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Boating Accidents

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Boating is one of the best ways to escape the heat in the valley.

Pleasant, Saguaro, Canyon, Roosevelt, and Bartlett are just a few of the lakes easily accessible to Phoenix area residents. If you drive a little further north, Lake Havasu and Lake Powell offer some of the best boating experiences in the United States. However, with these lakes and favorable temperatures, boating accidents are common and can lead to serious injury. The attorneys are Rep Law love boating, but we also love helping people who’ve been involved in boating accidents.

Boat Accident Statistics

Every year, the U.S. Coast Guard compiles statistics on boating accidents. In 2021 the top five primary boating accident types were:

  1. Collision with recreational vessel
  2. Collision with a fixed object
  3. Flooding/swamping
  4. Grounding
  5. Falls overboard

Each of these five types of accidents can cause serious injury or death. Because boating occurs on the water, it is obvious the leading cause of death in boating accidents is drowning. The remaining four most common causes of death are: trauma, cardiac arrest, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

These statistics can be scary, but the truth is, most boat accidents are preventable and the top three contributing factors to these accidents are operator inattention, operator inexperience, and improper lookout.
The most important consideration when boating is to be safe while having fun. Unfortunately, we cannot control other’s actions regardless of how careful we are. In 2022, at Lake Pleasant alone, there were 10 deaths.

These statistics are not meant to scare anyone away from boating, but it is important to know what to do if you are involved in a boating accident due to the operator’s or another person’s negligence.

Steps to Follow After a Boating Accident

Not all boating accidents have to be reported. According to federal regulations, a boat operator must report an occurrence when:

  1. A person dies
  2. A person disappears from the vessel under circumstances that indicate death or injury
  3. A person is injured and requires medical treatment beyond first aid
  4. Damage to vessels and other property totals $2,000 or more
  5. There is a complete loss of any vessel

While an operator does not have to report an accident if these factors are not present, if you are injured on a boat due to someone’s negligence, you may still have a personal injury claim, regardless of these occurrences.

If you are injured while boating due to another’s negligence, follow these steps:

  1. If capable, insure everyone else involved is okay and render care where needed
  2. Make a report with the police whose jurisdiction covers the lake, if one of the reporting requirements are met
  3. Obtain insurance and contact information from any boat owners involved
  4. Collect witnesses contact information
  5. Seek medical treatment as soon after the accident as possible
  6. Contact a personal injury attorney at Rep Law

The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner he or she can successfully investigate your claim and insure critical legal deadlines are not overlooked. If you have a valid claim, you may be entitled to reimbursement for any medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other losses.

Where does the Compensation Come From?

When boating, people are often with people they know and love. The most common accidents happen to passengers on a boat due to an operator’s negligence. This means the injured person typically has a close personal relationship with the operator.

Many people are worried if they contact an attorney and make an injury claim, their friend or family member will suffer the consequences. However, as long as the boat is insured, the policy is first in line to cover the claim. The operator is not financially responsible so long as there is adequate insurance coverage.

While our attorney’s make recommendations on when to seek compensation beyond the insurance policy limits (which is very rare), it is ultimately our client’s decision. That is why people carry insurance, to cover losses owed to another after an act of negligence.

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Rep Law is Here to Help

Rep Law is here to help anyone involved in a boating accident. Together, we will determine if you have a valid claim and the best ways to help you recover, get back on your feet, and obtain the compensation you deserve.

We’re ready and available to help you with your Personal Injury and Estate Planning needs today.

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