Boating and water activities are extremely popular with Somerset County residents and visitors during warm weather months. Fishing, boating, skiing, and kayaking are among the favored activities, especially on the weekends. Usually a trip out to the lake or river means a day of fun, but when offshore accidents happen, it is anything but fun.
There were 69 boating accidents throughout the state of Pennsylvania in 2017 and those accidents resulted in 15 fatalities. Boat and maritime accident attorneys know that water accident injuries are often severe and sometimes fatal. Some injuries may be permanent and others may take a very long time to heal. In addition to extraordinary medical expenses, when injuries prevent you from working, lost income makes financial situations even more difficult.
Types of offshore accidents
Our maritime accident attorneys have seen many different water accident scenarios including the following:
- Chartered or recreational boat collisions with Kayak, Canoe, Jetski, people in the water, other boats or fixed objects
- Work accidents
- Falls overboard
- Slip and falls on deck or marina
- Boat defect causing accidents
Pennsylvania boating accident statistics
According to the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission, the most common water accident in 2017 was capsizing with 23 capsized boats followed by 17 collisions with vessels. There were 7 skiing mishaps and 6 falls overboard. Other accidents include grounding or sinking the boat, being struck by the prop, collisions with fixed or floating objects, and falls in a boat.
Negligent or reckless behaviors
Common conduct that frequently causes or contributes to water accidents is listed below.
- Violation of boating laws such as boat registration, lifejacket requirements, and throwing device requirements
- Distracted while operating the boat
- Failing to have a spotter or lookout to alert the driver of dangers in the water
Liability will fall on the negligent or reckless party who caused the accident. Often this will be the driver of the boat on which you are a passenger or the driver of another boat who caused the accident. Sometimes a negligent jet ski operator is at fault. The boat manufacturer may be liable for a boat defect that caused the accident. Liability may be on an employer if you were working at the time that you sustained an injury on the water.
Boating and maritime lawyer
Often people who are injured in offshore accidents seek out a personal injury attorney to help them recover compensation for their injuries and damages. It is important to understand that boating and maritime law are not the same as personal injury law and you need an expert attorney who understands water laws and when and how they apply to a particular set of facts.