Few outdoor summer activities are quite as enjoyable as boating down one of Mississippi’s many beautiful rivers. Each year, more than 2.5 million annual visitors vacation, boat and fish in the Ross Barnett Reservoir, and many more Mississippi residents enjoy the historic Mississippi and other iconic rivers. While recreational and work-related boating are a common aspect of everyday life for Mississippi natives and their families, it is also an unfortunate reality that boating accidents are a common occurrence as well.
Whether you or a loved one has been injured in a recreational or work-related boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the harms suffered. Talk to a boating accident lawyer in Mississippi for a legal consultation to receive the legal counsel you need from a trusted boating accident attorney after you or a loved one has been the victim of a boating accident.
Boating Accidents by the Numbers
In the U.S. Coast Guard’s 2014 reports on boating accidents, it was reported that 4,064 boating accidents caused the injuries of 2,678 people and killed 610 others. In 2013, the state of Mississippi suffered from 41 boating accidents, 12 of which were fatal. The Coast Guard made specific mention of the fact that the following were frequent accident causes:
- Boat Collisions
- Propeller Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries Resulting From Water-Skiing
- Slip and Fall Head Injuries
Additionally, the Coast Guard’s report found that alcohol is a common cause that contributes to boating accidents. Specifically, the Coast Guard found that 21 percent of boating deaths are attributable to the use of alcohol. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is against the law, so injuries caused by a drunk boat operator’s negligence will likely lead to compensation paid to the accident’s victims.
Other common causes of Mississippi boat accidents include:
- Distracted Boating
- Tired Commercial Boat Operators
- Speeding on Mississippi Waters
- Equipment Failure
Additionally, the lack of proper boating experience can contribute to unnecessary and avoidable boating accidents. Mississippi does not place many restrictions on operating a boat. Mississippi law’s sole restriction on children under 12 years of age is that they must be accompanied by an adult 21 years or older in order to operate the boat. In this way, boating laws are far less restrictive than the state’s driving laws, and this inexperience may contribute to accidents. However, Mississippi does also require boaters to take an education class, but even this requirement is waivable for older adults who are grandfathered in prior to this law’s enactment.
To reduce the risk of a boating accident, avoid drinking any alcohol while operating the boat, first and foremost. Common sense safety precautions should be followed as well, which includes operating at a safe speed, avoiding overly crowded areas and steering too close to safety buoys. It is also a wise idea to check weather reports before taking the boat out for the day. Beyond these common sense basics, it also proves fruitful to take a boating safety and education course every few years. It never hurts to shore up safety knowledge, especially when these practices help safe lives and prevent unnecessary injuries.
If you or your loved ones have been injured because of a boat operator’s disregard for the safety of others, talk to our team of Mississippi boating accident attorneys to get the legal help you need. Contact Maggio Thompson, LLP for a legal consultation with boating accident lawyers in Mississippi who will give you the committed representation needed to hold negligent parties responsible for your accident.