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 is 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-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.
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 boat incident, your lawyer can 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.
In Las Vegas, the personal injury lawyers at Bertoldo, Baker, Carter & Smith are prepared to help you recover compensation in the amount that you deserve. With our attorneys’ combined skill and experience, our Firm has helped clients receive the maximum value of compensation and move on with their lives after a catastrophic or life altering incident.
We invite you to call us today at (702) 228-2600 to arrange for your complimentary initial consultation with one of our dedicated attorneys.