Many Americans enjoy a boating excursion and spending time on the water, especially during the summer months. However, many states across the country see thousands of boating accidents each year. Boating accidents can occur for a wide range of reasons and result in consequences including property damage, significant financial costs, injuries, and even death.  

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Causes of Boating Accidents 

A boating accident can happen on a variety of vessels including yachts, sailboats, cruise ships, watercraft, and pontoons. There are many reasons why a boating accident may occur, but the primary causes include:  

  • Speeding 
  • Alcohol use 
  • Not paying attention 
  • Inexperienced boat operator 
  • Machinery failure 
  • Disobeying the law 
  • Sharp Turns 
  • Hazardous waters 
  • Weather Conditions 
  • Restricted Vision 

Types of Injuries Caused by Boating Accidents 

The types of injuries that are caused by boating accidents can vary widely depending on the severity of the accident. These injuries can have a huge negative impact on the type of medical treatment that is required, and it can lead to sustained long-term effects. Some common injuries include brain injuries, broken bones, amputations, spinal cord injuries, concussion, whiplash, dislocations, burns, and more.  

Types of Injury Claims: What You Should Do 

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, a claim for negligence or product liability may be available to obtain compensation for injury and related losses.  


Negligence or reckless behavior is the most common reason boating accidents occur. When people on the boat are injured in an accident due to the primary owner or operator of the boat being negligent or reckless, they are liable.  Negligence and reckless behavior include speeding, not paying attention, not avoiding hazardous water or weather conditions, colliding with other boats or objects, and not properly maintaining safety equipment. 

Product Liability 

Operators of the boat may not be at fault when an accident occurs: the incident may be due to a defect with the boat. The boat might have a faulty design, a defective part or component or there may have been a failure to properly warn or instruct on the use of the boat. Such product defects may cause fires, electrocution, shocks or other malfunctions. Manufacturers, retailers, and distributors are responsible for protecting consumers and ensuring their products are safe to use.  

Foley & Small Can Help You

Boating accidents can result in severe injuries, expensive medical bills, loss of wages, property damage, and other losses. Filing a personal injury claim or a lawsuit for boating accidents provides individuals with the opportunity to receive compensation for their losses.  

If you were a passenger who was injured in a boating accident, you may be eligible for compensation. That’s why you should consider hiring an attorney. Foley & Small personal injury attorneys have years of experience representing individuals in northern Indiana and southern Michigan. Contact us today; we’re here to help! 

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