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Boating Accidents

During the balmy summer months, many Iowa residents enjoy going out on the water in their boats to enjoy the afternoon hours. Although boating is relatively safe, accidents do occur and can result in serious injury. In fact, the United States Coast Guard has released a report stating that 5,625 accidents occurred in 2020. The report also detailed that unfortunately 767 fatalities and $62.5 million dollars of property damage occurred due to these accidents that year alone.

Boating accidents can result in serious injuries including spinal cord fractures, traumatic head injuries, fractured bones, and in some cases disfigurement. These painful injuries tend to require expensive medical care and hospital visits as well as extensive therapy to treat any emotional distress from the accident. These costs can add up quickly and could put you in debt in just a few short years. The best way to combat the immediate stress a boating accident may bring is to take legal action against the negligent party responsible.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a boating accident, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.

Des Moines Boating Accident Attorney | Personal Injury, Iowa

The beautiful lakes across the state of Iowa attract boaters near and far. Unfortunately, if an accident occurs, this friendly outing can turn deadly and result in life-changing injuries. If you’ve been injured in a boating accident, we recommend you reach out to Gregory Landry at McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C..

Gregory Landry has over three decades of experience that he can utilize for your case. His extensive knowledge, skills, and resources may be exactly what you need to secure a monetary award for your damages. Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation today with an experienced personal injury lawyer.

McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. is located in West Des Moines, but we accept clients throughout the greater Polk County and Dallas County area including Adel, West Des Moines, Polk City, Minburn, Winsor Heights and Dexter.

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Leading Causes of Boating Accidents

Boating accidents can occur for a variety of reasons, but most accidents can be contributed to negligence by the boating operator. According to the U.S. Coast Guard in a 2019 report, operator inattention was the most common cause of boating accidents. Some other causes the report listed include the following:

  • The operator is too inexperienced to control the vessel
  • Excessive speeding that results in loss of control
  • A proper lookout is never established
  • The boat operator is under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • A defect or failure with any part of the boat resulted in an accident
  • Overcrowding or overloading the vessel
  • Navigating in heavy weather
  • Acting carelessly or recklessly

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Common Injuries from Boating Accidents

The severity of a boating accident will depend on a variety of factors. Injuries stemming from the accident can range from simple whiplash to serious life-changing disfigurement based on the circumstances. The following are some common injuries people face in boating accidents.

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Who is Liable in a Boating Accident?

In most cases, the boat operator is the liable party for a boating accident. They have complete control over the vessel at all times and are required to follow and uphold boater’s laws. In addition, the boat operator must ensure safety protocols are adhered to by all passengers when they are on the boat. Operators who fail to do this by being inattentive, under the influence, and engaging in other negligent behaviors may be held legally responsible.

Listed below are some other parties that could be held liable for a boating accident.

  • Boat Manufacturer – If the accident was caused by a defect in the vessel, then the boat’s manufacturer may be held liable. Any defect in the manufacturing or design of the vessel is the responsibility of the boat manufacturer and if an accident involving injury occurs, they may be strictly liable under product liability law.
  • Boat Rental Company – Sometimes a boating accident occurs on a rented vessel rather than someone’s personal property. In this case, the rental company would be held liable for damages, especially if the operator is an employee of the rental company.
  • Boat Owner – Boat owners are obligated to ensure their vessels are maintained properly. They must also ensure any hazards on the boat are known to the operator and passengers. Failure to do this may result in a lawsuit.
  • Passengers – Although it’s rare, there are cases where a passenger may be held legally responsible for the boating accident. The passenger must act negligent, reckless, or use intentional actions to cause a crash in order to be held liable.

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Additional Resources

Boater’s Safety | Department of Natural Resources – Visit the official website for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to learn more about safety for boaters in the state. Access the site to learn more about their safety courses, boating registration, and the dangers of boating while intoxicated.

Boating Laws & Regulations – Are you interested in learning the laws and regulations surrounding boats in Iowa? Access to learn more about the various laws and rules surrounding boaters as well as how to get a license and safety course information.

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Boating Injury Lawyer, West Des Moines IA

If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident, contact McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C.. Our personal injury lawyer, Gregory Landry, has over three decades of experience he can apply to your case. He can provide a thorough case examination and determine if you’re entitled to a monetary award. Hold the responsible party accountable by contacting our offices today.

Call McCarthy & Hamrock, P.C. today at (515) 279-9700 to set up your first consultation free of charge in the greater Des Moines, Polk County and Dallas County area.

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