Boating is one of the most popular pastimes. All around the world, people take their ski boats, sail boats and yachts out to enjoy the sun, water and camaraderie. But if not respected, boating can become a dangerous hobby.
More than 10 million personal watercraft are registered in the United States alone. Every year, there are nearly 7,000 boating accidents, half of which lead to serious injuries.
Boats are powerful machines. When fully stocked with food, supplies and passengers, the average boat can weigh up to 4,000 lbs. With a sleek body and powerful engine, a boat becomes a veritable missile when it’s in the hands of the wrong person.
When boats collide
Boating accidents are caused by a number of different things, including drunkenness, severe weather, faulty vessels and operator inexperience. Like road vehicles, there are many factors that lead to one boat hitting another.
Of the different types of accidents that occur each year – flooding, passengers overboard – collisions with other vessels are the most common.
What you should do after an accident
If you are in a series boating accident, the steps you take in the following hours and days are crucial.
– Liability: The operator needs to determine who was responsible for the collision. If the operator was not conducting themselves in a safe, reasonable manner, they can be blamed. And if found guilty of causing the accident, the person may receive civil charges, criminal charges, or both.
– Accident report: The operator must file a report immediately after the collision, citing the circumstances, causes and any injuries and damages that resulted.
– Insurance: The operator needs to contact their insurance company as soon as possible. When trying to determine who is at fault in a collision, time is of the essence.
– Lawyer: In any serious boating collision, an experienced maritime attorney must be contacted. An attorney can protect the rights of anyone onboard and see to it that they are justly compensated.
There are legal actions that can be taken when a boating collision occurs – if the operator acts quickly and intelligently.
Waks & Barnett have been practicing maritime and personal injury law for over twenty years. Located in Miami, they’re well accustomed to helping inured boaters with their cases.
Need the services of an experienced Miami attorney? Need to determine if you have a case? Call 1-800-905-2891.