Accidents happen, that is why they are called accidents. They often happen on land but can even happen at sea. We are talking about boat accidents. Individuals ride on boats and watercrafts daily for both work and pleasure especially around the great State of Florida. But, operating a boat is a large responsibility, especially when passengers are on board, and it should not be taken lightly. Boat accidents can cause severe and life-altering injuries. Often times, they can be prevented if the operator takes the time to be diligent and acts in a responsible manner. However, passengers must be diligent as well.
Common Types Of Water Vessels
Boats and water vessels come in a variety of sizes and are all used for different purposes. Some common types of water vessels may include:
- Charter Vessels
- Fishing Boats
- Cruise Ships
- Jet Skis
- Casino boats
Common Boat Accident Causes
Many times, a boat accident may be caused because the operator may not be experienced in operating that type of vessel since there are so many different types. They could also be distracted, intoxicated, or may not follow the laws of the waterways. Operating a water vessel is a privilege, not a right. As we mentioned above, it is a very large undertaking, especially when the boat contains multiple passengers. Those most common boat accident causes may include:
- Driving while intoxicated
- Lack of experience
- Distracted driving
- Failure to follow waterway laws
- Unfavorable weather
- Harsh water conditions
- Boat overloading
- Lack of lifejackets
Boat Accident Injuries
Injuries caused by boat accidents can be numerous. Boats are very much different than automobiles in the fact that many of them do not have seatbelts, there are no airbags, there are no turn signals, and the motor/ propeller is exposed. Some possible boat accident injuries may include:
- Back Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Broken Bones
- Head Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
If you have been involved in a boat accident, it is imperative that you get checked out by a medical professional as soon as possible. Like in car accidents, severe injuries may not manifest themselves for many days. It is important to rule out any potential injuries and to begin treatment quickly so you can get healthy once more. Do not leave your health to chance.
Tips For Passengers
Although much of the responsibility falls on the operator, you still have an obligation to keep yourself safe. Check out these tips to consider before the next time you go out on a boat:
- Make sure the boat operator is not intoxicated. If they are, do not let them operate the boat. Call for assistance from a friend or the local tow company. It might be pricey to get towed in, but that is a small price to pay to keep everyone safe.
- Be sure to have enough life jackets on board that fit each passenger properly. Ask the boat operator if you can see how many life jackets there are aboard and make sure if there are children, they are jackets that fit them. You can even bring your own.
- Be seated before the boat takes off and while it is motion. Often times, the boat may take off or the boat may hit a wave cause the boat to jerk suddenly which could cause you to fall out. Be seated and make sure to look for the operator's signal when you are about to take off and when it is safe to get up.
- Make sure that the operator is experienced. Often times, a friend may get a new boat. Make sure that person has operated a boat before and knows what they are doing on the waterways.
- Check the weather. We all do not like to miss out on a good time but make sure the weather is favorable for boating that day. If the weather is looking like it is about to change for the worse, let the operator know and try to get inland as safely as you can.
Your Boat Accident Attorneys
If you have been injured in a boat accident, call the Personal Injury Attorneys of the Nicoletti Law Firm today. You can contact the Nicoletti Law Firm anytime at (727) 845-5972 or you can fill out our Free Case Evaluation Form. We have convenient office locations throughout Florida including Port Richey, Tampa (By Appt.), & Zephyrhills. If you can not travel to us, do not worry, we will come to wherever is convenient for you at no cost. Be safe on the water everyone!