While sailing can be fun, relaxing and exhilarating, it can also be dangerous. Whether you are cruising or racing, several issues can lead to sudden and unexpected accidents on the water. From running aground to colliding with another vessel, these accidents can take a variety of different forms—and they can lead to a variety of different types of injuries.

If you have suffered any type of injury in a sailboat accident, you should speak with a boat accident attorney. You may be entitled to financial compensation, but you may also need to take action promptly to make sure you are able to recover the financial compensation you deserve. While obtaining treatment for your injuries should be your first priority, you should also schedule a free consultation with an attorney as soon as you can.

Sailboat Accidents Frequently Result in the Following Types of Injuries

When can you seek financial compensation for a sailboat accident? Maritime law covers accidents from a variety of causes, and it covers all types of injuries. This includes common injuries from sailboat accidents such as:

1. Back Injuries

Back injuries can result from falls, collisions and other accidents onboard. Back pain is the most common symptom, and if you are experiencing back pain after an accident on a sailboat, you should not assume that it will simply go away in a few days—because while it might, it also might not. Back sprains and strains may require a prolonged period of rest, while herniated discs and vertebrae fractures can require surgery in some cases.

2. Concussions

Concussions can also result from a variety of types of accidents. Along with falls and collisions, another concussion risk on sailboats is the risk of being hit by the boom as it passes over the cockpit during a tack or gybe. Severe headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea and vision impairments are all signs that you may have suffered a concussion—and that you should see a doctor promptly. Concussions require diagnosis and treatment, and if you have suffered a concussion, you must be very careful to avoid a second impact while your brain is recovering.

3. Facial Injuries

Facial injuries—including eye, nose and jaw injuries—are also common in many types of accidents. Along with causing a concussion, a swinging boom can also cause a nose or jaw fracture, and hitting your head when trying to maintain your balance can lead to various types of facial injuries as well. In many cases, these injuries will lead to permanent impairment and disfigurement, and the financial and non-financial costs of these injuries can impact all aspects of victims’ lives.

4. Fractures and Dislocations

Fractures and dislocations are very real risks on sailboats, even in relatively calm conditions. It is easy to lose your balance due to sudden gusts and waves, and running aground or being hit by another vessel can throw crew members and passengers off balance as well. Sailboats often have uneven walking surfaces, and, in tight quarters, there are numerous places to catch your digits or limbs or hit them with enough force to cause serious internal damage.

5. Injuries From Sheets and Lines

The working sheets and lines on a sailboat are under immense pressure. Additionally, if the boat changes course or a luffing sail suddenly catches wind, the sheets and lines attached to a sail can fly off of the deck. Both of these factors make working with sheets and lines very dangerous, and it takes a highly skilled crew to keep everyone safe onboard. But, even highly skilled crew members can make mistakes that lead to serious injuries.

6. Internal Bleeding and Organ Damage

With any type of fall or bodily collision on a sailboat, there is a risk that the accident could lead to internal bleeding or organ damage. If you notice severe bruising and swelling, if you have abdominal pain or chest pain, or if you notice abnormalities with any of your bodily functions, this may be a sign that you need immediate medical attention.

7. Loss of Digits and Limbs

From sheets and lines wrapped around winches to pinch points and other safety hazards, various risks onboard sailboats can lead to the loss of digits and limbs. While even extremely severe injuries can be repaired in many cases, sometimes onboard accidents will result in the need for amputation.

8. Near-Drowning Injuries

In man-overboard situations, near-drowning injuries are a very real concern. Oxygen deprivation, even for a relatively short period of time, can potentially lead to a variety of long-term complications. In colder waters, hypothermia is a very real risk as well.

9. Lacerations, Punctures and Burns Resulting in Tissue and Nerve Damage

Severe lacerations, punctures and burns caused by ropes, lifelines, stanchions and other items on a sailboat can cause tissue and nerve damage that requires intensive treatment—including surgery in some cases. In rough conditions or in the event of a grounding or collision, nearly everything on a sailboat can present a potential risk for serious injury.

10. Sprains, Strains and Tears

Sprains, strains and tears are common injuries in sailboat accidents as well. Whether you twist your ankle on deck or you overstrain yourself trying to rescue a man overboard, damage to your muscles, ligaments or tendons can lead to the need for treatment (including surgery in some cases) and a prolonged period of rehabilitation and recovery.

If you have suffered any type of injury in a sailboat accident, you may be entitled to just compensation under maritime law. To find out how much you may be entitled to recover, you should discuss your boating accident claim with a boat accident attorney as soon as possible.

Discuss Your Legal Rights with a Boat Accident Attorney for Free

Do you need to know more about your legal rights after suffering an injury in a sailboat accident? If so, we invite you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. To speak with an experienced boat accident attorney in confidence, call 800-499-0551 or tell us how we can reach you online now.

Back to Blog

National and International All Ports of Call. Anywhere Offshore.Brais Law is here for you.

Contact Us
Contact us media
Accessibility: If you are vision-impaired or have some other impairment covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act or a similar law, and you wish to discuss potential accommodations related to using this website, please contact our Accessibility Manager at 800-499-0551.
Contact Us