowning and drowning accidents occur if someone falls overboard or the boat starts to sink. Even boaters who know how to swim can still drown. Drowning or near-drowning happens for a few different reasons. In some instances, the current of the water is too strong and pulls the body underwater.
In other instances, the water is too cold. When the body suddenly hits cold water, it causes the muscles to fail, which makes it difficult to keep the head above water. Death and trauma to the brain can occur as a result of drowning or near-drowning.
Other common injuries associated with boating accidents include:
· Spinal compression from when the boat bounces too hard on the water.
· Lacerations from hitting the propeller.
· Whiplash from sudden increases in speed or coming into contact with another vessel.
Electrocution is another common injury that occurs when standing water comes into contact with electrical components on the boat.
4. What Should a Boater Do Following an Accident?
If you are in a boating accident, the first thing you should assess is whether anyone needs medical attention. If someone has fallen out of the boat, you should help them get back onboard. You should then contact the Coast Guard to let them know about the boating accident.
You will also want to gather information at the accident scene. Take photographs of the accident scene, then contact your insurance company if you own the boat or any other vessels involved in the accident.
You should also be evaluated by a medical professional. Even if you don’t believe you were injured or you aren’t in any pain, you should still seek medical attention because certain injuries don’t have obvious symptoms right away.
If the accident was not your fault and you sustained an injury, you should contact a personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawsuit is yet another reason to seek medical attention so that you will have proof that you sustained injuries in the boating accident.
If you are a boating accident victim who needs legal help for your personal injury case, contact Garrison Law Firm for a free legal consultation. Besides boating accidents, we help victims of other types of accidents, including motorcycle, motor vehicle, pedestrian, and trucking. Our legal team has made the commitment to help our clients get the compensation they deserve.