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Boating accidents lead to legal trouble

On Behalf of | Aug 19, 2022 | Maritime Accidents, Recreational Accidents

Boating ranks as a popular activity for those who enjoy their time on Alaska’s lakes and coastal beaches. Boating is not an activity for everyone since anyone operating an open-water vessel must know how to navigate the waters safely. Even so, accidents may happen despite all the best efforts to avoid them. Persons interested in boating excursions may wish to learn more about the causes of such accidents. A little knowledge may help a ship’s captain travel safely.

Boating accidents and their causes

The U.S. Coast Guard reports a decrease in accidents and fatalities from 2020 to 2021, which is positive news. Unfortunately, many people lost their lives in 2021, as the year experienced 658 boating accident deaths. Nonfatal injuries topped at 4,439, which remains a problematic figure.

People’s behavior often contributes to avoidable accidents on land and sea. Regrettably, the most common reason for boating accidents involved alcohol. Sadly, some people’s festive activities include overindulging, making it impossible to operate a boat safely.

Someone does not need to be intoxicated to cause an accident. Racing the boat at unsafe speeds increases the chances of accidents, especially in areas where there are other boats. Sometimes, a boat could crash into a buoy if the captain is going too fast to notice the object.

And is the person operating the boat experienced enough to handle the task? A lack of experience might lead to an accident that a skilled captain could otherwise avoid.

Boating accidents and liabilities

As with car collisions, boating and recreational accidents could lead to legal troubles. Anyone hurt by a negligent boat owner may file a lawsuit to recover their losses. Speeding and intoxication could reflect negligent behaviors the defendant would have a hard time defending.

Victims might seek more than compensatory damages. A claim for punitive damages might have merit if the injuries are severe.