Now that the summer months are here, you may have received an invitation or two to head out to the lake with friends or family for a boat outing. You may enjoy this activity as a chance to get some fresh air, sunshine and quality time with loved ones. Of course, boating can be a dangerous activity.
Even though you may not operate the boat yourself, you could still face dangers as a passenger. If the driver acts recklessly, negligently, consumes alcohol or participates in other dangerous behaviors, you could quickly become involved in a boating accident that leads to serious injuries.
What can cause a boat accident?
Just like car accidents, numerous factors can contribute to boating accidents. Some factors may seem more like inconveniences than dangers, but under certain circumstances, a situation could quickly put you and others at risk. Hazards you could face out on the water include the following:
- Running out of gas: This is one factor that may seem like a simple inconvenience, but really, running out of gas could cause a major problem if bad weather crops up or if the boat is in potentially dangerous waters when it runs out of gas.
- Breaking down: Boat owners and operators should always make sure their vessels are in proper working order. If a mechanical failure takes place, you and others could end up stranded and at risk of an accident.
- Ignoring signs of bad weather: Any respectable boat captain will check the weather and avoid taking risks when a chance of bad weather exists. Unfortunately, some boat drivers may ignore those signs and head out anyway, putting everyone on the boat in danger.
- Intoxication: Many people do use their time out on the lake or other bodies of water as a time to kick back and relax. However, the person operating the boat should never consume alcohol because impairment and intoxication could cause a boat accident just as easily as a car accident.
These examples are only a few of the many hazards that could lead to serious boating accidents.
What can you do after an accident?
If you do suffer serious injuries as a result of a boating accident caused by another person, you may want to consider your legal options. Your situation may warrant a personal injury claim that could help you pursue compensation for your injuries, medical expenses and other related damages. Discussing your specific situation with an attorney may allow you to better understand your possible courses of action.