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How Boating Enthusiasts Can Avoid Disasters on the Water

How Boating Enthusiasts Can Avoid Disasters on the Water

Florida has the largest boating industry in the U.S. With summer just around the corner, boat owners are getting their vessels ready for fishing, water sports, or just cruising around on the weekends. While this is great fun for both residents and tourists, it also means there’s a higher risk of accidents. In fact, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission found that the state had 766 boat accidents in 2017 alone. 

An accident on the water can lead to serious injury or even death. When boat collisions occur, the occupants are at risk of sustaining head trauma, spinal cord injuries, broken bones, and severe abrasions. A common misconception is that these injuries only involve high-speed ski boats. However, even occupants of fishing boats or canoes are at risk.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents

Different boating activities involve different levels of risk. Laws are in place to help keep people safe while boating, but there’s no way to prevent accidents and injuries altogether. Unfortunately, many times the operator of a boat is to blame for an accident. Some common circumstances that lead to mishaps include:

  • Excessive speeds
  • Over-occupancy
  • Operating a boat while under the influence
  • Failing to pay attention to boating traffic
  • Improper boat maintenance 
  • Inadequate safety equipment
  • Bottoming out and flooding the boat

Operators of boats have a responsibility to passengers, other boats, and people engaging in water activities. If the driver of a boat causes an accident, injured parties may be able to seek compensation if negligence was involved.

Tips for Preventing Disasters

Although boat owners must go through a safety course to obtain a license, it still pays to take additional precautions. In fact, taking further safety courses is a great way to learn how to prevent a disaster from happening. In addition to this, all boats should have proper safety equipment. There should be a lifejacket for every passenger, a first aid kit, and floatation devices on board. It’s also important that boaters monitor the weather before going out. This is critical when boating in the ocean where rough waters can cause capsizing.

Regular boat maintenance is essential. Boat operators should have yearly inspections and tune-ups to ensure they don’t break down while on the water. This also helps avoid possible fires or carbon monoxide leaks, which is a contributing factor in some boating fatalities. Either the boat operator or another passenger should always stay on the lookout for approaching boats, jet skis, or water skiers. This helps avoid collisions or striking people in the water. Finally, alcohol should never be consumed while operating a boat.

Contact a Boat Accident Attorney in Daytona Beach

If you’ve been injured in a boat accident that was caused by negligence, intoxication, or a disregard for boating laws, we can help. Our Daytona Beach personal injury attorneys have years of experience protecting the rights of injured victims. We’ll examine the details of the accident along with your injuries to determine the appropriate compensation to pursue. Contact Zimmet & Zimmet today at (386) 210-9658 to schedule a free consultation.

A Father’s Stumble Causes a Fatal Boating Accident

In September of 2018, a father experienced every parent’s worst nightmare: being involved in the death of their child. Fifteen-year-old Hayden Schreyer was on a boat with his father and six other passengers in the Kemp Channel area. When his father lost his balance, tragedy struck.

Teen Dies After Fall

Fatal Boating AccidentAs Jason Schreyer was piloting his Dorado boat, he suddenly lost his balance and fell, hitting the boat’s throttle. As a result, the boat lurched forward. The impact sent Hayden overboard, where he was struck by the propeller and suffered both body and head trauma. His father suffered a broken tibia, but the other six passengers were not hurt.

After being transported to Lower Keys Medical Center, Hayden Schreyer was declared dead.

Common Injures in Boating Accidents

Boating accidents are different from many other types of vehicle crashes. The water is notoriously unstable, putting passengers at risk of accidents similar to the one that took Hayden Schreyer’s life. Those harmed by a boat accident may suffer a wide range of injuries:

  • Lacerations and scrapes
  • Bruises
  • Burns
  • Concussions
  • Broken bones
  • Muscle sprains
  • Damage to internal organs
  • Dislocation of muscles
  • Limb amputation
  • Death

When an accident occurs, medical expenses can skyrocket quickly, particularly if multiple passengers are injured. Regardless of who is at fault, it’s important for injured parties to get what they deserve. A boating accident lawyer in Florida can help victims seek financial compensation for medical expenses, lost income, loss of future income, and potential future medical costs.

Causes of Boating Accidents

When you hit the open water, there are plenty of ways to get hurt or suffer property damage. Boats may collide with objects, such as unseen obstacles below the surface of the water, can cause serious damage to your boat. A boat lurching as it strikes an unexpected object can also cause injury to those onboard. An inattentive pilot may not notice how close a dock is, causing a major collision.

Equipment failure can also cause serious or fatal accidents. Those inexperienced in boating or who only take their boat out infrequently may be unaware of standard maintenance schedules or miss the warning signs of equipment failure. A malfunctioning boat can cause the captain to lose control, leading to a collision with another boat or an object.

Waterskiing and tubing add another level of complexity to the demands of piloting a boat. When a boat is pulling someone on water skis or a tube, the captain must divide their attention between the water around them and the person they’re pulling. This immediately puts them at greater risk of an accident caused by inattentive piloting. Tangled lines and rider falls cause more injuries each year.

Get Relief from Medical Bills After a Boating Accident

The expenses related to a boating accident can add up quickly, particularly if you are unable to work or you suffer serious injuries. Instead of trying to communicate with insurance companies on your own, trust an experienced boating accident lawyer who can advocate for you. Get a free consultation by calling Zimmet & Zimmet at (386) 210-9629.

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The Number of Boating Accidents in Florida Increased in 2017

From the Atlantic Ocean to the Gulf Coast, Florida boasts 1,350 miles of pristine coastline. In addition, it’s home to over 4,300 miles of lakes, swamps, and reservoirs. It is truly a boaters paradise, which is why there were nearly 1 million registered boat owners in Florida in 2017. Unfortunately, more boaters mean more boating accidents.

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