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Cause of Boat Accidents

28th June 2009
By Mesriani Law Group in Legal
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Los Angeles boating accidents account for some of the most tragic deaths in the United States. In 2007 alone, there were a total of 5,191 accidents recorded in the whole country that accounted for 685 deaths and 3,673 injuries. The damages caused by boating accidents reached $53,106,496.

These numbers are tragic because most boating accidents could have been prevented if not for the negligent actions done by some parties.

Boat accidents refer to vessels (recreational, numbered or documented) which experiences any of the following events:

• Capsizing
• Grounding
• Flooding
• Swamping
• Person or persons falls within or overboard a vessel
• Person or persons are ejected from the vessel
• Person leaves the vessel that is underway to swim for pleasure
• Person leaves the vessel to retrieve an item, another person, another vessel or others
• Sinking
• Fire or explosion
• Ski mishap
• Collision with another vessel
• Collision with a foreign object

• Striking a submerged object
• Propeller strikes a person
• Carbon monoxide asphyxiation
• Electrocution

Causes of Boating Accidents
Most boat accidents are products of negligent actions by one or more people. According to the coast guard, boat accidents are usually caused by human error rather than by natural phenomenon.

Here are some of the most common causes of boat accidents according to the coastguard:

• Alcohol use (Alcohol accounts for 21% of all boat accident fatalities)
• Operator inattention
• Careless/reckless operation
• Passenger behavior
• Excessive speed
• Hazardous waters
• Machinery Failure
• No Proper Lookout
• Rules of the road infraction

Prevent Boating Accidents
Here are some tips you can follow before deciding to board a boat:

• Take a boat education safety course - The best way to prevent boat accidents is to be educated. Know what you can and cannot do when out in the water.

• Require proper seating in a boat If an area in the boat is not designed for seating, then do not allow your passengers to do so. Do not overload the boat beyond the capacity of the boat's weight and horse power. In addition, try to balance the boat by distributing the weight evenly on both sides.

• Wear Coast Guard approved life jackets -Choose life jackets that are appropriate for your activity. When choosing a life jacket for a child, select on the weight range that is applicable. Although it has been said many times, a life jacket will save your life. It will keep you afloat even if you are injured, too weak to swim or even unconscious.

• Check weather conditions - Make sure to do this before boarding a boat. Bad weather can mean rough seas, high speed winds and even lightning. Tornadoes and hurricanes are even common in other regions. File a float plan with a local sporting goods store or leave one with someone you know who can initiate a search in case something happens.

• Follow rules of navigation - To avoid collisions, appoint one person as lookout for other vessels, foreign object, swimmers or other hazards on the water. Keep a safe speed, look in all directions before turning and be extremely cautious when driving into the sun's glare.

• Maintain the boat - Check cables and hoses for signs of wear and tear. Cover slippery walkways with non-slip materials. Make sure boat is equipped with fire extinguisher and first aid kit.

If you are injured in a boat related incident, make sure that you consult with a Los Angeles boating accident attorney to know if you are entitled to some compensation.

To help you deal with Los Angeles boating accidents issues, consult with our skilled personal injury lawyers. Visit our website and avail of our free case consultation.

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