Boating accidents can be complex because of the special laws and regulations governing boating. If you've been injured in a boating accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced boating accident attorney.

Recreational Boating Accident Statistics

Nearly 11.9 million recreational vessels were registered in the United States as of the end of 2015 — almost 322,500 watercrafts were registered in Pennsylvania as of December 2014. In its 2016 Executive Summary, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,463 recreational boating accidents that resulted in 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries, and nearly $49 million in property damage. This represents a 2.3 percent increase in the number of boating accidents with a 2.6 percent increase in the number of fatalities and a 2.4 percent increase in the number of injuries due to boating accidents.

The most recent data available for Pennsylvania boating accidents is for the year ending December 2016. In 2016, the number of recreational boating accidents increased by 11 percent from 2015. A total of 70 recreational boating accidents was reported during 2014. Fourteen people died in 2016 Pennsylvania boating accidents and 45 people suffered injuries requiring medical treatment.

Our attorneys are well versed in Pennsylvania law, and can assist you if you have been injured in a boating accident. Each attorney at our Erie, Edinboro and Warren offices can review your claim and advise you of your legal options. Serving Erie, Warren and Crawford Counties, our legal team will represent your best interests. If you are the victim of a boating accident, contact our personal injury lawyers today.

Causes Of Recreational Boating Accidents In Pennsylvania

Of the 70 recreational boating accidents during 2016 in Pennsylvania, the following list contains the types of boating accidents in order from most common to least common:

  • Capsizing
  • Collision with another vessel
  • Someone falling overboard
  • Boat struck by a submerged object
  • Skier mishap
  • Fire and/or explosion aboard the boat
  • Grounding and/or sinking the boat
  • Colliding with a fixed object
  • Flooding
  • Two boats went over a dam
  • One person was struck by the prop, one person fell on the boat, one was struck by an object on the boat, and one person had a “mishap”

By contrast, the U.S. Coast Guard reports the top 10 causes or primary contributing factors to recreational boating accidents in 2016 across the nation are (in order from highest number of accidents):

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Machinery failure
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use
  • Hazardous waters
  • Navigation rules violation
  • Weather
  • Force of wake/wake

As you can see, operator error and inexperience account for the majority of the reasons that boating accidents occur. When an owner or operator of a boat is negligent in causing an accident, anyone who is injured as a result of that negligence has a claim of action under Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws.

However, boating accidents can be complex because of the special laws and regulations governing boating. If you or your family member has been injured in a boating accident, it is in your best interest to contact an experienced boating accident attorney.

The Travis Law Firm represents clients throughout northwestern Pennsylvania. Contact our office toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We have offices in Erie, Edinboro, and Warren, PA for your convenience.

Common Injuries Sustained In Recreational Boating Accidents

A common misconception many people have of boating accidents is that just because the accident occurs out on the water people do not sustain severe injuries. The truth is that boating accidents result in minor to severe injuries just like all other types of personal injury accidents. Some individuals may suffer minor injuries that heal in a few weeks to a few months while other individuals sustain traumatic injuries that result in permanent disabilities.

One of the most common injuries from boating accidents is drowning. Other injuries include:

  • Head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and closed head injuries
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Burns
  • Spinal cord injuries and other back injuries
  • Whiplash
  • Ligament and muscle injuries
  • Permanent nerve damage
  • Amputations
  • Paralysis
  • Internal bleeding
  • Death

A recreational boating accident can turn your life upside down. If you are unable to work due to your injuries, providing for yourself and for your family becomes increasingly more difficult. In addition to your physical injuries and your emotional suffering, you suffer a financial hardship when you are injured in a boating accident. If another party is responsible for your injuries, you may be able to recover compensation for your damages from the at-fault party.

What Damages Are Available In A Recreational Boating Accident Claim?

The compensation you are entitled to receive in a boating accident claim depends on your damages. As with other accident claims, Pennsylvania’s personal injury laws allow victims to file a claim for economic damages such as medical bills, property damage, lost wages, funeral expenses, and other out-of-pocket expenses directly related to the accident.

In addition to economic damages, you may also be entitled to recover compensation for non-economic damages. Examples of non-economic damages include physical pain, emotional suffering, mental anguish, and loss of companionship, support, and guidance (in the event of a wrongful death).

Our boating accident attorneys understand money can never undo the damage a boating accident does to an individual and a family. However, we also understand how important it is to recover the maximum amount of compensation allowable by law to help accident victims as they continue to heal from life-altering injuries.

Learn How An Experienced Boating Accident Attorney Can Help You

Have you been injured in a recreational boating accident? Is the insurance company for the responsible party delaying or denying your claim? Are you being pressured to settle quickly without knowing the extent of your injuries and long-term damages?

Let our attorneys protect your legal right to a fair and full settlement for your injuries. Contact The Travis Law Firm toll free at (800) 401-2066 to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys. We provide the support, guidance, and sound legal counsel that you need as you struggle to get your life back together following a recreational boating accident.

Contact Our Boating Accident Injury Lawyers

Knowledgeable in Pennsylvania law, each boating accident attorney at the Erie, Edinboro and Warren PA offices of The Travis Law Firm has the experience necessary to provide expert legal advice. Serving Erie, Warren, and Crawford Counties our trustworthy legal team will represent your best interests.