Seattle Boating Accident Lawyers
In Washington State there are almost 4,500 lakes, ponds, and reservoirs, many of which provide a perfect spot for people to take their boats out and enjoy a beautiful day on the water. But boat-related accidents are fairly common in Washington, and even the most experienced boaters can end up being involved in an accident that results serious injuries.
Common Boating Accidents
Many things can go wrong when you mix people, boats of any type, and a body of water:
- Slips and falls: Slips and falls are the most common type of boat-related accidents, because boating, by its very nature, involves wet, slippery surfaces. Just because they’re common doesn’t mean they’re never serious. A fall on a boat can cause extensive bruising and swelling, lacerations, and broken bones. Depending on the cleanliness of the body of water and what the boat is being used for (fishing, etc.), even a small cut or scrape can become infected.
- Getting caught in lines: There are a lot of lines (ropes) on a boat, particularly sailboats, and they are another common cause of injury. People can get their hands, fingers, or other limbs caught in a line, resulting in rope burns, fractures, cuts, lacerations, and even amputations. These accidents are often the result of a line being fastened improperly or incorrectly released under tension.
- Head injuries: Head injuries are also very common in boats - especially sailboats. This can happen after a slip and fall, or it could happen as a result of the boom swinging in high winds.
- Back injuries: On large fishing and cargo boats, winches are often used to haul up heavy loads. But in order to use those winches, workers need to bend over and wind them, often for long periods of time. This can result in overexertion, strains, and pulled muscles in the back. Heat stroke: Being out in the sun all day is nice, until a person has gotten too much sun and suffers a sunburn or heat stroke as a result. Sunburns can be serious and repeated sunburns contribute to skin cancer. Those suffering from heat stroke can feel agitated, confused, irritable, and experience seizures, coma, and delirium.
- Drowning: Drowning or near-drowning accidents happen all too easily on a boat. People can get knocked overboard, or a boat can capsize or sink. It’s very important that all people on a boat wear a lifejacket at all times.
While these injuries can happen to anyone, children are particularly vulnerable. It’s for this reason that Washington State requires that children under the age of 13 wear a lifejacket, otherwise known as a personal flotation device, at all times when on a boat.
Boat accidents often occur due to someone else’s negligence. Boat operators need to meet certain requirements to obtain a boat license and if they haven’t, that could make them guilty of negligence. If a part of the boat or the boat itself was defective, the boat or part’s manufacturer can also be held liable for any injuries the defect caused.
Contact an Attorney Today
If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., toll-free at (888) 228-3860. We know Washington State’s laws on boating, and we’ll fight to ensure you get the compensation you and your family deserve.
- Can Cruise Ships Be Held Responsible for Passenger Injuries?
- Who May Be Liable for Drowning Accidents in Seattle?
- Drowning Remains a Leading Cause of Child Injury and Death
- Boating Regulations in Washington State
- Recreational Boaters - U.S. Coast Guard's Boating Safety Division