The U.S. Coast Guard has reported that boat operator inattention is the primary contributing factor in boating accidents, injuries, and fatalities.
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What You Need to Know About Alcohol and Boating Accidents
According to page 6 of the U.S. Coast Guard report on 2018 Recreational Boating Statistics, the number one factor for boating accidents and fatalities in the United States in 2018 was inattention of the boat operator. Operator inattention resulted in 654 accidents, 437 injuries, and 50 deaths in boating accidents that year. However, it is important to note that while operator inattention is the most common cause of boating accidents, 19% of all boating accident fatalities involved alcohol use.
Other Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Unfortunately, the remaining causes of boating accidents are almost all preventable. Improper lookout caused 440 accidents, operator inexperience 387 accidents, alcohol use 254 accidents, and excessive speed 276 accidents. Overall in 2018, there were 4,145 boating accidents 2,511 injuries, and 633 deaths.
Steps to Take After a Boating Accident
If you were involved or injured in any way in a boating accident, you should take the following steps:
- Stop all watercraft involved in the boating accident
- Exchange personal information with all parties
- Provide reasonable assistance to any injured parties
- If there are serious injuries, call 911
- Visit a medical professional for diagnosis and treatment
You may have the right to reach out to a personal injury lawyer to pursue compensation for your injuries after a boating accident.
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Determining Whether You Must Report the Boating Accident
According to Florida law, you must report the boating accident to the nearest law enforcement agency immediately if there were any deaths or disappearances of persons, injuries beyond first aid, or losses to any property over $2,000.
File a report with one of the following: Division of Law Enforcement, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the sheriff of the county where the accident occurred, or the police department of the municipality in which the accident occurred.
Florida Boating Law
The state of Florida imposes boating laws, as does Congress with the Federal Boat Safety Act. Both state and federal laws require operators of boats and vessels to meet very specific requirements. When boating accidents do happen, they can result in catastrophic injuries or even death. You may have legal recourse for damages.
Contact a Boating Accident Attorney Today
If you were involved in a boating accident and were injured in any way, you should seek immediate medical attention. The most common causes of boating accidents eventually lead to the negligence or recklessness of a boating operator, as evidenced by the statistics released by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Contact a boating accident attorney from the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine at 1-800-747-3733 to help you determine your next steps. We want to help you pursue the compensation you deserve for your losses.