Boat accidents occur largely because people underestimate the dangers of watercraft as compared to cars. Other times many people simply do not understand the nautical “rules of the road” and safety laws. Boating education is crucial to limiting boat accidents. Unfortunately, many states like Florida and Indiana do not require any boating instruction or limit mandatory requirements to operators under a certain age. This places many people behind the wheel of a yacht, boat or helm without any knowledge of that vessel’s abilities and drawbacks or even what to do when another yacht, boat or personal watercraft is coming at them.
WHAT ARE THE RULES AND LAWS ABOUT BOATING?
Although the “rules of the road” may not apply since there are no roads, there are still regulations, laws, and guidelines that govern boating. Many times the minimal regulations in place are not enforced or simply not followed. If you have been involved in a boating accident you have many of the same rights as other accident victims. You can recover lost wages, loss of ability to earn money, medical bills, future medical costs, property damage losses, expenses not covered by insurance, and damages for pain, suffering and lost capacity for the enjoyment of life due to permanent injuries. In severe cases, individuals may also be entitled to recover for the emotional or psychological effects of their injuries. Additionally, if the injured individual is married, their spouse may also recover for the loss of support and consortium.