Boat Accidents

Dedicated North Carolina Boat Accident Lawyers

Numerous recreational possibilities are available in North Carolina. Both locals and visitors to North Carolina frequently use the water throughout the summer. On the French Broad, Nantahala, Tuckaseegee, and other mountain rivers in the western section of the state, many people look for whitewater rafting excursions. Hiawassee, Santeelah, Fontana, Nantahala, Chatuge, Jordan, Harris, and Falls lakes, as well as Lake Norman, to name a few, are just a few of the lakes in western and Piedmont North Carolina that provide a wealth of opportunities to get out on the water and fish, ski, or simply unwind with family and friends. Sometimes the joy of being on the water helps us forget that there is always a risk of injury for boaters. We adhere to traffic laws when we are driving. We must abide by the maritime laws while we are on the sea. If you don’t, you risk severe bodily injury or maybe death. Our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers from Diener Law can assist you in obtaining the compensation you are entitled to if you have been hurt in a boating accident.

Why Do You Need Our North Carolina Boat Accident Lawyers?

Accidents on the water can be caused by swimming, jet skiing, boating, yachting, rafting, or even just plain old rafting. People searching for a fun outdoor sport on a bright day sometimes overlook the dangers of deep, turbulent waters. The danger of injury and unintentional fatality increases when music, partying, and alcohol are present throughout many weekends spent on a lake, ocean, or river. Alcohol makes people more careless, retards their reflexes, and clouds their judgment. This may get worse if the person is operating a watercraft while listening to loud music or having a discussion. You might be able to sue someone for compensation if they were negligent or reckless and it resulted in a significant injury by calling one of our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers.
North Carolina boat accident lawyers

Determining Liability in a Boating Accident

We will ask you to provide a detailed account of the accident when you first meet with one of our North Carolina boat accident lawyers. This will assist us in identifying the party responsible for the accident and, consequently, the defendant in your claim. Depending on the circumstances, we could need to sue a single person or perhaps a whole company. Liability varies from case to case. Liability is not always clear-cut, and if you file a case against the incorrect person, it will be for nothing. This is why if you or a loved one was hurt in a boating accident, you should get legal counsel. It’s critical to realize that onlookers owe you a specific duty of care. When someone owes you a duty of care, they are accountable. A duty of care is a responsibility to take action or refrain from doing an action that might endanger others. Everyone is required to use a reasonable amount of care, and those who fail to do so are negligent. We will assist you in identifying the person whose negligence led to your injuries, whether it was during boating operations or the manufacturing process. In your scenario, the law of negligence will apply. A person is considered negligent in the eyes of the law if they failed to perform their duties correctly or acted carelessly or recklessly.

Proving Negligence

Our North Carolina boat accident lawyers can establish negligence when we ascertain who is in charge of ensuring your safety. We can demonstrate that the person who injured you did so because they were being careless or irresponsible, which caused your injuries. Your injuries may have been caused by their swerving motorboat colliding with yours if they are consistent with blunt force trauma. We’ll bring in a professional to go at your bruising and contusions and compare them to the thing that struck you. If you have burns, we might demonstrate that the degree of burns you have may have been caused by the engine of the boat burning at a certain temperature.

Proving Your Damages

Although the first thing that comes to mind when you consider a personal injury lawsuit in North Carolina is medical costs, we can include additional damages in your claim. You most certainly had emotional suffering as well as any medical expenses because many accidents are severe. Our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers will add up the hours you were unable to be paid for if your injuries required you to miss time from work so that these lost wages can be included in your claim. Different types of damages that we might demand be fully compensated depend on the circumstances of each case.

