This blog has recently discussed how wrongful death actions may help surviving family members of victims of fatal accidents. The summer season, of course, brings a variety of fun outdoors activities, however, summertime can also be a time, unfortunately, when boating accidents, including fatal boating accidents, take place.

In general, the number of boating accidents in Massachusetts has been on the rise since 2010. In 2010 there were 60 total boating accidents in Massachusetts and while the number of boating accidents dropped to 46 in 2011, there were a total of 68 boating accidents in Massachusetts in 2012 and a total of 83 and 82 boating accidents in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The increase represents nearly a 40 percent increase from 2010 to 2014.

Fatal boating accidents in Massachusetts have decreased. There were a total of 16 fatal boating accidents in 2010 and in 2012, however, there were 9 fatal boating accidents in 2011, 12 in 2013 and 5 in 2014. The number of fatal boating accidents accounts for 16 deaths in 2010; 9 deaths in 2011; 17 deaths in 2012; 12 deaths in 2013; and 6 deaths in 2014. While the number of fatal boating accidents has decreased, each fatal boating accident, and each death, represents family members impacted by the unexpected loss of a loved one.

In 2014, the primary contributing factor that led to boating accidents was operator inattention. When a family has suffered the devastating loss of a loved one due to the carelessness of another party, on way that the legal system steps in is through wrongful death claims for damages. A wrongful death claim provides remedies for families who have suffered the loss of a loved one who has been wrongfully killed and is an option families may wish to keep in mind.

Source: United States Coast Guard, “2014 Recreational Boating Statistics,” Accessed June 14, 2015