During the warm summer months, boating is a popular activity for many Wisconsinites. However, like many other recreational activities, boating comes with some risks. There are a variety of boat accidents that can occur due to issues such as negligent operation or equipment failure, and these accidents can lead to serious injuries. Those who are injured in these situations may be able to work with an attorney to identify the parties who were responsible and pursue compensation for their damages.

Common Boating Accident Injuries

There are numerous ways people can be injured while boating. A boat may capsize, two boats may collide, or a person in the water may be struck by a boat, to name just a few examples. There are multiple types of serious injuries that can occur in these situations, including:

  • Drowning – If a boat capsizes or if people are thrown overboard in a collision, their lives may be placed at risk, especially if they did not have life jackets or other personal floatation devices. Even strong swimmers may be at risk of drowning due to other injuries that occurred in a boat accident. While rescue efforts will often be made in these situations, there may not be time to provide aid. People who are boating alone or in small groups may not be able to call for help, especially if an accident occurs far away from shore.

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) – A severe blow to the head in a boat collision can cause damage to the brain. These types of injuries may also occur if a person in the water is struck by a boat. The resulting loss of consciousness may place a person at risk of drowning, but even if they are able to receive aid and medical treatment, they may experience multiple types of short-term and long-term health issues. Symptoms of traumatic brain injuries may include memory loss, dizziness, confusion, problems with balance and coordination, depression or anxiety, and speech and language processing disorders. TBIs can be life-changing, and in many cases, they require immediate medical attention and ongoing therapy and rehabilitation.

  • Severe lacerations – If a person is thrown overboard in a boat collision, or if a boat strikes a swimmer or skier, the person may come into contact with the boat’s propeller and suffer serious lacerations. These are often deep wounds that may lead to severe blood loss and damage to the muscles and underlying tissues. Lacerations may result in scarring and disfigurement, and in some cases, an injury may lead to the amputation of a limb.

  • Broken bones – The sudden impact of a boat collision can cause fractures in multiple parts of the body. These may include broken arms, legs, hips, or ribs, as well as skull fractures or damage to the bones in the spine. Broken bones can be very painful, and they may require extensive treatment, such as surgery or physical therapy.

  • Burns and electrocution – Fires and electrical accidents can sometimes occur on boats, and they can lead to severe and life-threatening injuries. Fires may be caused by fuel leaks or engine explosions, and electrocutions may occur due to faulty wiring on a boat. These injuries can lead to significant pain, scarring, and disfigurement, and they may require long-term medical treatment.