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Staying safe during summer boating season

This blog recently discussed wrongful death resources that may be available to the families of victims of fatal accidents. As the summer season is upon us, many people enjoy taking to the water for a variety of activities, including boating. While boating is fun way to spend the summer, there are also risks associated with the favorite pastime, so it is important to know how to stay safe on the water and what to do if a boating crash or fatal boating accident takes place.

During 2009, 3,358 victims were injured in boating accidents and 736 victims died in fatal boating accidents. Of the victims that died in boating accidents, 7 out of 10 drowned. Alcohol was the leading factor contributing to fatal boating accidents. Boating while impaired is dangerous, and based on data, alcohol is involved in one third of all boating accidents. Drinking while boating is as dangerous as drunk driving and is illegal in every state.

When victims have suffered harm in a boating accident or loved ones have suffered the loss of a family member in a fatal boating accident because of the negligence of another party, such as an impaired driver of a boat, they may have a claim for damages. In general, citations or criminal charges may be used as evidence of negligence in a personal injury or wrongful death legal claim to establish the negligence of the driver. Victims and their families may be able to recover damages including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and wrongful death damages depending on the circumstances.

Unfortunately, fun had on the water during summer boating season can have tragic consequences in some circumstances when careless parties are involved. It is important for victims and family members of victims of boating accidents are familiar with the legal recourse and protections that may be available to them when harmed.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Stay Safe While Boating," Accessed May 29, 2017

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