Warmer weather means more time for boating. However, more boats on the water also means more potential accidents. And while boating accidents are similar to car accidents in many ways, there are some key differences between the two that all boaters should be aware of.
What constitutes a boating accident?
Many different types of watercrafts can fall under the umbrella term of "boating accident." For example, recreational boats can include yachts, pontoons, sailboats and personal watercrafts, such as wave runners and jet skis. But the list does not end there, as accidents can and do also happen with kayaks, cabin cruisers, inflatable boats, fishing boats, commercial boats and airboats.
In 2015, there were more than 4,000 accidents involving boats, resulting in more than 600 deaths and more than 2,600 injuries. In addition, these accidents caused over $40 million in property damage.
What causes a boat accident?
Some of the chief causes of boat-related accidents leading to injury include excessive speed as well as boating while under the influence, or BUI. Boat operator inexperience, improper lookout and operator distraction may also lead to accidents.
Who is to blame?
Those hurt in a boating collision may choose to file a claim against the boat operator, boat owner or even the rental company, depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident.
However, particularly with accidents that take place in the Gulf of Mexico, jurisdictional concerns can crop up, as there might be competing regulations and laws pertaining to the filing of claims for boat-related accidents. This is why many people decide to consult with an attorney before filing a claim, to keep the process moving in the right direction.