As the summer months approach, more people are venturing out on the water. Water sports, like boating, should be approached with caution. Boating accidents are not uncommon. As with the operation of any motor vehicle, reasonable care must be exercised when operating a boat.
Sadly, one Louisiana man was recently reminded of just how dangerous boating can be. He was the single passenger of a boat that got into a collision with another boat. As a result of the accident, he suffered serious injuries and had to be airlifted from the scene of the accident to Louisiana State University Hospital. He remains in the intensive care unit. The two passengers on the other boat did not suffer any major injuries. The crash remains under investigation and the authorities are examining whether an intoxicated boater played a role in the accident.
Many Louisianans may not find an issue with drinking and boating. It is against the law, however, just as drinking and driving a car is impermissible. Specifically, Louisiana law provides that a boater cannot operate a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 or higher. Those under 21 cannot operate with a BAC of 0.02 or higher.
BAC may be important for a variety of reasons following a boating accident. Perhaps most obviously, this information will determine whether the State presses criminal charges against an intoxicated boater.
BAC may also come into play in civil proceedings. For example, if it is discovered that the other two boaters, who collided with the injured were intoxicated, the man or his loved ones can use this information to support a civil lawsuit to recover damages. BAC evidence goes to the issue of whether the boaters reasonably operated their boat.
In this situation, it is apparent that boating is no different than operating an automobile. Drivers must exercise reasonable care and respect their duty to others on the water. If they do not, they could be subject to civil claims. Experienced legal professionals are available to answer any questions or assist any Louisiana residents who have been injured in a boating or automobile accident.
Source: KNOE.com, “UPDATE: Boater in ICU listed in serious condition,” Jillian Corder, May 18, 2013