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Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC | Laurel Lake Boating Accident Reminds Us: Wear a Life Jacket! -  Image Name In early July 2017, a man was killed in a Laurel Lake boat crash. The boat hit a rock and the driver was ejected. Though investigators are looking into the possibility that the man had a health issue that played a part in the fatal crash, here is another factor:

He wasn’t wearing a life jacket.

The Life Jacket Dilemma

For reasons that are unclear, somewhere along the way the boating community seems to have decided that life jackets are only necessary for children. While we fully support protecting small children, we also believe that all passengers in a boat should be equally valued and protected.

We know that not wearing a life jacket increases the risk of drowning. So why don’t adults wear them?

Apparently, there is a stigma attached to life jackets. “If you know how to swim, you don’t need a life jacket.” That is dead wrong.

Why Life Jackets ARE Necessary

Coast Guard rules require a life jacket for each person on board a boat. Granted, the rule is that the jacket is only required to be on the boat, not on the person. But if a person falls overboard, how does that help?

You may have a lot of boating experience. You might think you’ll never fall in. You might even believe you are a strong enough swimmer that you could last until a boat returns for you. You might be right…but then again, you might not.

  • What if you are thrown overboard into freezing water wearing heavy clothes?
  • What if the boat sinks with your life jacket locked in the cupboard you left it in?
  • What if you hit your head and fall overboard, unconscious?
  • What if you have been drinking and your judgment is impaired?

In any one of the above scenarios, even the strongest swimmer is in serious danger. An unconscious person is as good as dead in the water without a life jacket.

No Excuses: Wear a Life Jacket

In the days of bulky, uncomfortable (not to mention ugly) foam life jackets, many people shied away from wearing them. Understandable. These days, there are so many life jacket options that there is simply no excuse for not wearing one. There are lightweight jackets that will automatically inflate and keep your head above water if you do lose consciousness. But only if they are on you, not the boat.

Laurel Lake Personal Injury Lawyers

In this accident, there was just one person aboard the boat, however, in some accidents someone’s recklessness or negligence is to blame for another’s injuries. When this happens, you may need the assistance of a reputable, local attorney.

If you or someone you care about was hurt in a boating accident, contact us at (502) 458-5555. We are Kaufman & Stigger, PLLC, a Louisville personal injury firm that offers a NO FEE PROMISE: no fee unless we WIN or settle your case. We have pursued recoveries totaling millions of dollars for injured clients.