With summer just around the corner and warm temperatures upon us, many people in the Tampa, Florida area will soon take to the water in boats and other watercraft. Boating is an activity that thousands of locals in the area enjoy regularly. The town is also an attractive vacation spot for out-of-towners looking to enjoy our world-famous beaches and watercraft activities.
Increased activity on the water, however, may come with an increased risk of boating accidents.
Summertime May Mean More Boating Accidents in Tampa Area
When boats flip over, collide, or crash, passengers can be thrown overboard, slammed into hard objects, and suffer significant physical trauma. In 2016, the U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,463 recreational boating accidents that involved 701 deaths, 2,903 injuries and about $49 million of property damage. The annual Boating Statistics report included data submitted by the fifty U.S. states, five U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
Some of the most serious injuries that people sustain in boating accidents include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)—TBIs can occur when a person hits his or her head against another object. In serious cases, victims can be left with cognitive disabilities that will affect them for the rest of their lives. Even in less serious cases (for example, a mild concussion), victims can experience serious side effects that can prevent them from working or attending school for weeks or even months.
- Spinal cord injuries—Spinal cord injuries can happen when there is trauma to the vertebrae of the spinal column or the spinal cord itself. Because the spinal cord is the structure that allows the brain to communicate with the rest of the body, any damage to it can result in serious issues, including paralysis below the site of the injury.
- Anoxic brain injuries—In many boating accidents, victims can end up underwater and unable to breathe for a dangerous amount of time. Without oxygen, brain cells begin to sustain damage, often resulting in a type of brain injury known as an anoxic brain injury. Many anoxic brain injuries leave victims with long-term cognitive issues or even in persistent vegetative states.
Boating Accidents Can Cause Other Serious Injuries
While TBIs, spinal cord injuries, and anoxic brain injuries are some of the most serious injuries caused by boating accidents, less serious injuries can also occur. It is important to remember that injuries like broken bones, mild burns, sprains, strains, and dislocations also leave victims with significant problems—and are often legally actionable. For this reason, anyone hurt in a Tampa boating accident should explore their options by discussing their case with a Florida attorney immediately.
Call The Florida Law Group Today to Schedule a Free Case Evaluation
If you were hurt in a boating accident in the Tampa area, contact a lawyer as soon as you can. At The Florida Law Group, we are dedicated to helping injured victims get compensation under Florida law. Our attorneys are not afraid to go up against large insurance companies who are more concerned about the bottom line than your well-being. To schedule to speak with an attorney, contact us online or call us today at (813) 463-8880. Your initial case evaluation is free and confidential.