What are the Leading Causes of Fatal Boating Accidents?

personal injury | May 26, 2023

According to information available from the US Coast Guard, there were 658 total reported deaths as a result of both accidents during the most recent reporting year on file. When examining these fatalities, it is important to look at the main causes of these incidents in order to increase awareness and safety on the waterways around California.

What are the Leading Causes of Fatal Boating Accidents?

Fatal Accident Causes

Data from the US Coast Guard shows that the primary contributors to boat accident deaths 2021, the most recent reporting year on file, include the following:

  • Alcohol use
  • Operator inexperience
  • Operator inattention
  • Hazardous waters
  • Inclement weather conditions
  • Excessive speed by the operator
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Improper loading
  • People on the gunwale, bow, or transom
  • Overloading
  • Improper lookout
  • Excessive force of wave or wake
  • Machinery failure

These incidents represent incredible tragedies that affect not just the individuals who lost their lives but also their families and friends.

Recovering Compensation After a Fatal Boat Accident

After a fatal boating accident occurs in California, there will need to be an extensive investigation into the incident. We strongly encourage family members who have lost a loved one due to a boat accident to reach out to a Sacramento boat accident attorney as soon as possible. When you have a lawyer helping you with a wrongful death claim, you will have an advocate ready to investigate the entire incident. They will devote their time and resources to establishing liability, handling communication with other parties involved, and working to recover compensation.

There may be various types of compensation available for a successful wrongful death claim after a boat accident. This includes, but is not limited to, compensation for the following:

  • Any medical bills associated with the incident
  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Compensation for the loss of companionship, love, support, and guidance of the deceased
  • The amount of income the deceased would have earned as income throughout their lifetime
  • Assistance with household expenses the deceased can no longer help with
  • Pain and suffering and disfigurement compensation for the deceased (if they survived the initial incident)

How is Liability Determined?

After a fatal boat accident occurs, determining my ability is crucial. Because of the complexity of these cases, contact a skilled attorney who has experience handling these incidents.

Liability for a boating accident is determined primarily by the evidence available. This can include photographs and surveillance footage of the incident, records related to the safety and training of the boat operators, statements from any eyewitnesses to the incident, safety records related to the particular boat model or parts that could have malfunctioned, and more.

Gathering evidence is only part of the process. An attorney needs to show that the negligence involved in the case directly or indirectly led to the boat accident fatality. An attorney may work with trusted economic and medical experts to further corroborate how the incident led to the fatality and how the fatality led to monetary losses.

Ultimately, your attorney will be responsible for handling negotiations with the insurance carriers and taking the case to trial if it becomes necessary.