Residents of Massachusetts are never really very far from water. Whether they are near ponds, lakes, rivers, or the Atlantic, Massachusetts residents have plenty of places to play on the water. However, boats and other recreational and commercial water vessels pose hazards. Anyone riding a boat, raft, kayak, canoe, ferry, or other water vessel faces a variety of ways to get injured. Boating accidents are fairly common in the United States; not surprisingly, they are fairly common in Massachusetts.
In 2011 alone, the Coast Guard counted 4588 boating accidents, including 758 deaths, 3081 injuries, and nearly $52 million in property damage as a result of recreational boating accidents. The fatality rate, astoundingly, was 6.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational vessels. According to the Coast Guard, the most common types of vessels involved in boating accidents were open motorboats (47%), personal watercraft (19%), and cabin motorboats (14%). In 70% of all deadly boating accidents, the victim drowned. Of these fatalities, 84% were not wearing a life jacket. Further, only 11% eleven percent of boating fatalities occurred on vessels where the operator received instruction and only 7% on vessels where the operator had received boating safety instruction from a NASBLA approved course.
Injuries from boating accidents can be caused by a vessel capsizing or running aground, falling overboard, a fire or explosion on the vessel. Additionally, people are injured on boats from electrocution, striking a submerged object or another vessel, carbon monoxide exposure. Some people have been injured or died due to water skiing or water tubing accidents.
Boating accidents can occur due to many different factors. Sometimes, driver negligence is to blame; other times, a manufacturing defect of the boat is at fault. Alcohol use is the leading cause of boating fatalities. Alcohol use causes 16% of boating deaths. Additional major contributing factors include operator inattention, improper lookout, operator inexperience, and excessive speed top the list. Other negligent acts leading to boating injuries and fatalities include drug use, sharp turns, restricted vision, and improper loading.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical costs, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages. Anyone injured in a boating accident should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help guide you through the confusing process of determining if you are entitled to compensation. Additionally, an attorney works for you and has your best interests in mind during this difficult time.
Massachusetts boat accident Attorney Cappetta can help you navigate the complex legal matters involved with recovering compensation for your injuries. Attorney Cappetta is a skilled negotiator and a dedicated lawyer who listens and responds to his clients promptly and compassionately. Contact Attorney Cappetta today if you have been injured in a boating accident.