With springtime around the corner, many people throughout West Virginia are starting to plan boating or fishing trips. If the colder weather has kept you away from your boat, you might be itching to hit the water again, too. No matter how badly you want to go for a boat ride again, don’t forget to keep safety the number one priority.
Boating accidents can and do happen, perhaps more often than you think. Most of them can be traced back to someone’s negligence or recklessness, which means it should have been entirely preventable.
Three common boating accidents and how to prevent them:
- Capsizing: When a boat entirely tips over and capsizes, everyone on board is put in serious danger. Capsizing is often caused by inclement weather and rough water, but it may also be caused by misloading the boat. Small vessels, like a canoe or kayak, can even be capsized by a passenger’s inattention or carelessness. To prevent capsizing, never overload a boat, always use deliberate movements in small vessels, and check water conditions beforehand. You should also insist everyone on your boat wears a life jacket at all times; even strong swimmers need life jackets.
- Falling overboard: People who fall overboard may be seriously injured in the process by striking the side or a piece of the vessel, such as an outboard motor. If the weather conditions are poor or the water is cold, someone who falls overboard may quickly become submerged, unable to stay afloat. To prevent falling overboard accidents, do not allow passengers of your vessel to sit or stand on any part of the boat not intended for that purpose. Once again, life jackets are crucial to help prevent drowning accidents after someone falls overboard.
- Collisions: Boat crashes with other vessels, buoys, rocks, reefs, and so on may be caused by a boater who is distracted, intoxicated, or speeding. Whenever you go boating, always pay full attention to your speed and direction while the vessel is in motion. While moored or stationary, someone should remain vigilant for oncoming vessels or large waves that could crash into the boat. Never attempt to operate a water vessel of any kind or size while intoxicated.
Who is Liable for My Boating Accident?
Even the best preparation does not guarantee you will be safe from a boating accident. You could feasibly be endangered by the unexpected negligence of another passenger or the boater. At that point, you need to start thinking about who was liable for your injuries and how you can hold them accountable for their actions.Berthold Law Firm, PLLC and our Charleston personal injury attorneys are here to help you establish liability in your boating accident claim so you can seek all the compensation you deserve. From medical bills and missing wages to pain and suffering, we want to recover every last cent needed to make you feel comfortable again. Contact us at your first opportunity to place a free case review on your schedule.