Most people have had some experience or have a family member who has experienced being involved in a car accident. It is pretty common knowledge that if you are injured in a car accident and the other driver was responsible for the crash, North Carolina law says they are also responsible for financially compensating you for any losses that you suffer as a result of those injuries. What a lot of people may not realize is that the same holds true for victims of boat accidents.
According to national statistics, there are approximately 4,300 recreational boating accidents each year in the United States. In many of those accidents, passengers suffered serious injuries. More than 2,600 of those victims require medical attention and almost 700 lives are lost each year as a result of boating accident injuries.
- From Recreation to Risk – The Importance of Boating Safely
- Boating Safety: What You Should Know About Accidents on the Water
- Drunk Boating a Deadly Risk in North Carolina
Tragically, last year was the deadliest boating season that North Carolina has had in two decades. Per the North Carolina Wildlife Commission, 29 victims died in boating accidents in 2018.
Causes of Boating Accidents
Unlike vehicle crashes, where emergency medical help can arrive on the scene immediately, in boating accidents, there can be a significant delay in medical help arriving, depending on where the accident occurred. The majority of boating accidents that take place are crashes with other recreational vehicles. The majority of these crashes are avoidable since they are usually caused by negligence on the part of the operator. The following are some of the more common types of reckless boating that our North Carolina boating accident attorneys often see in the cases we handle.
- Boating Under the Influence: The number one cause of fatal boating accidents in the U.S. is alcohol. Last year, alcohol was a factor in the deaths of six victims killed in boating accidents in North Carolina. Boating under the influence carries the same harsh penalties as driving under the influence, but – just like vehicle drivers – far too many boat operators make the decision to get behind the steering of a recreational craft or boat when they have been drinking. Alcohol is responsible for almost 20 percent of the boating accident deaths that happen each year.
- Distracted Driving: Again, just like many vehicle drivers, boat operators do not always keep their focus on the waterways in front of them. Operator inattention is responsible for more than 600 boating accident each year, killing almost 50 victims.
- Inexperienced Boating: Every new boat operator should be properly trained and prepared before putting their boat in the water. Far too often, inexperienced operators travel at speeds that are dangerous or they cannot keep control of the vessel. According to statistics from the Department of Homeland Security, more than 80 percent of boating accident deaths occur on vessels where the operator was not properly trained in safety.
Contact a Carolinas Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident caused by another boat operator, contact a North Carolina boating accident attorney from Shapiro & Appleton to find out how we can help you get the financial compensation you deserve. You may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, mental anguish, and more. Call our office today to set up a free and confidential case evaluation.