Pennsylvania lakes, rivers, and other waterways are used for business and recreation. It is not uncommon for vessels transporting goods or people to share the same water with people on jet skis and speedboats. In 2017, Pennsylvania experienced 69 reported boating accidents, 48 related injuries, and 15 related fatalities. Boating accidents do happen and resulting injuries can disrupt your life in so many ways, especially when the injuries are severe.
Boat accident causes and contributing factors
Complying with boating laws and operating with caution is very important when you are out on the water. Especially when you are out there with friends and family for a fun afternoon, it is easy to forget that boating is a big responsibility and both drivers and passengers have a duty to act as such. Some common factors and causes of boat accidents are alcohol use, speeding, driver inattention, poor boat maintenance, lack of proper equipment such as lights for night boating, improper lookout, and boater inexperience.
Types of boating accidents
Boating accidents are not limited to two boats running into each other. Boat accidents include collisions with other objects, a person being struck by a boat, boat capsize, falling in the vessel or overboard, explosions and fires, drowning, and skiing or other recreational mishaps. All of these boating accidents have the potential to cause great injuries. If you have sustained an injury in a boating accident, contact a boat accident attorney to review the facts of your case. If you have been injured in a boating accident due to someone else’s fault, you deserve to be fully compensated.
State and federal laws
There are federal and state laws that may relate to your boating accident. If you have been involved in a boating accident, finding an expert maritime attorney is important because you need an attorney who understands both Pennsylvania and federal water laws and when they are applicable. Questions that may help answer whether or not maritime law applies are listed below.
- Where did the accident occur and specifically which body of water?
- Does that water run through two states or empty into the sea?
- Are the waters used for business or transportation?
- Could the waters be used for business or transportation?
- Who was injured and was he or she working at the time?
- What type of water vessels were involved?