Minnesota is also known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Recreational boating is one of the most popular outdoor activities in Minnesota. Yet, a large number of boating accidents and the related injuries and property damage is a growing concern. As per the United States Coast Guard, about 4,168 boating accidents happen every year in the country resulting in serious injuries and fatalities. These accidents also result in approximately $55 million dollars of damage to property every year. If you suffered injuries in an accident related to a boating activity, learn how a Minnesota boating accident attorney at Tyroler Injury Law can help you with your case by calling (651) 259-1113.
Minnesota Boating Accident Causes
A boating accident can have serious consequences, and a fun day out with friends and family could turn into a traumatic experience. In Minnesota, some of the popular lakes known for recreational boating include White Bear Lake, Lake Superior, Lake of the Isles, Burntside Lake, Lake Vermilion, Lake Harriet, and Farm Island Lake.
Boating accidents can include accidents on all types of watercraft including jet ski, yacht, commercial recreational boats, and sightseeing boats. Some of the common causes of most boating accidents in Minnesota include:
This is one of the most common causes of boat accidents. In Minnesota, no training or boating test is required to be passed before operating a watercraft. This allows inexperienced boaters to operate the boat who often ignore the safety requirements.
Distractions while operating the boat can also lead to a boat accident. Operator inattention can lead to negligent and reckless operation of the boat.
Boating while intoxicated or boating under influence (BWI or BUI) is another leading cause of boat accidents in Minnesota. As per the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, over 30 percent of the boating accidents in the state are a result of alcohol use.
Manufacturing defects in the boat or components of the boat can also lead to accidents. Improper servicing or repair of the boat can also compromise the safety of the boat and cause boat accidents.
Proving Fault in Minnesota Boating Accidents
In a boating accident, identifying and proving fault can be a complex process as multiple parties may be involved. These parties may start blaming each other and not accept responsibility for the boating accident. Usually, one or more of the following parties are held responsible for boating accidents:
- Operator company
- Other boaters
- Drunk boaters
- Dock owners
- Boat manufacturer
- Servicing or repair facility
- Tour agencies
Like any other accident, a boating accident can also entitle the victim to file a personal injury claim. To prove fault, it must be shown that the responsible party was negligent in the operation of the boat. It must be shown that the boat accident was a direct result of such negligent or reckless behavior. Proper compilation of the facts and evidence related to the accident is essential to prove the fault in a boating accident claim. If you suffered injuries in a boating accident in Minnesota, learn how a Minnesota boating accident attorney at Tyroler Injury Law can help you understand your legal rights and next steps.
Five Boating Safety Tips
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides the following top five boating safety tips:
- Wear a life jacket. Keep the jacket on at all times while on the boat.
- Stay sober and avoid alcohol or any other kind of influence.
- Tell a friend: Inform a close one about your trip, where you are going and when you will return. If you do not return on time, they can call for help. Take your phone or a Very High Frequency (VFH) radio along.
- Be weather aware: Check for weather updates and plan your trip accordingly.
- Boat smart: Be aware of the basics of boating, stay alert, and take all safety precautions.
Steps to Take After a Boat Accident
Boating accidents can lead to severe injuries including traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, whiplash, and even result in death. Yet, how the victims of the accident handle the situation after the accident can potentially reduce the harm to victims. Consider taking these steps after a boat accident:
- Call for help: Try to look around for any immediate help available. If you have your phone with you, you may call 911, the Coast Guard, or even the local police.
- Take a headcount: Take a headcount to see if anyone is missing from the boat. If someone is drowning, or unable to swim but in the water, try to get them back on the boat but also ensure your own safety at the same time.
- Seek medical attention: Immediately seek medical attention. Sometimes, internal injuries may be caused by a boating accident, and visiting a doctor can help in identifying and evaluating any such injuries.
- Gather information: Gather as much information as possible. If another boat was involved in the accident, try to get the contact details of the operators and passengers. Try to remember the facts relating to the accident including how the accident happened.
- File a report: In Minnesota, it is mandatory to report a serious boating accident to the county sheriff as soon as possible. Accidents involving $2,000 of property damage or more, personal injuries, fatalities, or total loss of the boat are known as serious accidents.
- Consider contacting an attorney: To know your legal rights to get compensation and to prove fault of the responsible party, consider contacting a boating accident attorney in order to ensure your legal rights remain protected.
Learn How a Minnesota Boating Accident Attorney Can Help
Boating accidents are complex due to various reasons. Multiple parties are involved and the compilation of evidence becomes difficult in the middle of an accident while being on the water. If you suffered injuries and losses in a boating accident, consider contacting our legal team today to learn how a Minnesota boating accident attorney at Tyroler Injury Law at 651-259-1113 can help you with your case.