Tag Archives: Injury


Boating Accident Statistics You Should Know

Boating accidents affect thousands of people in the United States every year; in most cases, the accidents are preventable, and in most of these accidents, fatalities are preventable. If you have been injured in a boating accident, you should consult one of our lawyers as soon as possible, but prevention should always be the first line of defense if you go out on a boat. The United States Coast Guard (USGS) puts out a report every year on recreational boating accident statistics in the U.S. Here are a few important things you should know from those statistics.

  • The majority of boating accidents involve a collision with another vessel. In 2012, collisions between recreational vessels accounted for 1010 boating accidents, just under 25 percent of the total number of accidents reported.
  • Collisions with other boats account for the largest percentage of injuries. Last year, over 700 people were injured in boating collisions, out of a total of 3000 reported. (Vessel owners and operators bear responsibility for injuries resulting from boat collision, which is why you need an attorney.)
  • The majority of boating accidents occur because the operator is inexperienced or not paying attention. This accounts for nearly 20 percent of all boating accidents reported in 2012.
  • The vast majority of fatalities in boating accidents occur because no life jacket was worn. Last year, 71 percent of all fatalities resulted from drowning, according to the USCG. Among those drownings, 85 percent of the victims were not wearing a life jacket. This makes drowning the most preventable tragedy among boating accidents. (Incidentally, 24 fatality victims were under the age of 13, and most were not wearing life jackets—a violation of state and federal boating laws.)
  • The largest contributing factor in fatal boating accidents is alcohol use. Seventeen percent of last year’s fatalities were attributed to alcohol use as the main factor.
  • Most drownings occur in accidents involving vessels less than 21 feet in length. Seventy percent of last year’s drowning victims were on small watercraft, again emphasizing the importance of life jackets.
  • March and April tend to be the most fatal months for boaters. Last year, of all boating accidents occurring in April, one in five involved a fatality.
  • The highest number of fatalities in boating accidents occur at night. This is somewhat to be expected because it is more difficult to see at night. The time period where a boating accident is most likely to be fatal is between 2:30 and 4:00 a.m.

Common Misconceptions About Getting Hurt at Work

If you have been hurt on the job, it’s important that you understand your rights, as well as those of your employer. Many people don’t fully understand how the law works with regard to on-the-job injuries or workers’ compensation, and this can hurt them in the long run. Here are some of the more common misconceptions people have about getting hurt at work.

MY EMPLOYER IS LOOKING OUT FOR MY BEST INTERESTS

Don’t make this assumption. When an injury occurs, most employers ultimately are looking out for their own interests, not yours. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true. Many employers will do the right thing by their workers without being forced, but the number one concern of businesses in general is to look out for their own bottom line. Assume that it’s your job to look out for your own best interests—not your employer’s. This is why you should consult an attorney for your own protection, to make sure the employer abides by the law.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ALLOWS ME TO BE SEEN BY MY OWN DOCTOR

Wrong. When you are hurt on the job, you are the employer’s legal responsibility; therefore, the employer chooses the physician and facility for treatment. If the employer permits you to see your own doctor, that’s fine, but if your employer has a protocol for treatment of work-related injuries and you go to your own doctor instead, don’t assume you will be covered. It might not be what you’d prefer, but you could be forfeiting your right to compensation.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION DOES NOT APPLY IF I AM NOT AT THE WORKPLACE WHEN I GET HURT

This is an understandable misconception, but it is not necessarily true. Workers’ compensation applies if you are on the job, whether or not you happen to be at the workplace. It may be more difficult to prove if contested (another reason you should have an attorney), but even if you are working in your own home, if you are on company time when you get hurt, you are the company’s responsibility, and workers’ comp may apply based on the situation.

I DO NOT NEED AN ATTORNEY WHEN DEALING WITH WORK-RELATED INSURANCE

Many employees make the tragic assumption that workers’ comp automatically protects them, or that the employer’s insurance company won’t try to find a way around it. Do not make this mistake. Insurers make a practice of paying as little as they can, and they are not above using tricky techniques to get around the complexities of workers’ compensation law. When you get hurt at work, at some point an adjuster from the employer’s insurance company is going to want to get a recorded statement from you. You need to consult an attorney before having this conversation. Saying the wrong thing to the adjuster could be used to jeopardize your benefits; your attorney will know how to help you navigate this interview so that does not happen.The laws are there to protect employees who get hurt at work, but that does not automatically mean the employer will do the right thing. Being properly informed will help you navigate these potentially tricky waters and help you get the benefits you deserve.