If you or someone you love has been severely injured in a water sport or boating accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to financial compensation. As an injured victim, you can pursue legal action to recover money toward time missed from work, medical bills, or pain and suffering. However, to have the best chance of winning your case, you’ll need to hire an Allegheny County boating accident attorney from the SMA Law Group. We have the skills and experience necessary to get you the full monetary award that you deserve.
How Do Boating Accidents Happen?
Boating accidents have many causes. The most common include:
- Exceeding Safe Speeds – All watercraft, not just boats but also jet skis, should maintain safe speeds on the water. When boaters drive too fast, they may lose control of the watercraft, causing a crash that leads to serious injuries. Safe speeds allow boaters to see hazards in the water including objects, other boaters, and swimmers.
- Inexperienced Driving – If a boat driver doesn’t have the experience or skills needed to properly operate a water vessel, it can lead to a swimming, tubing, or water-skiing accident, or even a boat crash. When riding in a boat, it’s important to find out how much experience your captain has before you board or participate in water activities. Boating captains should take classes that teach them how to navigate a boat so they can properly follow rules and regulations.
- Reckless or Careless Operation – When boat captains operate their craft in a careless or negligent manner, it can lead to serious water accidents. Reckless operation can include the violation of low wake rules, jumping a wake near another boat, allowing passengers to sit in dangerous areas while the boat is in motion, driving while distracted, driving too close to other boats and water vessels, overloading a vessel with too much cargo or too many passengers, or failure to yield to a water skier, jet ski, or watercraft.
- Passenger Recklessness or Carelessness – Passengers are the responsibility of the boat operator. The captain is in charge of making sure they stay seated while the boat is in motion and don’t impede the captain’s line of sight. Never tow a reckless water skier and always designate an observer to keep an eye on them while they ride.
- Inclement Weather – If you’re heading out on the water for water sports or boating activities, you should always check your safety equipment and pay attention to the weather forecast. Make a float plan that tells others when and where you’ll be boating and watch for high winds that can make waters treacherous.
- Using Alcohol –Whether you drive a car or a boat, the laws are the same. If you are behind the wheel with a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.08, you can be arrested for a DUI. By operating a watercraft under the influence of drugs or alcohol, not only are you breaking the law, but you’re also endangering the lives of your passengers and other boating enthusiasts. The punishment for boating under the influence in Pennsylvania is up to five years in jail, fines between $300 and $12,500, and losing your boating privileges for a year. If you refuse to take a urine, blood, or breathalyzer test, the Boating Commission has the right to automatically suspend your boating privileges for up to 18 months.
How Can an Allegheny County Boating Accident Attorney Help?
The SMA Law Group has represented boating accident victims for many years. Through our experiences, we have found that deaths and injuries from watersport and boating accidents are often caused by the careless and negligent actions of those operating the boat. Let us evaluate your case today and help you determine who is liable for your injuries. We provide a free case evaluation to every boating accident victim, and we don’t collect a cent unless you win your claim.