Boat Accidents and Drowning
By Michael Verna on August 12, 2019
According to numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are approximately 10 deaths from unintentional drowning every day in the United States. Of these deaths, two will involve children age 14 or younger. The CDC notes that from 2005-2014, there were 3,536 fatal drownings that were not related to boat accidents; there were 332 drowning deaths from boat accidents during this period.
Numbers like these are they the Walnut Creek, CA personal injury lawyers take boating accidents so seriously. The legal team at Bowles & Verna would like to go over the potential for drowning after a boat accident and the recursions of these kinds of incidents on the water.
Drowning After a Boating Accident
The potential for drowning in a boating accident can be high, especially when in crowded waterways during the summertime. Labor Day weekend is coming up, which means a lot of people at parks and other bodies of water enjoying the final stretch of summer.
Given how many people spend time in the bay or on rivers further inland to enjoy the warm weather, people in the Walnut Creek area need to exercise caution around boats and practice common sense safety measures when operating any sort of water vessel.
Causes of Boating Accident Drownings
Some potential causes of boating accidents include:
- Striking Another Boat or Vessel - Collisions between boats or other kinds of water vessels can lead to serious physical injuries. The force of the crash may send people into the water. If a person is seriously injured or knocked unconscious from the collision, the risk of drowning is high.
- Boats Colliding with Swimmers - In some tragic accidents, boats wind up striking or running over swimmers in the water. There are typically designated/separate areas on large bodies of water where swimmers are permitted and boats are permitted, yet unfortunate accident do happen, whether due to recklessness or inattention.
- Lack of Floatation Devices and Safety Equipment - If a boat does not have any floatation devices or any type of safety equipment to deal with someone falling overboard, the risk of injury or death from drowning can be high. That’s why it’s important to have life jackets, poles, and floatation devices on a vessel as a safety precaution.
The Repercussions of a Drowning
If a person drowns and survives, the oxygen deprivation they’ve suffered could do serious brain damage. This can result in memory loss, problems with cognition, mood swings, changes in motor skills and coordination, and even issues with speech and language. Given the numbers we’ve shared above, there are also many drowning victims who do not survive, which leads to immense grief among their loved ones.
Holding Negligent Parties Accountable
While some drownings are accidents with no one at fault, there are other situations in which a drowning is the result of someone else’s negligence. The person operating a boat may have been intoxicated, reckless, or inattentive at the time of a crash, for instance. Their dangerous actions had terrible consequences for other people.
The lawyers at our Walnut Creek law firm can look into boat accident injuries and fatal drownings to determine who the negligent part was. We will then help clients hold that party accountable for the physical harm or death from the drowning, seeking damages to address the various losses associated with the accident.
Speak with Our Team of Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a boating accident, it’s important that you contact a skilled injury accident attorney. The attorneys at Bowles & Verna can be reached by phone at (925) 935-3300.