Lake Erie, the Ohio River and Kanawha River are great places for boaters to enjoy some recreational activities on the water. As boaters can only enjoy the warm weather for a short period of time, the season can be fraught with accidents and injuries.
In 2015, more than a dozen fatalities were reported to the Ohio Watercraft Division. Many injuries are caused by negligent boaters who are inattentive or committing other errors. If you or someone you love has been hurt in a boating accident near Cincinnati, contact a knowledgeable Cincinnati boat accident lawyer at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy.
Our accident team can thoroughly review your claim and determine if you are entitled to compensation for damages.
Common Causes Of Boating Crashes
Ohio boating laws require that operators complete a boating education course, though there is no age requirement for completing this course. Unfortunately, many recreational boaters choose to not complete the course and will operate their vessels illegally. Inexperienced and unlicensed boaters are a common cause of boating crashes.
Some other causes of boating collisions include:
- Distracted operators
- Careless passengers or water skiers
- Bad weather
- Operating recklessly
- Failure to yield
- Congested waters
- Hazardous waters
- Operating while under the influence of alcohol
- Exceeding maximum weight capacity
Though boaters take up a lot of space with their vessels, the recklessness of other individuals on watercrafts can also contribute to dangerous conditions that could lead to an accident.
If you believe that someone else’s reckless behavior contributed to your boat accident and injuries, contact a Cincinnati lawyer. You may be entitled to compensation for property damage, current and future medical expenses, lost wages, and other damages incurred.
Boat Accident Injuries
According to data from the United States Coast Guard, the most common boating injury reported in 2014 was lacerations, followed by broken bones. Most often, victims of boating accidents will suffer injuries to the head, trunk and legs.
Aside from lacerations, some other common injuries on the water include:
- Broken bones
- Head Injuries
- Sprains & strains
- Internal injury
- Loss of limb / amputation
- Spinal Cord Injury
Unfortunately, drownings are also common during boating incidents. About 78 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned. In these fatal incidents, 23 percent of the incidents involved operators who had received safe boating instruction. In Ohio, in 2015, two of the fatalities involved victims who fell overboard and another where the boat capsized.
Duty Of Care
When a boater invites others onto his or her watercraft, the boater has a legal and moral obligation to exercise due diligence and make the journey safe. When the operator, or other vessel operators, fail to adhere to safe boating practices, accidents and injuries are bound to happen.
Some of the types of reasonable care the captain or vessel operator should adhere to includes:
- Having enough life vests for everyone on board
- Never operating the vessel under the influence
- Ensuring the vessel is properly maintained
The operator of the vessel also has a duty of care to properly operate a vessel in safe conditions. Those who choose to continue operating a vessel during bad weather conditions are putting themselves, and their passengers, in danger.
If you believe that a boat operator failed to safely operate a vessel while you were aboard and this led to a boating accident, a skilled Cincinnati attorney at O’Connor, Acciani & Levy could help. With more than 30 years of experience helping personal injury victims, we can help you fight for your rights.
Reach Out to a Cincinnati Boating Accident Attorney
The aftermath of a boating collision is devastating and many victims will not know where to turn for help. A Cincinnati boat accident lawyer can investigate your claim thoroughly to determine if you are entitled to file a lawsuit for damages.
Our experienced attorneys will use our resources and knowledge to help you. We can hire an accident reconstruction team, obtain video surveillance if available, get witness statements, acquire the accident report and contact the insurance company on your behalf. When you or a loved one has been hurt due to someone else’s recklessness, you should not have to fight with the insurance companies to obtain the compensation you deserve. Let us fight on your behalf for the maximum amount of compensation you are entitled.