There’s nothing better than cruising down the lake in a high-speed boat. The thrill of being on the water is like no other, but what would you do if you sustained a serious injury during your adventure?
Boating accidents are common, and in many instances, they are also preventable. Safety must come first when you’re out on the water. Knowing what to do in the event of a boating emergency may mean the difference between life and death.
Common Boating Injuries
Nobody expects that they will sustain an injury while hanging out on their boat. However, lakes are congested with boaters, and many people act recklessly on the water. Here are some of the most common injuries:
- Drowning – If someone falls into the water, they risk drowning. Even those who know how to swim may drown in large bodies of water.Make sure everyone on the boat wears a lifejacket at all times. You may be liable if a passenger drowns, and it’s proven that they were not wearing a floatation device. Also, always stay seated when the boat is in motion to avoid falling overboard.
- Collision Injuries – Boating collisions are very similar to auto accidents. The only difference is that one occurs on water, while the other occurs on dry land. High speeds, distraction, intoxication and recklessness are all leading causes of boating collisions.Common injuries reported after a boating collision, include whiplash, head trauma and spinal cord injuries. While these injuries may be minor, some can be life-threatening.
- Lacerations – Many mechanical parts of a boat are exposed. Therefore, if someone gets too close to the rear propeller, they may be cut. These lacerations may vary from a small nick to a deep wound that needs stitches.In the most serious scenarios, the victim may lose a limb as a result of the accident. Others may bleed out. In such a case, quick medical intervention is needed.
- Corneal Abrasions – Wind, dust and debris may cause painful corneal abrasions. Minor eye injuries heal themselves, but more severe abrasions may lead to loss of vision. Boaters can reduce the risk of eye injuries by wearing sunglasses at all times.
How to Handle a Boating Injury
All boating injuries are unique. Victims should seek medical attention immediately for any serious injury. If the victim is bleeding or unconscious, be sure to immobilize them until help arrives. Whenever possible, take photos of the injury and the location where the accident occurred. Also, get witness statements and contact information from anyone who was present at the time.
If you were injured during a boating accident and feel that another person is to blame, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. A personal injury lawyer will gather all the facts needed to prove that your injury was the direct result of another person’s negligence. You may be awarded damages, for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. Search our Jacksonville law firms for a boat accident attorney.