Attorneys Specializing in Boating Accidents Lawsuits
Aylstock, Witkin, Kreis and Overholtz are highly experienced Pensacola boating accidents lawyers. These gifted attorneys can help you obtain compensation if you have been injured in a boat or shipping accident due to negligence of another.
Boating accidents are a type of vehicular accident involving water vessels. Boating accidents are most often caused as a result of careless, reckless or inattentive operation, operator inexperience, or excessive speeding. Boating accidents can involve privately owned vessels, commercially owned vessels, or both.
Boating Accident Injuries
As is the case with any type of vehicular accident, boating accidents can result in serious injury to those involved. Unlike some other vehicles, there are no brakes that boat operators can “slam on” to avoid an accident. Similarly, passengers are not protected by airbags, seatbelts or other precautionary devices associated with certain vehicles. Many passengers are in fact standing and therefore far more susceptible to serious falls even in the most minor of boating accidents. Passengers are at risk of incurring a serious spinal cord injury that could potentially result in paralysis. A severe blow to the head caused by a boating accident could cause a brain injury. Serious injuries could elicit fatal results if a passenger falls overboard. The number one cause of death in boating accidents is in fact drowning.
Commercial Boating Accidents
Commercial boating accidents are the most serious type of boating accident because they typically involve large numbers of passengers. Cruise ships, commuter ferries, tour boats, etc. are all examples of commercial boats at risk of involvement in a commercial boating accident of some kind.
Commercial boating accidents resulting from owner / operator negligence are often cause for legal action. Negligent driving habits (speeding, driving under the influence, reckless driving) account for most commercial boating accidents. The owners of commercial boats are also required to perform routine maintenance checks to ensure that the vessel and its parts are functioning correctly. Failure to do so could result in a serious boating accident causing personal injury and/or wrongful death to those involved. As such, commercial boat owners are liable for accidents caused by negligent behavior on their part or the part of their employees.
Boating Accident Statistics
The following boating accident statistics are derived from studies conducted by the United States Coast Guard in 2004:
Of the 12,781,476 registered boats in operation in the United States in 2004, there were 4,904 reported accidents. There were approximately 675 deaths caused as a result of these boating accidents and more than $35 Million in property damage.
The most common type of boating accident is collision with another vessel or object of some kind. These collisions often result in one or more vessels capsizing or passenger(s) falling overboard. Of all boating accidents resulting in death, capsizing and overboard falls account for more than half (~57%) of all boating fatalities.
More than 70% of all deaths caused by boating accidents are judged to be the result of drowning. Passengers are often knocked unconscious prior to falling overboard, preventing them from staying afloat and being rescued. Although personal flotation devices are designed to protect against such a circumstance, statistics have shown that 90% of all drowning victims were not wearing a PFD.
Reporting a Boating Accident
There are certain circumstances that require the reporting of a boating accident:
- If a person dies as a result of the accident.
- If a person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond basic first aid.
- If there is damage to vessels and property exceeding $2,000.
- If there is complete loss of a vessel.
- If a person disappears from the vessel
A boating accident report must be filed within 48 hours of occurrence given any of the following circumstances:
- If a person dies within 24 hours of accident occurrence.
- If a person requires medical treatment beyond that of basic first aid.
- If a person disappears from the vessel without trace.
Boating Accident Lawsuits
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed as a result of a boating accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your pain and suffering. The Pensacola personal injury attorneys of Aylstock, Witkin Kreis & Overholtz handle national litigation across the United States. Learn more about boating accident victims’ rights and to discuss the possibility of filing a boating accident lawsuit by contacting the boat accident lawyers of AWKO Law today at (844) 794-7402.