Most people associate boating, jet skiing, and waterskiing as fun outdoor activities. Unfortunately, there are times when these types of outdoor water activities can be dangerous and result in serious and harmful accidents on the water. If you or a loved one has been injured in boating and watersports accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you’re going to need a boat accident lawyer who has the experience and knowledge needed to help you get the compensation that you deserve.
For more than 55 years, the boat accident lawyers of Munley Law have been helping clients throughout the tri-state area. Contact a boat accident lawyer now before it’s too late.
Common Causes for a Boat Accident
There are many causes of boat accidents including:
- Careless and Reckless Operation of a Boat. Many boat captains operate their boats in a negligent or careless manner that can lead to boating and water accidents. This can include things such as allowing boat passengers to sit in inappropriate places on the boat while it is moving; splashing other boats; jumping a wake in the vicinity of another boat; violating low wake rules; failing to observe other watercraft in their vicinity; failing to maintain a safe distance from other boats or water vessels; boat operator inattention; failure to yield to another boat, jet ski, water skier or watercraft; overloading a boat with too many passengers or cargo.
- Excessive Speed. It is very important that boats and all watercraft including jet skis, maintain a safe speed. Many accidents happen because of speed and boaters can lose control of the watercraft and easily crash and have a serious accident. Safe speeds ensure that boaters can see swimmers, other boaters, objects and hazards in the water.
- Alcohol Use. All boat and watercraft operators must obey the same laws as a driver behind the wheel of a car. You cannot drive a boat impaired or have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding 0.08. If you feel the effects of alcohol at all and choose to operate a watercraft, you’re breaking the law and endangering the lives of your passengers and fellow boaters. In Pennsylvania, if you are arrested for operating a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance, you could face fines between $300 and $12,500, up to five years in jail, and/or suspension of boating privileges for one year. If you refuse to submit to a breath, blood, or urine test, the Boating Commission may suspend your boating privileges for up to 18 months.
- Inexperienced Boat Driver. Often the driver of a boat may not have the skill or experience need to properly operate a boat and this may lead to a boat crash, or waterskiing accident, tubing accident or swimming accident. It is important to know as much as possible about the experience level of your boat captain, before you board a boat or participate in water activities on a boat. There are certain rules and regulations that boating captains should know about and there are several classes on boating that are offered to teach boaters how to navigate the boat.
- Boat Passenger Carelessness or Recklessness. A boat captain or operator is responsible for all passengers on their watercraft. The boat operator must keep all passengers seated while the boat is moving, and make sure their line of sight is clear and unobstructed. Boat drivers should never tow a skier who wants to ride in a reckless manner. When pulling a skier, a designated observer must be in the boat.
- Bad Weather. All boaters and water sport enthusiasts must check your safety equipment, listen to the forecast and create a float plan that details where and when you will be boating. Keep in mind that high winds can make waters very treacherous.
Tips of Avoiding a Boating Accident
Keep these tips in mind before going out on the water:
- Stay sober. Although many equate boating or fishing with liquor, as you’ve already ready you can face serious trouble with the law.
- Keep an eye on the forecast. If rough weather is coming your way, plan your boat trip for another day.
- Make sure there’s flotation devices for every passenger on board.
- Take a course on boating safety.
- Make sure you check your boat from stern to stern before heading out.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on the boat in case of fire.
Contact a Boat Accident Lawyer at Munley Law Now
The experienced boating accident attorneys at Munley Law have represented hundreds of victims of boat accidents. We have learned, through years of experience, that injuries and deaths from boating and watersport accidents are often caused by the negligent and careless actions on the part of boat operators. We would like to help you evaluate your case today and determine who is at fault for your boating crash. We offer FREE consultations to all of our boating accident victims and we do not recover a fee unless we win for you.
Call us today at 855-866-5529 and request your free consultation. If you are unable to come to our offices a boat accident lawyer will arrange to meet with you at home or wherever is most convenient for you.