If you’ve been injured in a recreational boating accident and are seeking financial compensation, get in touch with a capable Memphis boat accident lawyer today. You may well be entitled to receive compensation for the damages incurred.
Boat crashes in Memphis happen more often than you might think. To be prepared, it’s important to know about the risks associated with boating and what steps you can take if you’re injured in an accident. An experienced boat accident lawyer may be able to help ensure your rights are protected and that you get the compensation that is due to you.
Boating accidents are capable of happening due to recklessness. There can be single-vessel crashes, mid-air collisions between jet skis, kayaks, yachts and even inflatable pontoons for that matter. Such unfortunate incidents might occur due to careless actions of one or more people involved.
If a person’s careless actions lead to a boating accident, you are legally allowed to get financial reparations for any damages or losses incurred as a result. At Wright & Gray Law Group, we recognize the need to seek substantial payouts for victims so that they can regain their peace of mind and focus on their recovery.
Louisiana, with its breathtaking coastline along the Gulf Coast is an obvious choice for anyone wanting to have a thrilling boating experience. However, one must bear in mind the dangerous risks that are associated with it as accidents may occur. Unfortunately, Memphis boaters can experience a tragic boating accident, leading to either minor or severe injuries. Sadly, some of these situations end in a fatal accident.
Boaters in Memphis should be aware that they have the right to file a personal injury claim after an accident. Once they can identify the people responsible for the incident, they are able to collect compensation for their losses. Therefore, it is important to find experienced personal injury attorneys in Memphis if you are considering filing such a claim.
What Is Classified as a Boating Accident?
Boating accidents are fairly common, the reasons behind them are usually quite straightforward. They can involve just about any kind of boat or other watercraft and may be caused by a variety of factors such as:
- Commercial vessels
- Fishing boats
- Recreational vessels, such as yachts
There are several types of boating accidents which are noteworthy, such as:
- Flooding and swamping accidents
- Boat collisions with fixed objects
- Grounding accidents
- Skiing accidents
- Yacht accidents
- Fishing accidents
- Marina and dock accidents
- Party boat accidents
Boating accidents can lead to serious trauma like brain damage due to submergence in water and in some cases, sadly, fatalities. It is therefore important to take necessary safety measures when operating a boat. If a death is caused by the negligence of someone else, it can be classified as a wrongful death. In such cases, human error is usually the root cause of the accident.
Boating Accident Statistics
Despite the fact that water transportation is not as frequent compared to other transportation forms, boating accidents still occur more often than people realize. According to data from the US Coast Guard in 2020, 3,329 accidents were reported. It’s concerning to hear that 407 people lost their lives in boating accidents last year. Adding to this, a further 1,764 received injury due to the same incidents. These statistics reflect an alarming trend and must be addressed urgently.
Call a Memphis boating accident lawyer today.
What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents?
Boating accidents are most often caused by a combination of contributing factors. We’ll be taking a look at some of the contributing factors that commonly lead to boating mishaps.
- Operator Error: Boating accidents are often caused by the operator’s lack of concentration. Operator inattention or careless behavior can result in serious accidents, such as whether it’s distraction on the waterway or not following navigational laws. The most important part is to ensure that operators stay mindful and practice caution while using a boat. Inexperienced boaters often face danger when they encounter weather or sea conditions they’re not used to. This can sometimes lead to unfortunate boat accidents, making it essential for them to be properly versed in the safe operations of a boat.
- Over-Speeding: All forms of transport can be prone to accidents if they are operated at high speed. Boats are no exception and the same speed restrictions applicable to roads also apply to waterways. Accidents often occur because speeding up doesn’t give the person controlling the vessel enough time to recognize and avoid potential hazards.
- Faulty Machinery: Boat owners should conduct regular maintenance of their vessels. If they don’t, it could lead to problems out on the water due to malfunctioning boat parts. On the other hand, it could also be a result of an issue during manufacturing.
- Bad Weather: Inexperienced boaters may not be aware of the impending danger they can face due to hazardous weather conditions and rough seas. This can lead to disastrous results if they have ventured out without keeping track of the changing weather. Therefore, it is always advisable to stay up-to-date with local forecasts before taking your sailing vessel out on the water.
Memphis Boating Laws and Requirements
The existing data concerning the number of watercraft accidents clearly demonstrates the need for individuals to be aware of relevant legislation enforced by Tennessee Department of Wildlife and Fisheries in Memphis. It is crucial for boaters to know Tennessee’s rules and regulations when using boats in order to remain safe.
