The earth is composed of 75% water which makes exploring its oceans and seas a fun and exciting option. Boats provide people with a convenient mode of transportation for traveling in water. But when boating accidents happen, the fun of exploring the earth’s bodies of water is totally eliminated from the picture. According to the 2015 Recreational Boating Statistics of the US Coast Guard, there were 4,158 boating accidents that involved 626 deaths and 2,613 injuries.
It is worth noting that most accidents had nothing to do with bad weather or hazardous sea conditions. Most injuries and fatalities happened in daylight when there was good visibility and calm waters. Charleston personal injury attorneys will tell you that boating accidents are commonly due to negligence and recklessness. In this article, we shall look at some of the most common causes of boating accidents:
Capsizing, Swamping or Falling Overboard
Capsizing happens when a boat turns into its side or completely over. In swamping, the boat stays upright but becomes filled with water. A person falling overboard may cause capsizing or swamping.
Boat operators need to be vigilant and keep track of bad weather as well as hazardous conditions or objects. The conditions at sea can be unpredictable so operators should look for early warning signs.
Operator inexperience was the third most common cause of boating accidents, according to the annual report of the US Coast Guard. Operators should have full understanding of boating and navigation rules and should also be equipped in handling emergency situations.
Just like on the roads, driving at top speed can be dangerous when boating. As much as possible, drive in safe speed as this will allow you to react to possible dangers. Driving at excessive speed may result to collision with other boats or vessels.
Operators should make sure that their boats are properly maintained and sea worthy. They have the responsibility to make sure that their boats are in good working condition.
Insurance companies are usually the default means for getting compensation after an accident or disaster, presuming of course the coverage is there. But in all the hullaballoo and issues about the part of British Petroleum (BP) and its partners in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, most people affected by the event have focused on oil spill claims against the fiercely contested settlement program rather than property damage or business loss insurance claims. But business and property owners may actually make a claim with their own insurers for the losses they sustained because of the oil spill over and above what they may or may not receive under BP’s settlement program.
It could be tricky, though. Insurance companies are notorious for quickly denying claims on any pretext and slowly acting on potentially valid ones, and if the policyholder is unsure about their rights, they are easy prey for insurance bad faith practices. According to the website of insurance bad faith attorneys of Smith Kendall PLLC, insurance companies are more likely to exhaust all avenues to avoid liability rather than confirm the trust their policyholders have placed on them to protect them from the financial consequences of an accident or disaster.
Property damage and business economic loss policies are typically acquired as a matter of course, and may even be required by law so many policyholders are not entirely conversant with what it actually covers. Crucial to an insurance claim under the circumstances presented by the BP oil spill are the exceptions. Most policies will contain sweeping conditions that narrow the liability of the insurer considerably, and because the jargon used is generally technical and obfuscating, it requires considerable knowledge of insurance law to understand what they are actually saying in layman terms.
If you want to make a claim against your own insurance for damage caused by the BP oil spill, expect to come up against a lot of legal leg-pulling. Consult with an insurance lawyer to help you in making a claim and avoid becoming a victim of insurance bad faith.