Boating is a popular amusement activity in Ontario during the summer months. But this source of amusement is also, unfortunately, one of the most common causes of accidents in Canada. Reports state that approximately 525 deaths in Canada are caused due to water-related fatalities, out of which 166 people on an average die in boating accidents.
These accidents are caused mainly when an inexperienced or negligent driver takes over the wheels of the boat.
Let us understand boating accidents in detail and the steps that you need to take if you are a part of such an unfortunate event.
Why do boating accidents occur?
More than 57 % of the water-related deaths are caused during the summer months in Canada, out of which boating accidents are most common. When someone gets hurt or dies in a boating accident, questions will be immediately raised by their loved ones. Sometimes, it may be due to your actions that cause the unfortunate event, but often the boat operator’s negligence is responsible for it.
The most common types of boating accidents are –
- You may slip and fall from the boat
- Your boat may collide with another boat or a rock
The boating activities where accidents occur the most are –
- Speed boating
- Water skiing
Now let us look at the primary reasons for boating accidents–
Most of the boating accidents are caused due to irresponsible behavior. More than 50 % of the boating accidents are caused due to alcohol consumption, according to reports. It is common among people between 15 and 44 years of age. If you or the driver is intoxicated while operating the boat, chances are your boat might ram into another one. Or you might trip and fall off the boat, as you may lose your balance due to the booze.
When you fall into the water, small amounts of alcohol in your system can increase your risks of drowning. Alcohol is a crucial factor for accidents related to small motorboats in Canada.
Not wearing life jackets
Approximately 90 % of the Canadians who have been injured or lost their lives due to a boating accident were not wearing a life jacket. Not wearing life jackets properly lead to drowning accidents. Both experienced and inexperienced swimmers are at risk of drowning. They might be shocked after falling into the water when the boat capsizes. They might not be in a mental state to stay afloat in the rough tides or cold water.
So life jackets are imperative if you want to protect yourself from boating accidents.
There are many other factors responsible for boating accidents such as speeding and maneuvering. When the boat driver does any of these, he puts the passengers and himself at risk of a collision with another boat. The boat might also crash into a rock and cause the accident.
Before heading out, you and the driver must be aware of the climatic conditions. Heavy rain, dense fog, or heavy winds are all risky conditions for boating activities, which must be avoided at all costs.
Drivers must ensure that the boat has all the necessary safety and communication equipment in case of an emergency. Furthermore, apart from checking the weather forecasts, boat operators must check the amount of fuel in the engine. The last thing you want is your engine to die out when you are far away from the shore.
What are the immediate steps after suffering from a boating accident?
Boating accidents can result in devastating and costly injuries to you or your loved ones. Whether it is your own vessel or owned by a third party, you have the right to seek compensation if you are not at fault. But you have to secure your health first.
Below are the steps you need to take in case of a boating accident –
Seek medical assistance
Your health must be your biggest priority. Even if you think that you have a minor injury, you must not neglect it and seek medical help immediately. Injuries such as a concussion or a sprain may not affect you severely at first, but they may lead to serious complications later on. Thus, a thorough medical examination is necessary for ruling out any injuries that may lead to fatal consequences.
Adhere to the doctor’s instructions and do not miss your appointments. Keep a copy of your medical documents. This will help in developing your personal injury claim later on. Seeking medical help demonstrates that you took immediate steps to mitigate your injuries.
Collect information about the incident
If you want to seek compensation and file a claim against the boat operators and the associated authorities, you need to gather evidence. First, jot down all the details you can remember about the incident – starting from when you got on the boat till you met the accident. Consult other passengers who were with you on the boat and ask them questions to properly record the incident. All this information will be useful for your lawyer to prove the other party’s negligence, which will eventually help you gain compensation.
Try to gather information from these sources –
- Statements from eyewitnesses
- Pictures of the accident scene
- Your medical reports
- Police reports about the incident
- Detailed information about the vessel that you were in along with the other vessels that are associated with the accident
- Complete information about the driver of your boat and other associated drivers
- Mariner logbooks
- Information about the third party business
The evidence you gather will be screened by the lawyer you will hire. This takes us to the next step.
Contact a firm of personal injury lawyers
The surest way to secure compensation from the at-fault party is by getting in touch with a personal injury law firm. Claim settlement is a complicated process and you will not be able to do it on your own. A personal injury law firm will provide you with their experienced lawyers, who will properly use the evidence to file a claim for you.
Before hiring a lawyer, you can ask them the following questions –
- How many years have they been practicing law?
- Have they handled boating accidents before? If so how many and what is their success rate?
- What is their fee structure?
And if you need additional medical care and therapy, personal injury lawyers can help in connecting you with the best medical professionals.
Watch what you say
Whatever you say and do will have a significant effect on your chances of securing compensation. Do not talk to an insurance agent without consulting your lawyer first. As your words are very important at this stage, it is best to tell the agent what your lawyer tells you.
Avoid using social media to discuss your accident. This will indicate that the accident was not so severe, and you are in good shape to talk about it on social media. This will hamper your case and your chances of getting the desired compensation. You might end up with a smaller amount as a result.
It is best to talk about the incident with only people your love and trust, and not with outsiders.
At Claim Settlement, our network of lawyers.. we connect you with have over 20 years of experience in handling personal injury and accident cases and have helped clients recover the maximum compensation in claim settlements. Our initial consultation is absolutely free and you don’t pay your lawyer until you receive the compensation you deserve. If you have suffered an injury or been in an accident call us at 1-833-892-5246 for a free consultation or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org