Like any other transportation, boats can be involved in severe accidents. Boating in Tennessee is popular during the hot summer months, with many people flocking to the water to cool off and have fun. When there are many boaters on the rivers, lakes, and waterways, this can increase the risk of an accident and the potential for injuries. According to the 2021 Tennessee Boating Accident Statistical Report, there were 252,239 registered vessels which was an increase from the prior year, and 145 reported incidents.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, our experienced boating accident attorneys at GriffithLaw can help you navigate the complexities of a personal injury lawsuit and will work diligently to get you the compensation you deserve.
Causes of Tennessee Boating Accidents
In Tennessee, the most common type of boat involved in an accident is an open motorboat, but accidents can happen involving any type of vessels such as a sailboat, jet ski, yacht, or pontoon boat. Many boating accidents are due to boat operator inexperience, but accidents can happen for various reasons. Some other causes of boating accidents include:
- Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Operating a boat in a careless or reckless manner
- Boating at a high rate of speed
- Not observing hazardous water conditions
- Boating in overly congested waterways
- Boating when there are poor weather conditions
- Failing to have the proper safety equipment on board
- Not properly maintaining the boat or vessel
- Overloading the boat with passengers or cargo
These factors can contribute to an accident due to many reasons. One of the most common boating accident is a boat colliding with another vessel, person, or object.
Who Is Liable for a Boating Accident
In order to recover damages from injuries that result from a boating accident, liability must be determined. You can sue the driver of another boat or a boat you were riding in if they were negligent in their actions and caused the accident. The boat owner’s liability insurance coverage will cover damages that result from an accident. Other parties who could be responsible for boating accidents include:
- Boat rental company
- Boat manufacturer
- Passengers on the boat
If you are injured in a boat while on a paid tour or excursion such as white-water rafting, the rental company and guides may be held responsible for the accident and your injuries.
A boating accident attorney can help determine who is responsible for the accident and your injuries. They can investigate the accident by gathering evidence such as witness testimony, medical reports, law enforcement reports, and photos of the accident scene. An attorney can also negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get a fair settlement. An attorney can take your case to court if the insurance company does not settle your claim.
Potential Damages in a Tennessee Boating Accident Lawsuit
Once liability has been determined for a Tennessee boating accident, GriffithLaw could help you pursue damages for the following:
- Medical expenses
- Lost income
- Physical rehabilitation
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Lost enjoyment of life
- Wrongful death
Currently, in Tennessee, there is no cap on the amount of economic damages you could receive after a boating accident, but there is a limit on non-economic damages. The state does have a statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim that, if you do not follow it, can prevent you from obtaining compensation. In Tennessee, the statute of limitations is one year from the date of the accident from which you were injured. If you wait too long to take action, the court will dismiss your claim, and you will not be able to pursue a lawsuit. Hiring an attorney can ensure you do not miss any deadlines for filing a claim.
Do You Need a Tennessee Boating Accident Lawyer?
If you have been injured in a Tennessee boating accident, contact GriffithLaw’s experienced team of boating accident attorneys to help secure the settlement you deserve. To schedule a free, no-obligation case review, contact us online or call our office at (615) 807-7900.