Boating Accidents and Owner Liability
Posted on behalf of Phillips Law Group on Apr 09, 2010 in Personal Injury
As the weather continues to get warmer and the summer months draw near, more and more Phoenix and Tucson residents look for ways to escape the heat of Arizona. One of the most popular methods to accomplish this objective is to seek the fun and refreshment of boating. While boating can help many people beat the heat, they can also present risks to boat passengers. Boating accidents do occur, and when they do, those who have been injured need the help of an Arizona boating accident lawyer. Below is a look at how an owner of a boat could be liable for injuries caused in a boating accident.
Boating Accident Statistics and Leading Causes
One look at the relevant statistics and leading causes regarding boating accidents should alert anyone that this is an issue that continues to be a big problem. According to the United States Coast Guard, the following statistics were reported in regards boating accidents in the United States in 2008:
- There were 4,789 reported boating accidents resulting in 709 deaths and 3,331 injuries.
- Over two-thirds of those who were killed in boating accidents drowned, and 90 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life jacket.
- Alcohol use was described as the leading factor in boating accident deaths in 17 percent of cases in 2008.
The leading causes of boating accidents were as follows:
- Careless/reckless operation
- Operator inattention
- Lack of a proper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Passenger/skier behavior
Most of these causes of Arizona boating accidents trace back to potentially negligent conduct by the boat's owner.
How an Arizona Boat Owner Can Be Liable for a Boating Accident
Generally, the owner of a boat is as responsible for the boat, his or her passengers and the safety of other boaters on the water as someone who is driving a vehicle on the road. If the cause of the accident can be traced to negligence by the boat owner, he or she could face civil liability for damages incurred as a result of a boating accident. The owner's responsibilities include:
- Properly maintaining the boat to make sure it's safe for use
- Understanding and adhering to the rules of traffic on the water
- Not ingesting alcohol or other intoxicants if driving the boat
- Keeping passengers on the boat under control and away from unreasonable danger
- Navigating the boat carefully and attentively
If the boat owner fails to meet any of these basic standards and an accident occurs that leads to injuries and damages, the boat owner could be liable for the costs incurred by those who are injured.
Of course, negligence can arise in any number of circumstances, and if you or someone you love has been harmed in a boating accident, you need the help of an Phoenix boating accident lawyer who understands how the rules of negligence apply to these situations. Contact Phillips Law Group today to schedule a free initial consultation.