Boating is a favorite pastime of many Pennsylvanians, but the truth is that a day on the lake or river is not always rainbows and butterflies. The ugly side of boating is that people can and do get injured—sometimes seriously or even catastrophically so—while boating in Pennsylvania each year. Sadly, many people die on the water too, turning a pleasant excursion on the water into a traumatic event that has repercussions on the boating victim’s family for decades to come. If you or someone you love has been injured due to a boating accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer could help you hold the other party financially responsible. Reach out to a Media boat accident attorney to explore your rights to collect damages in your case.
U.S. Coast Guard Statistics on Boating Accidents
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) keeps statistics about boating accidents nationwide. According to the USCG in its executive summary for 2020, primary boating accidents across the United States included:
- 1379 collisions with other vessels, causing 66 deaths and 831 injuries
- 589 flooding or swamping incidents, causing 84 deaths and 128 injuries
- 542 collisions with fixed objects, resulting in 62 deaths and 389 injuries
- 484 grounding accidents, leading to 14 deaths and 255 injuries
- 335 falls overboard, causing 181 deaths and 161 injuries
Other types of reportable boating accidents from the USCG’s report include instances of boats capsizing, falls in/on the vessel, ejections of persons from vessels, fires or explosions, and mishaps and accidents while waterskiing or riding on/operating a towable device. Carbon monoxide exposure, stray currents resulting in electrocution, and swimming from an unanchored, unmoored, or undocked vessel are additional accident causes cited in the 2020 report.
The vessel type with the most casualties was the open motorboat, which was involved in 60 drownings and 1520 injury accidents in 2020. Personal watercraft, cabin motorboats, pontoons, and canoes/kayaks were also among the top accident-prone vessels, according to USCG data. A boat accident lawyer in Media could help determine the cause of an accident.
Boat Accident Causes
Even in perfect conditions—calm waters, great visibility, sunny weather—boating accidents can happen, and sometimes one or more factors can be pinpointed that cause or help cause these terrible accidents. The USCG’s 2020 report ranks contributing factors in boating accidents during the year. These contributing factors included:
- Operator inattention
- Operator inexperience
- Improper lookout
- Failure of machinery/equipment
- Violating navigation rules
- Use of alcohol
- Weather conditions
- Hazardous water conditions
- Restricted vision
- Improper anchoring
This is not an exhaustive list of factors that contribute to boating accidents. There are many different perils on open water and hazards aboard all vessels, many of which can lead to catastrophic injuries or even result in wrongful deaths. A Media boat accident lawyer could look at the conditions on the day of the accident to determine fault.
Seeking Compensation for Your Boat Accident Injury
A boating accident can turn a day on the water into a never-ending medical nightmare. In Pennsylvania, the law limits the amount of time during which boating accident claimants may seek compensation and justice for their injuries. See your Media boat accident attorney with the Dan Doyle Law Group right away following your boating accident to avoid jeopardizing your right to collect damages in your case. You can contact us for a free consultation of your case.