Venango County residents are outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy spending time on the water, especially in the warm weather months. Maritime and boating activities thrive in Pennsylvania making for energetic waterways throughout the state. Unfortunately, as boat and maritime accident attorneys know, busy waterways can sometimes lead to boating accidents.
Causes of boating accidents
Pennsylvania’s most recently released boating accident analysis reported 69 boating accidents that resulted in 51 injuries and 15 fatalities over a one year period. Of the 15 fatalities, only four of the victims were wearing lifejackets. Causes of the 69 boating accidents include:
- Collision with vessel
- Skier mishap
- Falls overboard
- Struck by prop
- Struck submerged/fixed object
- Fall in boat
- Collision with a floating object
Working on the water
Special laws apply for maritime industry employees injured on the job including the Jones Act, the Longshoreman and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, and the Death on the High Seas Act. These acts protect maritime workers and that is why it is important for injury victims to have an experienced maritime attorney who understands the complexities of boating accidents and maritime law advocating on their behalf.
Recreation and leisure on the water
Passengers on cruise ships, friends’ boats, guided tours, and charters are owed a duty of care related to safe onboard conditions and vessel operation. Accidents and injuries may be caused by dangers such as defective boats and equipment, illnesses and outbreaks on cruise ships, negligent operation, or slippery deck surfaces. Negligent operators of other vessels on the water may also be responsible for boating collisions and injuries.
Dangerous and negligent behaviors and conduct that frequently lead to boating accidents are described below.
- Operating a vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Lack of use/availability of lifejackets and other safety equipment violations
- An inexperienced operator with lack of training and supervision
- Poorly maintained vessel
- Vessel defects
- Distracted or inattentive operator
- Operator error
- Operating in rough waters and poor weather conditions
Boat accident injuries
Offshore accident injuries sustained by boat passengers and workers can be devastating. Common injuries include serious cuts and lacerations, broken bones, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, and drowning. When some of these injuries may not be fatal, they can range in severity and the effects can cause short term or long term disability.
Boat and maritime accident attorneys
If you have been injured in an offshore boating accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you deserve to be compensated. Injuries and damages sustained in accidents on the water may include medical expenses, future medical expenses, lost wages and lost earning capacity, pain and suffering, and disability. Additional compensation may be available in a wrongful death claim for those who lost a loved one in a boat accident caused by someone else’s fault.