One of the great things about living in Connecticut is our access to lakes, rivers and the Atlantic Ocean. These waterways provide abundant opportunities for recreation and family fun.
Unfortunately, not everyone approaches boating with the care and caution it requires. Just as with driving a car, distracted, intoxicated or otherwise negligent boating can lead to accidents that cause death or serious injury.
Connecticut boating injuries and deaths
According to data from the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 40 reported boating accidents in Connecticut in 2014. These accidents resulted in five deaths and 27 injuries. Some of the most common types of serious injuries that result from boating accidents include:
Injuries to internal organs
Spinal cord injuries
All of these injuries can seriously impact quality of life, and can result in lost wages, significant medical expenses and other financial losses.
How to stay safe
Nearly all boating accidents are preventable. If you’re going out on the water, you owe it to yourself and others to do everything in your power to stay safe.
Before going out, make an effort to familiarize yourself with the body of water, so that you know where buoys and hazardous areas are located. Once you’re on the water, maintain a reasonable speed and give a wide berth to swimmers and non-motorized watercraft. If someone is boarding the boat from the water, turn off the motor before they approach.
Perhaps the most important thing Connecticut boaters can do to avoid accidents is to stay sober. Intoxicated boating is one of the leading causes of serious and fatal accidents. Just as with driving, it is against the law to operate a boat with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher.
What to do if an accident happens
When someone is killed or injured in a boating accident, it is important to get help from an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Early intervention by an attorney can make a huge difference in the outcome of a case, especially when fault is contested or the insurance company is not fairly recognizing the extent of the victim’s injuries.
When choosing a lawyer, is important to be aware that not every personal injury firm is equipped to handle boating accident cases. Because they occur on the water, boating accidents implicate complex maritime and admiralty laws that are not involved in other personal injury cases.
They attorneys at Loughlin Fitzgerald have significant experience handling boat accident claims. If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, contact our office to schedule a free initial consultation to learn more about your rights under the law and your options for moving forward.