BOAT ACCIDENTS IN WASHINGTON
Washington State and Seattle residents are surrounded by bodies of water and marinas full of vessels: The Pacific Ocean, Lake Union & Lake Washington, and all the other lakes and rivers in the Pacific Northwest. When the sun comes out in Washington, it’s no surprise to any responsible operator that these waters become crowded with people who care more about having fun than the safety of those around them. It’s a simple fact of boating life that MORE PEOPLE ON THE WATER MEANS MORE BOATING ACCIDENTS. In 2017, boating accidents involving a collision with another vessel was the most commonly reported accident in Washington State.
SEATTLE MARITIME ATTORNEYS KNOW THE RULES OF THE WATER
At the Law Office of Neil T. Lindquist, we have boat accident attorneys who can help you if you were injured in a boating accident. We work to protect the rights of injury victims and we want to protect your rights too. Our Washington State personal injury law firm works to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions in boating and watercraft accidents.
COMMON CAUSES OF BOATING / WATERCRAFT ACCIDENTS
Safely navigating a vessel is completely different from that of a vehicle. Boat owners aren’t given the luxury of using a public street or highway with clearly marked lanes. There are no signals or signs on Lake Union that can help boaters avoid collisions and potential safety hazards. This means it is the responsibility of watercraft owners, operators and passengers to be well-informed and to exercise good judgment to keep themselves safe on the water each time their vessel goes out.
Some of the most common causes of watercraft accidents include:
- Operator inexperience
- Operator inattention
- Reckless operation
- Weather and water conditions
- Unsafe behavior of passengers
- Equipment failure
- Congested waterways
- Drug or alcohol use
- Lack of certification or proper training
- Marina accidents
- Hi-Low accidents
- Failure to maintain slip
ALARMING FACTS FROM LAST YEAR
- In 2017, 114 recreational boating accidents were reported to Washington State law enforcement that involved 14 deaths and one disappearance, totaling 15 deaths and 50 injuries, and approximately $1.28 million of damage to property.
- The fatality rate by accident in 2017 was 13.2 deaths per 100 accidents. This rate indicates a 22.4% decrease from last year’s fatality rate of 17.0 deaths per 100 accidents.
- Collision with a recreational boat (39%), collision with a fixed object (8%), and flooding or swamping (8%) are the top three primary types of accidents when the cause is known.
- Of the months of the year, July experienced the highest number of accidents (29 accidents or 25% of all accidents), with Sundays having the most (20%) and when the data was known the most (18%) occurred between noon and 2 p.m.
Free Injury Consultation
If you or a loved one were injured in a maritime accident, we can connect you to lawyers for a free consultation about compensation that may be available to you.