North Carolina Boating Accidents Law

Boaters frequently see Wildlife Enforcement Officers in North Carolina as they patrol the waterways. The persons these cops are hunting for could be operating their boats dangerously. Water cops, in contrast to those who patrol on land, can halt a boat at any moment without having to provide proof that the driver or passengers were breaking the law. Legally, a wildlife enforcement officer has the authority to stop a boat for a “safety inspection” to verify that the boat is equipped with the appropriate number of life jackets and other emergency supplies. If a boater’s vessel is not properly registered or licensed, it may also be stopped. Similar to this, if a boater disregards duly posted navigational aids like “no wake zone” signs or channel markers, they may be stopped. All boat operators under the age of 26 are now required to undergo a boating safety course under a recent modification to the North Carolina Rules for Boating.

What Are the Common Reasons Boating Accidents Occur?

The majority of incidents, like any other motor vehicle collision or accident, are the consequence of driver error: driving too fast, driving recklessly, driving while intoxicated, and driver distraction are at the top of the list. However, a sizable number of incidents involving boats happen annually due to:

Operator Inattention and Inexperience

A boating license can be obtained by teenagers as early as 14. Since there is no practical test, some drivers may be operating vessels without ever having attempted to steer one in a secure or safe environment. A boat can capsize if the driver brakes too forcefully or tries to make a tight maneuver.

Hazardous Waters

Many seasoned boaters have suffered because of choppy, rough conditions. You can find yourself trapped, grounded, or battling for your life if the boat capsizes if the weather changes suddenly or abruptly. Low visibility might cause a driver to overlook stationary things, other boats, or even submerged items that might otherwise be visible, which is a severe problem.

Another Watercraft

Accidents can result from smaller boats, jet skiers, water skiers, and crowded water in general. This is particularly true for individuals who are not using powered boats or other watercraft, like swimmers or kayakers. The excessive wakes might make the water dangerous for everyone if the seas are crowded.

Defective Boat Parts

Defective components contribute to boat fatalities in several ways, including carbon monoxide leaks that can cause poisoning, engine fires that can create explosions, and throttle, shift, and brake problems that can result in accidental accidents. According to North Carolina boating laws, every recreational vessel must carry one throwable type IV personal floatation device for every person on board as well as a vessel that is 16 feet or longer. The legal framework governing watercraft mishaps is intricate. Contact our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers if you or a loved one has been hurt or killed in a boating accident. Diener Law represents personal injury and accident victims throughout North Carolina. Contact us today.

What Are the Different Types of Boat Accidents in North Carolina?

At Diener Law, we know all types of boating accidents and injuries. The following are some of the most typical boating accident types that result in injuries and compensation claims:

Commercial Boating Accidents

When you depend on the water for your livelihood, each day has its own set of risks. A few of the ways that seafarers might get injuries that have a profound impact on their lives include careless operations, equipment malfunctions, and deck fires. A major injury can keep you out of work for a very long period whether you work on a tanker, barge, tugboat, or any other commercial vessel. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, generally known as the Jones Act, gives wounded sailors rights and gives them the right to sue their employer for the wrongdoing that led to their injury. In addition, there may be additional claims that might lead to payment for injuries sustained while working aboard a commercial vessel. At Diener Law, we assist families of wounded mariners in obtaining the maximum amount of possible compensation.

Jet Ski Accidents

Personal watercraft, such as jet skis, may be thrilling and enjoyable. However, a combination of speed, water characteristics, and a lack of knowledge or training can have disastrous results. Operating such a craft while under the influence of drink or drugs or while disobeying fundamental safety regulations is also dangerous. Jet ski operators are particularly susceptible to major injury or death since they are so near to the surface and completely exposed with little to no protective gear. Our North Carolina boat accident lawyers have significant experience representing those injured in jet ski and personal watercraft accidents. We seek and get compensation from concessionaires for their carelessness when such watercraft are hired from them and they fail to adequately teach the rider, maintain the craft, or do other careless actions with the rentals.

Yacht Accidents

Money may be able to buy you a gorgeous yacht, but it may not always purchase yacht owners or operators the necessary training and expertise to properly handle such massive and challenging vessels. This can result in injury to passengers as well as those on other boats, along with several other problems including speeding, disobeying safety regulations, neglecting to maintain the vessel, and disobeying navigating restrictions. Our North Carolina boat accident lawyers can assist victims of boater carelessness in receiving compensation for their injuries, regardless of the reason for the accident or the type of injuries they sustained.

