What to Consider If You Are Injured During a Boating Accident
In the sweltering summer heat (especially during this time), thousands of people will flock to the collection of lakes and rivers across our state or will take their boats onto the blue waters of Delaware Bay. Ultimately, cooling off is your top priority in the scorching heat of the summer sun, and boating definitely helps you find a wonderful way to have fun and stay cool. Fishing, jet-skiing, swimming, tubing, and more are at your disposal when you hit the water, but the problem is that the water can hit back, especially at the hands of a negligent driver. In the blink of an eye, a leisurely day on the lake or sea can become chaotic when two boats collide, ultimately resulting in extensive vehicle damage and, worst of all, severe injuries. Let’s take a closer look at what to consider if you are injured during a boating accident.
WHAT QUALIFIES AS A “BOATING ACCIDENT”?
As dictated by the U.S. Coast Guard, certain incidences fall under the category of “reportable boating accidents”. For example, if a person were to use a boat to commit suicide, this incident would be deemed “self-murder” rather than an injury-related accident. On the other hand, if a boat’s engine explodes while this vessel is docked, people can claim compensation for such an incident. Here are some more examples of reportable accidents:
- Capsized or sinking vessel
- A victim falling overboard
- Explosions in the ship’s engine
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Wrongful deaths resulting from a fall
CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO BOATING ACCIDENTS
Ultimately, a variety of factors can contribute to recreational boating accidents across Delaware. Here is a closer look at national statistics collected during 2017 concerning the top three causes:
- Distracted driver
- An inattentive lookout
- Inexperience operating the boat
Based on this information, we can conclude that the majority of drivers responsible for wrecks have been inattentive or inexperienced.
For more information on the safe operation of recreational boats, please review the Boating Safety Sheet provided by the Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife.
PENALTIES FOR BOATING ACCIDENTS IN DELAWARE
Under Delaware State Law Title 23, Chapter 22, people who operate personal watercraft (e.g. recreational boats) must adhere to the following laws:
- Drivers must never operate the craft at a speed above the set limit
- Driver must not operate the boat above headway speed in the Delaware Bays unless he/she has cleared 100 feet from public places (e.g. wharves, docks)
- Boaters must not participate in water sports (e.g. skiing, wakeboarding) unless an observer is riding alongside the driver
YOUR LEGAL SOLUTION
During the heat of the summer, spending time on the lake or Bay is a wonderful way to pass the time without suffering from heat exhaustion. Nevertheless, while fun, boats are just as dangerous as cars, trucks, or small motor vehicles like scooters. In the blink of an eye, two vessels can collide, or a negligent boater can take a wrong cut across the water, resulting in catastrophic injuries. If you or a loved one has sustained moderate-to-traumatic injuries during a boating accident, you need to take action immediately.
Our team of professional lawyers at Edelstein, Martin & Nelson, are passionate about our practice and are fully knowledgeable in the laws, rules, and statutes surrounding unfortunate bus-related pedestrian accidents throughout the State of Delaware. We can guarantee you will receive the justice you deserve. For legal advice and more information about our services, contact our office today at 800-300-0909.