The Most Common Causes Of A Boating Accident

by Terry Bryant

A boating accident may be a rare occurrence compared to vehicle crashes, but they can cause serious, even permanent injuries. Determining fault in the aftermath of these incidents can be difficult, as a victim must prove negligence on the part of the vessel operator or owner. An experienced personal injury lawyer may need to sift through the details of the wreck to determine whether or not there is enough evidence for a suit.

The events leading up to the crash have to be taken into account before determining fault following a boating accident. The most common causes of a wreck include:

  • The ship hits another vessel
  • The ship is hit by a wave
  • The ship hits another vessel’s wake
  • The ship hits a submerged object

If the vessel is hit by another ship, then determining fault is similar to analyzing the events of a vehicle accident. While both operators would be responsible to a certain extent, if one of the operators were navigating their vessel recklessly, they may be responsible for all injuries caused. This may include operating a vessel at unsafe speeds or making sudden turns.

If the ship is hit by a wave or another ship’s wake, it is the operator’s duty to inform everyone of impending danger. If the operator does not, they may be held responsible. The vessel owner may also be considered negligent if the ship has a known defect that contributed to the likelihood of injury, or if the ship was not manned properly.

If a vessel strikes a submerged object, weather conditions, location of the wreck, and the events leading up to the boating accident will determine if the operator is at fault. If the ship was moving at a reasonable speed and using detailed navigation charts, for example, the operator will likely not be considered negligent. If, however, the operator was moving too quickly and ignoring dangerous weather conditions like fog, then they may be liable for any injuries.

A wreck at sea can be extraordinarily violent and result in life changing suffering. A knowledgeable personal injury attorney can help a victim determine who is responsible for their suffering and attain the compensation the victim needs to move forward with their life.