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Boating, sailing, and other watercraft are an important part of the Washington, D.C. region. Whether it’s the Potomac, the Anacostia, the Chesapeake Bay or even the Atlantic, many area residents enjoy boating. But with the popularity of boating comes inevitable risks, and our busy waterways are sometimes the scene of boating accidents that cause serious injury and sometimes death.
According to a report by the US Coast Guard that compiles statistics for recreational boating accidents, approximately 4,500 boating accidents occurred in the United States in 2012, over 65% of which resulted in injury. The report indicates that most boating accidents are caused by negligent and unsafe operation of the vessel, including operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, machinery failure and excessive speed. Alcohol use and violation of navigation rules also resulted in a high number of boat accidents. Alcohol use while operating a boat resulted in the highest number of deaths caused by a boating accident.
The vast majority of boat owners and operators are well trained and exercise the utmost level of caution to prevent injuries to fellow boaters and swimmers in surrounding waters it only takes a small amount of negligence to create a dangerous situation that can result in harm and injury to multiple people. All type of boats, whether a speed boat, sailboat, or even a jet ski, can cause danger and injury with an inexperienced or foolhardy person at the helm.
Watercraft accidents can also be caused by unsafe manufacturing, maintenance, or design of the boat. Generally, boats aren’t subject to as rigorous safety regulations as cars and trucks, even though they are also large, fast moving, complex machines that have the potential of causing injury if a collision or other type of accident takes place.
Cohen & Cohen represents people who have been injured through no fault of their own, whether in a boating accident, sailboat accident, or other watercraft accident. With boat accident attorneys who can practice in state and federal courts in Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, we are well-equipped to handle the complex jurisdictional issues that can often arise when an accident occurs over the water. Call us today to speak to a boating accident lawyer, and take the first steps toward recovery and compensation for your damages and injuries.