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, reach out to a boat accident attorney to explore your rights to collect damages in your case.
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:
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.
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:
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 serious accidents or even result in fatalities.
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 by clicking here or calling 215-987-3730.