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Boating Accidents

Las Vegas Boating Accidents Lawyers

Boat & Other Watercraft Accidents On Lake Mead

Boaters and riders of watercraft have their share of injuries on the waters in and around Las Vegas. On July 4 this year, one man’s leg was severed by a boat propeller on Lake Mead’s Sandy Cove about nine miles east of the Hoover Dam. Luckily, park rangers treated the man and were able to control his bleeding before he was taken by ambulance to University Medical Center.

Every year, hundreds participate in water sports on our lakes and rivers. Along with the great fun of being on the water, whether on a jet ski, motor boat, or even a sailboat, many water lovers suffer the consequences of accidents common to these sports. Carelessness, inexperience, bad weather, and the recklessness of other boaters dampen the thrill of being on the water.

Common Causes of Boating Accidents

Injuries can range from minor scratches, sprains or broken bones to severed limbs, harm from the thrust of expelled water when riding jet skis, and fatal injuries. Some common causes of boating accidents include:

  • Capsizing
  • Drowning
  • Injuries from falling off of boats and jet skis
  • Inexperience and lack of education in handling the watercraft
  • Recklessness
  • Drinking alcohol while boating
  • Injuries resulting from falling on decks and into boating gear
  • Inattention
  • Collisions with other boats or jet skiers

Injuries can range from minor scratches, sprains or broken bones to severed limbs, harm from the thrust of expelled water when riding jet skis, and fatal injuries.

Boating Accident Injuries

Although some boating incidents prove fatal, many more result in some type of injury. Though this can be as minor as cuts or bruises, there are situations where more devastating injury is possible.

Depending on the type of vessel, and the circumstances – for example, if the accident involved contact with a propeller or a significant fall – many injuries can prove far more serious, including sprained or broken bones, head injuries or severed limbs.

Additionally, certain vessels, like jet skis, expel water that can cause harm if an individual is in a direct path.

At the end of the day, injuries from boating incidents come down to one thing – negligence. And that negligence can come at quite a cost, especially for the victim. However, legal options are available.

Boating Accidents on Lake Mead

Measuring about 29-million acres of water and situated nearly 10 miles from metropolitan Las Vegas, Lake Mead National Recreation Area in the United States’ fifth most visited national park. The popular tourist spot receives approximately 10 million visitors every year, many of whom participate in a wide range of exciting water sports such as water skiing, fishing, scuba diving, jet-skiing, and boating.

While boating can be enjoyable in the vast area of Lake Mead, collisions involving boats happen quite often, causing serious and sometimes fatal injuries to passengers and swimmers nearby. Boats colliding and swimmers being struck by boat propellers are some of the common boating crashes that occur in Lake Mead.

Mandatory Boater Education

US Coast Guard 2009 statistics showed that 78 percent of boating incidents and 86 percent of boat fatalities involved operators who lacked proper boating education. Moreover, many of these incidents are due to some party’s negligent or reckless behavior and can be prevented through appropriate boating education and strict observance of driver safety rules such as not operating a boat while intoxicated or under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances.

In the state of Nevada, boaters are now required to complete a boating education course before they are allowed to operate a motorboat on Lake Mead waters. If you or a loved one has sustained severe injuries in a boating incident, it’s important to determine the qualifications as well as the physical and mental condition of the boat operators involved in the mishap. A seasoned Lake Mead boating crash attorney is the best person to consult about any legal claim for compensation resulting from the incident.

Propeller Incidents

Propeller-strike incidents are the most gruesome of boating injuries in Lake Mead. They can happen to anyone in the water, including a swimmer, scuba diver, a fallen boat passenger or fallen water skier who is around the boat. Many propeller incidents are linked to the boat operator’s lack of boating experience, incompetence, intoxication, and negligence. In many situations, the boat operator’s failure to observe simple safety practices has led to catastrophic losses.

Circle of Death

Another factor causing severe boating crashes is the so-called “Circle of Death” which occurs as a result of a boat operator’s release of the steering wheel or handle while the boat is still moving. The steering torque forces the boat to swerve sharply to the right and throws the boat passenger into the water. As the boat continues to move in a circular direction, it returns to strike the fallen passenger in the water, inflicting severe (often fatal) propeller wounds.

This type of boating collision can be prevented by the operator’s proper handling of the steering wheel or handle, letting go of the wheel only when the boat has reached a full stop and is not moving. Regular maintenance is also an important factor in reducing incidents of the ‘Circle of Death’. Operators must check their boats for any noticeable effort in holding the boat’s steering and to have the boat’s steering wheel professionally serviced to address any irregularity. Passenger seats as well must be secured.

Compensation in a Boating Accident Claim

In many situations, victims may be eligible to file a personal injury claim, which can help address some of the many financial challenges that arise from personal injury. Such challenges might include:

  • Mounting medical costs
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Loss of wages
  • Temporary or permanent disability

Additionally, filing a personal injury claim can help with the recovery of other damages, including those to address pain and suffering or other difficulties that have occurred in the wake of an accident.

If you have been hurt in a boating accident and your injuries were caused by the carelessness or recklessness of someone else on the craft, you may want to consider asking a lawyer to help you receive compensation. You put your trust in the operator of the watercraft, or perhaps in the boat’s or craft’s manufacturer. They should act responsibly for deserving your trust.

If you believe your injuries were due to the fault of another person, or because of a poorly made jet ski, motor boat, or sailboat, you should seek the services of a Las Vegas boating accident attorney to explore whether you are entitled to compensation.

Importance of Personal Injury Lawyer

Boating crashes can be complicated. Depending on their cause,  you may be able to pursue a personal injury claim against the person or persons responsible for your injuries. If you lost a loved one in a boating incident, your Las Vegas boating accident lawyers examine the circumstances to determine whether you can sue the other party for wrongful death.

A personal injury claim against the boat operator’s insurance policy takes into consideration damages such as your medical bills, lost wages or income, any disability resulting from the incident, future medical treatment, future wage loss,  as well as your pain and suffering caused by the incident.  But dealing with insurance company representatives can be a challenge. Their main concern is saving money for the company and so they will try to offer you the lowest value or deny your claim by assigning fault or blame on you. Talk to a seasoned Lake Mead boating injury attorney about your situation and let your lawyer handle the insurance company for you.

Bertoldo Carter Smith & Cullen are known for their experience in helping people that are injured by negligence. To schedule a consultation to discuss your case, contact us today at (702) 505-8115.

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