If you’re the victim of a boating accident you may be wondering who is at fault. Was the boat’s operator at fault? Was it avoidable? Are you eligible for some sort of compensation? Highly skilled maritime accident attorneys can help you answer these questions. Knowing when maritime laws apply to your situation is important if you’ve the victim of a boating accident.
1. Operator Error
Sometimes the operator can make a misstep and cause injuries or fatalities. Some more common errors include not compensating for weather conditions, getting lost and navigational errors.
2. Driving Under the Influence
Drugs and alcohol can affect the boat operator’s judgement, perception, reaction times and so much more. As with motorists on the road, being under the influence can cause serious injury or even death.
3. Weather Conditions
Although weather conditions are beyond the control of the operator, crew and passengers, it is one of the leading causes of boating accidents. Strong winds, rain and rough seas can severely impact affect boating conditions
4. Equipment Failure
When equipment doesn’t work properly, many things can go wrong. Whether it’s the motor, a faulty steering mechanism or other machinery, proper maintenance and regular inspections are part of responsible boat ownership and operating.
Just like driving a car or truck, boat operators have to pay attention to the waters. There may be hazards on the water, like rocks and other watercraft. Boat drivers also need to pay attention to wind patterns and weather conditions.
There’s a lot to be said for experience. Having an experienced operator at the helm means that they’ve encountered more situations and multiple solutions. Inexperienced boat operator’s tend to make avoidable rookie mistakes and are often unfamiliar with navigation rules and maritime laws.
Just how fast a boat is going can alter the outcomes of sailing. Some collisions would be very minor if excessive speeds were not a factor. When boats are operated at high speeds, they lose a measure of maneuverability and reaction time. Dangerous clashes and roll overs are also more likely with high speeds.
A boat that is carrying too much weight can create a dangerous situation. It can cause a boat to sit lower in the water and increase the risk of capsizing. Capsizing is a very serious situation that can cause serious injury or even fatalities.
9. Reckless Driving
Reckless boating may involve speeding, attempting tricks and making unnecessary sharp turns. This type of boat piloting can result in some very unfortunate circumstances ranging from minor injuries to fatalities. Reckless driving is a complete disregard for the safety of others.
10. Improper Lookout
Larger vessels usually have someone or a team of people to look out for potential hazards that could endanger the voyage. If the lookout isn’t looking out, or doing so while distracted, there is potential for an accident.
Every year the Coast Guard shares data regarding the previous year’s boating accidents. If you think you may be the victim of an avoidable injury and looking for answers, you don’t have to suffer alone.