A six year-old Louisiana girl was left in critical condition after a boating accident this week. She remains at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital in Baton Rouge, hopefully to make a full recovery. Sadly, such critical injuries are all too common following boat accidents. Thus, it is important for boaters to be familiar with Louisiana laws and regulations relating to boating to help minimize accidents, injuries and the related damages.
The accident occurred over the weekend on the Natalbany River. Five passengers were aboard a 22-foot ski boat, which was pulling two other minors on a tube. Suddenly, the boat crashed into a tree on the bank. The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries reported that the main injury occurred to the six-year-old girl. She was one of the boat passengers and suffered a major head injury. She actually required immediate attention, being flown off in a helicopter to the hospital. The others on the boat suffered only minor injuries — for instance, the driver had a broken foot.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries has enacted several regulations to help prevent against such accidents. For instance, children 16 are required to wear personal flotation devices. It is also unlawful for anyone under 16 years of age to operate a personal watercraft. Further, individuals are required to operate their boat in a responsible manner — weaving and chasing other boats in not permitted nor is harassing wildlife.
If an accident occurs as a result of failure to follow any of these regulations, it may be easier for someone who sustained injuries in the accident to recover from the negligent party in a lawsuit. Hopefully in this case, the little girl makes a full recovery and her medical expenses can be quickly compensated.
Source: The Advocate, “Girl critically injured in Sunday boating accident,” June 10, 2013