Due to the abundance of waterways, boating is a favorite past-time for many people living in and visiting Tennessee. However, it does not come without risks or the potential for accidents, which can lead to serious injuries or even fatalities. If you have been injured or lost a loved one in a boat accident in Tennessee, taking the necessary steps to protect your rights and seek appropriate compensation is essential. An experienced boating accident lawyer can help guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries or loss.
Types of Accidents Our Tennesee Boat Accident Attorneys Handle
Boating accidents can take various forms, and they may result in injuries or fatalities. If you or a loved one has been involved in a boating accident and suffered injuries, you may need the services of a personal injury attorney to help you seek compensation. Here are five types of boating accidents, along with a brief description of each:
Collision accidents occur when two or more boats collide with each other. These accidents can happen due to various factors, such as operator error, navigational issues, or poor visibility. Injuries can range from minor to severe, and compensation may be needed to cover medical expenses and damages. Need for an Injury Lawyer: If you've been injured in a collision accident, you may need an injury lawyer to help you assess liability and seek compensation from the responsible party.
Capsizing accidents involve the boat overturning or flipping over, often due to overloading, sudden weather changes, or operator error. Passengers and crew members can be thrown into the water, resulting in injuries like drowning, fractures, or head trauma. Need for an Injury Lawyer: If you or a loved one has been injured in a capsizing accident, you may need a personal injury attorney to investigate the circumstances and pursue a legal claim.
Grounding Due To Other Boaters Negligence
Grounding accidents happen when a boat runs aground, hitting underwater obstacles like rocks, sandbars, or shallow areas. These accidents can cause significant damage to the vessel and may result in injuries to passengers or crew members. Need for an Injury Lawyer: If you've suffered injuries in a grounding accident, you may require the services of an injury lawyer to help determine liability and seek compensation for your injuries and property damage.
Fire and Explosion Accidents
Boating accidents involving fires or explosions can occur due to issues with fuel systems, electrical malfunctions, or onboard equipment. These accidents can lead to severe burns, smoke inhalation, and other injuries. Need for an Injury Lawyer: In cases of fire and explosion accidents on boats, a personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing compensation for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and other losses.
Drowning and Man Overboard Accidents
: Description: Drowning and man overboard accidents occur when individuals fall overboard or are submerged in the water without proper safety measures or life jackets. These accidents can lead to drowning and other water-related injuries. Need for an Injury Lawyer: If you or a family member has experienced a drowning or man overboard accident while boating, a personal injury attorney can help determine if negligence played a role and seek compensation for the consequences.
Steps to Take After a Tennessee Boating Accident
Under Tennessee law, if you are involved in a boating accident, you must stop the vessel at the accident scene and help anyone injured. In addition, you should take the following steps:
- Seek immediate medical attention. Call 911 or visit your nearest emergency room even if you do not feel like you suffered serious injuries in the accident. Seeking medical attention as soon as possible after a boat accident is vital since some injuries, such as concussions or internal bleeding, may not be immediately apparent and can become more severe if left untreated. In addition, seeking medical attention right away can help document the extent of your injuries, which can be used as evidence in your case.
- Report the boat accident
- Contact the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA). The TWRA is responsible for enforcing boating laws and regulations on the state's waterways. If you are involved in a boating accident, it's important to contact the TWRA as soon as possible. Boating accidents must be reported within 48 hours if the accident resulted in death, disappearance, or injury requiring medical treatment beyond first aid or if there is property damage of $2,000 or more. Failure to report the accident can result in fines. The TWRA will send an officer to the scene to investigate the accident and document any evidence that may be helpful in your boating accident lawsuit.
- Gather evidence from the accident scene. If you can, take photographs of the accident scene, including any damage to the boats involved. Taking pictures of your injuries is also a good idea since they can serve as important evidence in your case. In addition, try to obtain the contact information of any witnesses to the accident and other passengers and boat operators involved in the crash.
- Preserve valuable evidence. You want to keep any evidence that can be used for your case. Do not alter or dispose of any evidence related to the accident, including damaged boats, equipment, or clothing.
- Consult a boating accident lawyer. If you are hurt in a Tennessee boat accident, it is essential to contact a lawyer as soon as possible. Even if the boat operator was a friend or relative, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. A lawyer can help you understand the complex legal process and ensure your rights are protected.
Possible Damages and How a Lawyer Can Help
Being involved in a boating accident can be a traumatic experience, and hiring an experienced boating accident attorney who understands the boating laws and regulations in Tennessee is vital. An attorney can provide you with support and guidance throughout your case and will help build a strong claim by doing the following:
- Investigating the accident and gathering crucial evidence that can support your claim
- Identifying liable parties, such as the boat operator, boat owner, or manufacturer
- Preparing paperwork related to your case to ensure all necessary documents are filed correctly and on time.
- Negotiating with insurance companies on your behalf to make sure you receive a fair settlement
- Representing you in court if your case does not settle with the insurance company
If you have been injured in a Tennessee boat accident, you may be entitled to recover the following damages:
- Medical expenses. This can include the cost of any medical treatment you receive for your injuries and any future medical care you may need.
- Lost wages. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages if you cannot work due to your injuries.
- Pain and suffering. This can include compensation for any physical pain and emotional suffering you experience as a result of your injuries.
- Property damage. If your personal property was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for repairing or replacing it.