Rhode Island Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can occur anywhere, from a quiet pond to a fast-running river. They can involve any type of watercraft, too. Motorboats, canoes and boogie boards can all get into accidents. When one happens, you need help understanding how it happened and what to do next. A Rhode Island boat lawyer can help.
Top Causes of Boating Accidents
Not all accidents are preventable. For example, sudden storms or changes in the current can catch boaters off guard. But most accidents result from human error. Causes may include:
- Excessive Speed—You should always operate your boat at a speed that will allow you to stop safely before hitting a hazard. Boating regulations dictate safe speeds for certain conditions, such as when it is foggy.
- Inattention—It is easy to get distracted. But it is important to always pay attention to what is happening both on and off the boat.
- No lookout—A lookout is supposed to help the operator watch for and avoid things such as people or objects in the water.
- Alcohol—U.S. Coast Guard data has shown alcohol to be the leading contributing cause of fatalities for many years. Not only is it dangerous, but boating while drunk is illegal.
You can prevent these types of accidents by being more careful and following the rules. If you have made a mistake—even an honest one—you may be legally liable for any resulting injuries or property damage.
First Steps After an Accident
A boat operator's first responsibility is always to help anyone who needs it. Then give your name, address, and boat ID to anyone who suffered injury or property damage.
Report accidents to the Department of Environmental Management or to other nearby police officers if:
- Someone was seriously injured or died.
- Someone disappeared.
- Property damage was higher than $2000.
- A boat was totaled.
Each operator involved must make a report.
If you have been injured, get medical attention immediately. You will need medical records if you plan to try to recover damages.
Locate a Local Rhode Island Boating Accident Lawyer Today
If you have been in an accident, you need to know your rights. Call now to speak with a boat accident attorney in Rhode Island at 877-913-7222.