In Rhode Island and Massachusetts, the boating and water sport season is upon us and it is important for you to understand your rights if you were injured on board a boat or other watercraft. Accidents or injuries on board cruise ships, private boats, ferries, or even water skis, are injuries in which you may be able to collect personal injury damages including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
The Center for Disease Control reports that in 2009 there were 4,730 boating accidents resulting in 3,358 injuries and 736 deaths. Among the fatalities, it was discovered that 84% of drowning victims were not wearing a life jacket at the time of the accident.
The most common types of boating accidents are:
- Collision between two watercraft;
- Falling overboard; and
- Slip and fall on deck.
The injuries following a boating accident can be quite serious including fractures, burns, head injuries, or at worst, drowning. Similar to auto accidents, most boating accidents are caused by operator inattention or recklessness, operator inexperience, and operating under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In fact, the Center for Disease Control reports that 1 in 5 boating fatalities are related to alcohol use.
Most watercraft are insured, but boat accident litigation can become quite complex so it is important to speak with an attorney who has experience in representing those injured while a passenger on a boat.
Rhode Island and Massachusetts have a rich boating tradition so we see our fair share of watercraft accidents. I have experience in representing those injured on watercraft. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident aboard a boat or other watercraft, contact my office right away for a free consultation.