Shrimping and Fishing Boat Accidents

At Diener Law, we have the deepest regard for the hardworking men and women who spend long days shrimping and fishing boats around the Gulf Coast and on the waterways of our state. Crew members aboard shrimping and fishing boats may be eligible for compensation for their injuries under federal maritime law, including the Jones Act, as with all sailors on commercial vessels. Boat owners have a responsibility to maintain and run the boat safely to give their crew members a safe place to work. A fishing or shrimp boat crewman may file a lawsuit for lost pay, lost earning potential, pain and suffering, disability, deformity, and medical costs if he is injured on the job.

Pontoon Boat Accidents

One of the several boating accident types to take into account involves pontoon boats. Pontoon boats are ideal for a leisurely afternoon on the lake, but that doesn’t mean they are risk-free because they aren’t designed for speed like other kinds of boats. Injured passengers on pontoon boats may be at much greater risk. Every year, more individuals pass away in incidents involving pontoon boats than, say, those using jet skis. That may be a result of behaviors like “bow riding,” which is when someone sits outside the boat’s rails while leaning their feet over the side. Run-over incidents, propeller mishaps, and drownings can result from this. Pontoon boat accidents that result in injuries or fatalities might be caused by inadequate training, drinking, or disregarding safety regulations. Both the boat’s captain and the vendor who rents pontoon boats might be held liable for their carelessness.

Marina and Dock Accidents

Not every boating disaster takes place off the coast. When boats or other equipment are managed or maintained irresponsibly, dockworkers, longshoremen, and other people who use or are present on marinas or docks risk injury. The Jones Act and other federal laws may provide remedies for maritime employees, and we have the knowledge and understanding of dock operations to successfully pursue compensation for our injured clients.

Party Boat Accidents

It should come as no surprise that alcohol may play a role in many party boat mishaps, whether it be an impaired driver who causes a collision or a buzzed passenger who jumps overboard. However, other causes might also result in severe injuries. In those cases, our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers strive to hold the owner, operator, or any individuals in charge of the boat accountable for their carelessness.

Water Skiing and Towing Accidents

Vulnerable and unprotected people being pushed behind a boat at a fast speed can cause terrible injuries when they crash into the ocean, other boats, or other things like docks and wharves. The boat’s operator may be held liable for any injury done to people who relied on them if they acted carelessly or in breach of safety regulations.

What Are the Most Common Boating Accident Injuries?

Due to the nature of boats, accidents can be very serious. The following list of possible long-term or permanent injuries suffered by victims:
  • Burns
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Amputations
  • Lacerations and abrasions
  • Brain damage
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Hypothermia
  • Carbon monoxide poisoning

What Should You Do After a Boating Accident in North Carolina?

If you are operating a boat that is involved in a boating accident, you have specific legal obligations and legal rights regardless of whether you are on a lake or in inland waterways.
  • To try to prevent others from drowning and rescue them from imminent danger, you must stop and provide help to other boats involved in the accident.
  • If a person is killed or vanishes from a boat due to a boating accident, you must tell the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission as soon as you can. Include information such as the date, time, and place of the boating tragedy, the names of all people who perished or went missing, the boat’s name and registration number, as well as the owners’ and operators’ addresses.
  • According to the North Carolina Boating Safety Act, if an accident results in a death or disappearance from a boat, an injury that necessitates medical attention beyond first aid, or physical damage to a vessel, the boat operator must submit a written report to the Wildlife Resources Commission.
  • Boating accidents involving fatalities, missing persons, or injuries must be reported within 48 hours after the incident. The boat owner is obligated to submit the report if the operator is unable to do so.
  • If you or a loved one was injured in an accident that was someone else’s responsibility, you should speak with one of our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers to learn more about your legal options.

Who is Liable in a North Carolina Boat Accident?