Eligible Boat Operators
To be a boat operator in Memphis, one needs to meet certain requirements. You must be at least 16 years of age and if you’re running a motorboat over ten horsepower or personal watercraft, you should have passed an approved boater education course. Those born after January 1, 1984 must fulfill the requirement. Another option is that someone over 18 with a certified boater education course certificate may join you as well.
Rules of the Road
Tennessee has established laws that boat captains must adhere to, and any violation of these regulations can result in hefty fines or jail time. To illustrate, when two vessels pass one another head-on, they must remain in their respective lanes. Breaking this rule will cost the offender $300 or 30 days in jail. Boats must pay attention to the rights of way of other vessels. Additionally, motorboats should maintain a straight path while overtaking sail boats.
In addition, there are additional policies which must be adhered to such as:
- Boat owners should ensure they do not carry passengers or cargo beyond the weight limit of their vessel as it can be a safety hazard.
- Operators of vessels must adhere to the safe power capacity of their machines should not exceed it in any way, as this can potentially jeopardize safety and lead to other hazardous consequences.
- For safety reasons, individuals must not be allowed to sit or stand on the gunwales (or edge) of either the starboard or port side.
- Boats must always steer clear of areas designated for bathing or swimming, as they are strictly prohibited from entering such zones.
- It is against the law to dump oil or any oily substances into rivers.
Who Is Liable in a Boating Accident?
Boating accidents can be very confusing and stressful for the victims, who may not know who to sue. That is why, in fault-accident states like Memphis, it’s incredibly important for us to evaluate all potential parties responsible for a boating collision. This means thoroughly analyzing everyone who could potentially be liable.
Operating a vessel comes with a great responsibility as the safety of passengers depends on the operator. Negligence on part of the operator can bring about accidents, some of which include:
- Not providing a life jacket for every passenger
- Ignoring a reckless passenger’s activities
- Driving the boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Disregarding boating laws
Yes, a boat passenger could be liable in the event of an accident. If they acted carelessly or recklessly, causing injury to another person or damaging property, they can be held accountable. For instance, if a passenger intentionally pushed somebody overboard and caused an injury, he/she would be responsible for it. Consider the situation if the passenger in the water is unable to swim. Any dire consequences of this action will make the person who pushed them in to be held accountable.
In cases of unfortunate boat accidents, the vessel owner can be sued for allowing an inexperienced operator to borrow their boats. Additionally, if the incident was caused due to a manufacturing defect, then the manufacturer may also be held liable. Finally, a rental company that failed to maintain the boat can also be considered at fault.
Recoverable Damages in Memphis Boating Accidents
If you can establish fault in a boat accident, you are entitled to recover any losses incurred. This could be from the party at fault or relevant insurance providers, who will reimburse for all recoverable damages.
- Medical Bills: Medical expenses are of utmost importance in the aftermath of a boating accident. Most victims will need medical care and this can be a significant financial burden for them. It’s essential to consider this expenditure when assessing the damages caused by a boating incident.
- Lost Wages: If you incur internal or physical injuries which stop you from working, the liable party needs to compensate all the wages you have lost. You can recoup what is rightfully yours in such a scenario.
- Property Damages: Any valuable items you bring onto the ship may be damaged by water; hence, it is wise to be careful. If any of the transported goods are ruined, the responsible party will make sure to replace them.
Even though pain and suffering associated with boating accidents cannot be quantified, the law doesn’t overlook them. Instead, they are usually assigned financial values to account for certain losses. Among these include:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
In addition to compensations for loss of life, families of deceased individuals can recover their burial costs in wrongful death cases. It is essential to be aware that claims related to boating accidents and wrongful deaths must be filed within one year from the time of accident or passing away.
Were You Injured in a Boating Accident?
If you have suffered an injury on a boat due to the negligence of another person, you may be eligible for compensation.
Wright Gray’s Boating Accident Lawyers in Memphis Can Help You
If you’ve been through a boat crash in Memphis, you may be able to get monetary compensation from the liable party. But before this happens, it’s essential to get legal assistance from well-respected boat incident attorneys. To start off with, a boating accident attorney can investigate and establish who is responsible for the misfortune event. Once that’s settled, you have the option to file a claim seeking financial recompense for your losses.
Wright & Gray possess a wealth of knowledge when it comes to boating accident claims. Contact us now and let us leverage our expertise to put you on the path towards financial reparations for your loss.