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Spending time on a lake or river can be a wonderful outing with family and friends, but boating safety is critical. Careless maintenance, operating a boat while drinking alcohol, driving at high speeds, or weaving recklessly in and out among other boats can spell disaster. Boating accidents often result in life-threatening injuries.
Data from Statistica shows that 767 people died as a result of boating accidents in the U.S. in 2020 and 3,191 people were injured. There is evidence, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, that boating activity increased significantly during the COVID pandemic, from reports of increased boat sales, insurance claims, insurance policies taken out, and calls for towing assistance. With the increased boating hours, there was greater risk of deaths, injuries, and accidents.
U.S. residents use boats for sporting activities like fishing, water skiing, tubing, day trips, and vacationing. In 2020, property damage alone from recreational boating accidents in the U.S. totaled about $62.51 million.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for medical bills, lost wages and other costs. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana fight aggressively to get the justice our clients deserve. You do not have to go it alone during such a difficult time. Call us for a free initial consultation at (251) 444-7000.
At Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, we take each case personally. There’s nothing worse than insurance companies trying to lowball clients and pay them less than they deserve for the injuries they have suffered. Our boating accident lawyers will not let that happen. We are aggressive negotiators, and we are not afraid to litigate a claim in court before a judge and jury if insurance companies refuse to negotiate in good faith. To learn more about our outstanding boating accident lawyers, you can read our attorney bios. You can also see our proven case results on behalf of satisfied clients.
Our boating accident lawyers fight aggressively to get the justice you deserve.
From 2019 to 2020, the total number of boating accidents in America increased 26.3% (4,168 to 5,265), and the number of non-fatally injured victims increased 24.7% (2,559 to 3,191), according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard data shows that the most common vessel types involved in accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats. The vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats (50%), kayaks (15%), and pontoons (9%).
More than 2,500 motorboats were involved in accidents in 2019 in the U.S. Alcohol continued to be the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2020, accounting for over 100 deaths, or 18% of total fatalities, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Coast Guard data shows that in 2020:
Where the cause of death was known, 75% of fatal boating accident victims drowned. Of those drowning victims with reported life jacket usage, 86% were not wearing a life jacket. There were about 11.84 million registered vessels in the United States in 2020. About 87.3 million U.S. adults participated in recreational boating in 2014.
Boating accidents in our state are on the rise. In Alabama, boating accidents in just the first half of 2019 led to 25 deaths, surpassing year-end totals for the previous 20 years. In 2018, there were 75 boating accidents, resulting in 17 deaths; and in 2017, there were 86 boating accidents, leading to 19 deaths. If you’d like to talk to a boat accident lawyer in Alabama, call us at (251) 444-7000.
There are certain factors that you must establish in a personal injury claim to be successful. You must show these four elements to prove negligence in a jury trial:
In a personal injury case, “negligence” refers to one party’s careless or reckless behavior that resulted in harm to another party.
Alabama law imposes DUI penalties on boaters just like it does on drunk drivers of other motor vehicles. A drunk boat operator can face fines, jail time, and other penalties. A boat operator who was drunk when you or a loved one was injured in an accident could represent liability and negligence as it relates to your claim.
There is no “average” compensation for a boating accident. Each case is different, depending on the unique facts present. Generally, the more serious the injury, the greater the compensation. If gross negligence is involved, a court can also award additional punitive damages.
Yes, pain and suffering can factor into compensation for injuries suffered in a boating accident. Your personal injury attorney can advise you about asking for damages for pain and suffering in your particular lawsuit.
Yes, you can file a wrongful death claim if a loved one is killed in a boating accident. These cases proceed much like a wrongful death claim in a car accident. In these cases, you can be compensated for funeral and burial costs in addition to other types of damages.
According to the U.S. Coast Guards Recreational Boating Guide in 2014, the primary boating accident types include:
Other types include:
The top known causes of death in boating accidents include:
The most common contributing factors in boating accidents include:
Boats – especially those travelling at high speeds – can crash into other boats, flip over, or run aground. These accidents can cause catastrophic injuries to passengers. Some common injuries in boating accidents are:
Boating accidents not only result in cuts, breaks, burns and head trauma, but there’s also the significant threat of drowning after being injured. That’s why boating accidents can be so catastrophic.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency offers a Boat Equipment Checklist to ensure safety when going out on the water. Equipment required by law includes:
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency also offers Boating Rules and Regulations. The first five prohibited activities are:
Filing a boat accident lawsuit may feel a bit overwhelming, especially if you are still recovering from your injuries. You may be in pain, going to doctor appointments, and trying to keep up with day-to-day tasks. This is when a boating accident lawyer can help. Let us do the legal heavy lifting.
At Caldwell Wenzel & Asthana, we have years of experience in successfully negotiating and litigating personal injury claims. Our legal team is compassionate and skilled, and we know how to walk beside you and make the process of filing a claim as easy as possible. We understand that you are hurting and stressed, and we feel it is our job to put your mind at ease and help you move forward. Our attorneys are among the best and the brightest, and we know how to fight. We have a winning track record. So you can relax and know that you are in good hands.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Getting injured often means mounting medical bills, time off work, and even disability. It isn’t fair that you should have to bear these costs alone, especially if the accident was due to someone else’s negligence. Our attorneys fight hard for our clients to get the justice they deserve. To find out more about how we can help, call us for a free initial consultation at (251) 444-7000.