In North Carolina, a legal concept known as contributory negligence states that if a victim of an accident even somewhat contributed to its cause, they will not be entitled to compensation. This also holds for boating accidents. But there may be various federal rules that apply depending on what body of water your accident occurred in. Our knowledgeable North Carolina boat accident lawyers can respond to inquiries about your situation. Following are a few examples of potential liability in boat accidents.

Injury From Another Boat’s Wake

People may be injured or thrown from a boat and land in another boat’s wake when the two boats collide. Finding a responsible boat driver might be challenging at times. It could be Boat Operator A’s fault for not avoiding Boat Operator B’s wake or Boat Operator B’s fault for creating a wake in a no-wake zone or creating a wake by driving recklessly.

Striking an Object or Land

Whatever the weather, a boat can crash with a stationary object. Despite cautious and accurate navigation by the boat drivers, accidents occasionally happen. However, they could be held accountable for any accidents or injuries if they are driving carelessly, especially in bad weather.

Lack of Safety Equipment

If there is no safety equipment on board the boat when a boat disaster happens, the owner may be held responsible for any injuries or fatalities. Life vests, flares, life rings, fire extinguishers, and safety whistles are some examples of this gear. You could be entitled to compensation if a boating accident left you hurt or a loved one dies. Our North Carolina boat accident lawyers fight for you to obtain financial compensation as well as to hold the at-fault party accountable.

How Long Do Victims Have to File Lawsuits in a North Carolina Boat Accident Case?

In North Carolina, victims of boating accidents have a finite window of opportunity to bring lawsuits and seek restitution for their losses. The three-year statute of limitations for personal injuries in North Carolina begins on the day the injury occurs. This indicates that persons injured in boat accidents in North Carolina have three years to make a claim against the accused at-fault party. The victim will forfeit their right to the money they are due if they do not file a case within this time frame.

How Can Our North Carolina Boat Accident Lawyers Help?

Our committed North Carolina boat accident lawyers will look into the incident, speak with the investigating officer, and determine who all the probable culprits are. In rare cases, a boat’s owner and the operator may each be held individually responsible for causing an accident. We evaluate your losses, including medical costs, past and future lost wages, additional medical costs, and discomfort. If you or a loved one suffers from a crippling injury, we estimate the cost of the continuous care and support you will require. To assess these expenditures, we frequently collaborate with life planners. We put up a claim that fully accounts for the damages and injuries you had in the boating accident. Then, to get a complete payment, we engage in active negotiation with the accountable parties’ insurance companies. If Diener Law, we can negotiate a just settlement with the insurance company or companies, it will allow you to receive money more quickly to cover your bills and avoid the stress and uncertainty of a court trial. If we are unable to reach a fair settlement via negotiation, we are willing to go to court and are confident in our ability to win. For instance, the boat operator will face criminal charges if another boater who caused a boat collision was charged with operating a vessel while intoxicated. However, if a boater is found guilty of causing an accident, there will be no financial relief to pay for your medical expenses or make up for missed wages if you are unable to work. To recover damages for your losses, you must file a separate civil complaint against the culpable parties.

Get in Touch With Our Dedicated North Carolina Boat Accident Lawyers Today!

It is important to determine the relevant laws after a boat accident. Boating accidents can be complicated. There may be little or no insurance coverage. It may be difficult to prove negligence. It may be challenging to establish negligence. Depending on where the accident happened—on a lake, in navigable international seas, or in state waters near the shore—different regulations apply. Was there faulty equipment present? This kind of issue demands the examination of a knowledgeable maritime law attorney who can determine the appropriate legal frameworks for filing compensation claims and who is skilled at conducting thorough investigations to maximize compensation. Diener Law has years of successfully applied experience. Our personal injury attorney could assist you if you were hurt while sailing or off on a boat on a lake in North Carolina. For an initial consultation, get in touch with our North Carolina boat accident lawyers immediately for an initial consultation. With our extensive experience, you may have faith in our skills. We represent clients throughout North Carolina.

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