With rivers, lakes and bayous found throughout Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico nearby, many state residents have spent time boating for recreation and sport as well as to make a living. Unfortunately, boating accidents happen every year and injure and kill people. Many who survive such accidents end up with lifelong disabilities. This is why all boaters are required by law to follow a variety of safety rules and guidelines laid down by state and federal authorities to promote safe and enjoyable boating experiences.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 4,064 boating accidents occurred across the country last year, resulting in 610 deaths, nearly 80 percent of them by drowning. Some 84 percent of those who drowned had life jackets available but were not using them. Another 2,678 people were injured. The fatality statistics showed a 10.6 percent rise over 2013. The accidents also resulted in financial losses of around $39 million.
Any boating accident victim who has been injured may have the right under state law to initiate a personal injury lawsuit against a negligent party, whether an individual boat operator or a boating company. For their part, boaters should remember to keep life jackets onboard their craft and insist that passengers use them.
Boating accident cases can be quite complicated because the burden of proving that someone was negligent lies with the plaintiffs. They must show that the boating accident was a breach of responsibility through a negligent act or failure to observe safety standards and that the responsible party failed to act on its responsibilities.
Source: USCGBoating.org, “2014 recreational boating statistics,” Accessed on July 9, 2015