When the weather is warm, a day on the water is perfect for cooling off and having fun. In Ohio, we have plenty of options for places to boat with your friends or your family. While boating is a fun activity, it can also become dangerous when the weather takes an unexpected turn, or when the waterways are crowded with other people. Unfortunately, these dangerous scenarios can lead to boat accidents with other boats, objects, or people in the water.
If you’ve been involved in an accident with a boat in Ohio, then you could use the help of a Cincinnati boat accident lawyer from Thomas Law Offices. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will fully investigate your claim and fight to get you the full compensation that you deserve for your injuries and damages. That way, you can focus on your physical and emotional recovery while we handle your financial recovery.
Boating on the Ohio River
If you want to go boating in the Cincinnati area, it’s likely you’ll choose our portion of the Ohio River or a nearby lake. Although having a water feature right along our city is exciting, it can also get congested for this reason. Ideally, everyone who goes boating on the river would have proper training and take the necessary precautions, but that doesn’t always happen.
Ohio Administrative Code outlines the rules for navigating a boat or other vessels in the waters of Ohio. If you plan on boating on the river, make sure you follow these rules as well as take these steps to prevent an accident, or to prevent injuries and death:
- Make sure the driver is qualified and sober.
- Wear a life vest.
- Sit down while the boat is in motion.
- Maintain safe speeds.
- Use the ladder to get on and off the boat if you plan to get into the water.
Even though most of those actions seem like common sense, sometimes boaters choose to ignore their instincts and act negligently and recklessly in the water. When boaters act negligently, they risk getting into a boating accident and acquiring or causing injuries. Here are some of the most common injuries that happen in boating accidents on the Ohio River:
- Bruises and scrapes
- Broken bones
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal cord injury
What Causes Boat Accidents?
Boating is fun but can be dangerous if all the proper precautions aren’t taken. There were over 4,000 boating accidents in 2018. From those accidents, over 2,500 people were injured, and over 600 people died. Much like car accidents, boating accidents are dangerous because the collisions can cause blunt force trauma and subsequent injuries, like brain injuries.
But they could be considered even more dangerous than car accidents because of the water. If passengers are knocked off the boat and into the water, there are added injuries and dangers that they can suffer, especially if passengers aren’t wearing life vests.
According to a report by the U.S. Coast Guard, summer months have the most boating accidents, both fatal and non-fatal. The report also lists the different causes of boating accidents. In general, boat accidents are caused by mistakes in operation, improper loading of people or gear, equipment failure, and environmental factors.
More specifically, here are the main contributing factors to deadly boat accidents in the United States:
- Drinking alcohol
- Drug use
- Inadequate lights and reduced visibility
- Ignoring navigation rules
- Sharp turns
- Improper loading or overloading
- Improper anchoring
- Equipment or machinery failure
- Congested or hazardous waters
- High wake force
- Poor weather
- Carbon monoxide exposure
What Is a Safe Speed on the Water?
Maintaining a safe speed is one of the most important aspects of boating because it can prevent most accidents that occur. When you go too fast on the water, your reaction time is cut short, and you aren’t able to avoid obstacles that you otherwise would be able to avoid at a slower speed. But the water isn’t like the roadways where a specific speed limit is posted.
The Ohio Administrative Code gives a list of factors to consider when driving a boat. Here is how to determine what is a safe speed while driving a boat:
- Congestion and other vessels
- Other objects in the water
- Maneuverability of your boat
- Force of the wake
- Depth of the water
Thomas Law Offices Will Represent You
Boating accidents can lead to devastating injuries and losses. We understand that the time you spend physically and emotionally recovering after an accident is vital and that peace of mind is essential to your health. That’s why our Cincinnati boat accident lawyer is willing to represent you in your personal injury claim against the person or company who caused your boating accident—we can give you peace of mind when you trust us with your case.
Our experienced lawyers will fully investigate what happened, and compile all the necessary documents to calculate what would be a fair amount for your compensation. We will guide you through the legal process so you can feel confident in your claim, which is essential for your mental health throughout this process and in your healing. Reach out to us today so we can get started on your claim.