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Boating accident statistics are rising in Louisiana

Louisiana state and governmental authorities understand that there are many people who enjoy the warm weather of the summer on the water with boating activities. While most people are cautious, they also know there are dangers involved with the activity and boat accidents will still occur. A boating accident can cause serious injuries and even death. With the summer a busy time for boating, the National Safe Boating Council is encouraging people to be safe.

Statistically, July is the worst month for fatal boating accidents. Data from the U.S. Coast Guard says that the number of recreational fatalities on a boat rose in 2016 in Louisiana and across the U.S. This is happening concurrently to a reduction in the number of boats that are registered in the state and throughout the U.S. In 2015, there were 22 fatalities. In 2016, there were 24. The total number of boat accidents rose to 112 from 87. That is an increase of 29 percent. There were 23 fatal accidents compared to 20 the year before.

Ninety-two people were hurt in boat accidents in Louisiana. There was $1.6 million in property damage. In the U.S. overall, there were 701 deaths in 2016. That is the highest amount since 2012. There as an increase of 12 percent in fatalities from 2015 to 2016 with a rise to 701 from 626. There was a rise of more than 11 percent in injuries with a total of more than 2,900 vs. slightly more than 2,600 the year before. Accidents increased by more than 7 percent.

Alcohol was a contributing factor in 12.5 percent of the fatalities in Louisiana and 15 percent in the U.S. Failure to adhere to safety instructions, the operator not paying attention, inexperience on the part of the operator, an improper lookout, speeding, and a failure of machinery were all mentioned as factors in a watercraft accident.

These statistics are worrisome to anyone who goes out on the water. An accident can happen at any time and lead to severe injuries and death. People who have been injured or lost a loved one in a boat collision or some other mishap on the water needs to be aware of their rights to be compensated. An accident can lead to massive medical costs, lost time at work and more. Discussing a case with a legal professional experienced in admiralty & maritime law can help.

Source: houmatoday.com, "Boating safety urged for Fourth of July holiday," Brent St. Germain, June 28, 2017

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