Main Factors in South Louisiana Boating Accidents

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Sportsman’s Paradise, the nickname for Louisiana’s abundant waterways, attracts people nationwide to enjoy the outdoors. There is plenty of canoeing, fishing, swimming, water skiing, and boating going on in south Louisiana and the Lafayette area during the summer months. Sometimes, accidents happen, whether it is caused by a force of nature, or human error or negligence. A recent string of fatal boating accidents in the south Louisiana area serves a reminder about perils of the waters and following the rules of the road for vessels.

According to the United States Coast Guard (USCG) recent statistics report, “where cause of death was known, 80% of fatal boating accident victims drowned.” In addition, “alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents.” The top five primary contributing factors in accidents are “operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failure.”

A boat operator who consumes alcohol may become impaired and have reduced judgment, focus, coordination, visual perception, and reaction time. The operator of a recreational boat or vessel simply not paying attention also results in innocent lives being lost in the water. The most common vessel types involved in reported accidents were open motorboats, personal watercraft, and cabin motorboats, indicates the USCG. Additionally, vessel types with the highest percentage of deaths were open motorboats, kayaks, and canoes.

The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries requires an operator involved in a boating crash to follow specific steps for incident reporting:

  • An operator involved in a boating crash, collision or other casualty must stop his or her vessel immediately at the scene of the incident.
  • The operator must also render assistance to injured persons or attempt to minimize any danger caused by the incident unless doing so would create serious danger to his own vessel, crew, and passengers.
  • The operator must give his or her name, address, and the identifying number of his or her vessel in writing to anyone injured from the incident and to the owner of any damaged property.

The operator of a recreational vessel must also notify the LDWF’s Law Enforcement Division, the nearest law enforcement agency, or state police, of an incident immediately by the quickest means of communication.

Our Lafayette Louisiana boat accident lawyers Joseph Joy and Gordon Schoeffler are ready to help you or a loved one injured in a boating accident caused by an alcohol-impaired or inattentive operator.Call our office Now at 337-232-8123 or visit us at 900 S College Rd, Lafayette, LA to find out whether or not you have a case. You may be able to obtain compensation to which you maybe legally entitled. For more information about the cause of boating accidents, check out our bonus video.

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