Common Boating Injuries, Their Causes, and How to Prevent Them This Summer
One of the great things about living in a place like Connecticut is that it’s relatively easy to get out onto the water. Thousands of people in the area boat recreationally on a regular basis, and there’s no denying that boating is a fun and relaxing way to spend a day—or an entire weekend.
Boating Can Cause Serious Injuries
Unfortunately, boating also exposes everyone involved to a significant risk of injury. In fact, the United States Coast Guard indicates that 2,629 people were injured in recreational boating accidents in 2017 alone.
Typically, boating injuries occur in one of three ways: a person on the boat falls overboard, the boat collides with another object, or a boat capsizes. These types of accidents can cause extremely serious injuries, including the following:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Broken bones
- Accidental amputations
- Serious soft tissue injuries
In addition, when people become trapped underwater in the course of a boating accident, they are at risk of sustaining an anoxic brain injury due to lack of oxygen. These injuries can result in irreversible brain damage that can affect victims for the rest of their lives.
These accidents can occur for a number of reasons, but importantly for people who are injured, when they happen because of someone else’s negligence, victims can often recover compensation for their injuries. Some of the most common causes of boating accidents that typically entitle injured victims to financial recovery include the following:
- Inexperienced boat operators
- Boat operators that are impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Negligent boat maintenance
- Failure to operate a boat in compliance with the law
- Excessive speed
- Distracted boating
Staying Safe While Boating
While it is impossible to make boating a zero-risk activity, there are certain steps that you can take to make your day on the water as safe as possible for you and your loved ones. Some of the most important include the following:
- Do not drink and boat. Not only is it against the law to operate a boat while you are drunk, but it also puts everyone on your boat at risk.
- Always wear a lifejacket, and make sure your passengers do too.
- Take a boating safety course and review the materials at least once each season.
- Make sure you are aware of the boating laws in your state—and follow them.
- Be aware of the weather forecast before you go out for the day.
- Always boat with boat safety equipment on board, including a fire extinguisher, flares, and boat lights.
- Practice propeller safety. Make sure that everyone who will be on your boat is account for prior to starting the engine and never let anyone enter or exit the boat while the engine is on or idling.
- Know what to do in the event of an emergency.
Injured in a Boating Accident? Call Polito & Harrington, LLC, Today to Schedule a Free Consultation With a New London Injury Lawyer
If you or a loved one sustained injured injuries in a boating accident in the New London area, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can. The lawyers of Polito & Harrington, LLC, will review the facts of your case at no cost to you and only collect legal fees if we successfully recover compensation on your behalf. Call us today at (860) 447-3300 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.