Boat Accident Attorney in Shelby, NC

boating accident

With more than 300,000 registered vessels and more than 5,000 miles of waterways, boating is a popular year-round activity in North Carolina. When people behave responsibly, boating can be an enjoyable activity for the young and old alike.

Unfortunately, when a boat operator or owner fails to follow safety guidelines, operate while sober, or maintain their watercraft, severe and potentially fatal injury accidents could occur. 

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s safety guidelines state that boaters should take every necessary precaution to avoid accidents on the water. Unfortunately, not all boat operators put safety first. According to the commission, in one recent year, North Carolina recorded the highest number of fatal boat accidents since the 1990s. The total number of boating accidents also increased by 64%. 

If you were hurt in a boating accident caused by an inexperienced, distracted, intoxicated, or otherwise negligent boat operator, you have the right to seek fair compensation for the harm you’ve suffered. An experienced injury attorney like those at Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C. have the right experience to help you pursue compensation. Call us to schedule your free case evaluation today. 

Primary Causes of Boating Accidents

Operating a boat is not the same as operating a vehicle on land. Water is fluid and ever-changing, and boat operators must account for this. Also, there are no brakes on a boat. Instead, the operator must reverse the engines to slow the craft down. 

The knowledge and skills required to operate a watercraft are significantly different from those of regular motor vehicles. It is crucial that boat operators are attentive, sober, and experienced in handling the craft to ensure the safety of everyone on board and around them. 

Some of the most commonly reported causes of boating accidents include: 

  • Operator inattention
  • Careless or reckless operation
  • Boating while intoxicated
  • Excessive speed
  • Navigation rules infractions
  • Operating in congested or hazardous waters
  • Operating without adequate lighting

Types of Boating Accidents

Operators, passengers, swimmers, and others could be severely injured in a wide variety of different accidents, including: 

  • Colliding with other boats or personal watercraft (like Jet Skis)
  • Running over swimmers in the water
  • Running aground
  • Capsizing, flooding, or sinking
  • Slips and falls on deck
  • Passengers falling overboard
  • Waterskiing, tubing, and wakeboarding accidents
  • Accidents involving the propeller
  • Electrocution accidents
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

It is the responsibility of everyone on board to behave responsibly when on a boat to prevent injury to themselves and others. Failure to do so could make the operator, the owner of the boat, or another party liable for any harm that people suffer due to their negligence. 

Common Injuries in Boating Accidents

Because these accidents occur on water, people who are hurt in boating accidents face the risk of drowning in addition to the injuries they’ve suffered. Some of the most common boating accident injuries include: 

  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Broken or fractured bones
  • Back, spine, and spinal cord injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Severe cuts and lacerations
  • Dismemberment
  • Crushing/internal injuries
  • Electrocution
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Drowning

What to Do If You Are Injured in a Boating Accident

If you are injured in a boating accident, seek medical treatment as soon as possible. While severe injuries will usually require emergency medical assistance, others might not seem severe initially. 

Don’t assume your injuries are just minor discomfort. It’s not uncommon for symptoms of injuries to increase in severity over time. See a medical provider the same day as the boating accident whenever possible regardless of the injury. It is better for your injury claim to establish that you sought medical treatment immediately after the boating accident.  

Be sure to let the medical provider know where all your pain and discomfort is, not just the parts of your body that hurt the worst. Sometimes, an injured person initially feels pain in one area of the body but over time a more significant injury is discovered in another area. 

Next, make sure to contact an attorney who handled boating accident cases. You’ll want to discuss your accident, your injuries, and your legal options before speaking to anyone else. This includes making statements to anyone else, including friends, bystanders, insurance adjusters, or the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.  

Proving negligence after a boat accident can be challenging, and you never want the statements you make in the aftermath of an accident to harm or hinder your case for compensation. 

Be sure to hire an attorney with specific experience handling boat accident claims. With so much on the line, you don’t want to hire a lawyer who is unfamiliar with the state’s boating laws, or who does not have the skill to build a convincing case on your behalf.

Hurt in a Boating Accident in North Carolina? Contact Us

When you need help, the North Carolina injury attorneys of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert, P.L.L.C. will be there to provide caring, compassionate, and aggressive legal representation. We have the experience, resources, and intricate understanding of the specific issues involved with boating accidents in our state. We are confident that we can build a strong, persuasive case for compensation and help you get the justice that you deserve.

Our team represents clients on a contingency-fee-basis, which means you won’t owe us anything until we secure compensation through a settlement or verdict for you. Our consultations are 100% free, and there is no-obligation, so call us, fill out a contact form, or chat with us live to schedule yours today. 

About Teddy, Meekins & Talbert

The law office of Teddy, Meekins & Talbert is located in Shelby, N.C. approximately 40 miles west of Charlotte, N.C. Our mission is to provide aggressive, innovative, and passionate representation for people who are often in the midst of stress and anxiety associated with legal problems.

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