An enjoyable day on the water can unfortunately change in an instant and result in severe if not fatal injuries. If a boating accident caused you or your loved one to suffer serious injuries, contacting a Nashville boat accident lawyer immediately could be highly beneficial. Maritime incidents can have catastrophic consequences requiring an experienced attorney’s assistance.
A legal professional’s help could be invaluable when it comes to seeking financial recourse for your harm. Rather than trying to figure out your legal rights as you deal with the physical and emotional aftermath of the incident, allow a hardworking lawyer in the area to help you file a strong claim within the designated amount of time.
What Are a Boat Owner’s Responsibilities in Tennessee?
According to the Handbook of Tennessee Boating Laws and Responsibilities, watercraft owners must tell someone where they are going and when they expect to be back at their selected marina. They must also check the weather forecast before going out and ensure their boat features the equipment necessary for safe and efficient navigation, including an operable engine. All passengers must wear life jackets while on board the vessel, and all Tennessee residents born after January 1, 1989 must have their Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency-issued card proving they successfully completed a TWRA administered boating safety exam to legally operate their watercraft.
It is unlawful for a boat operator to navigate a watercraft while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Notably, boaters who have a blood alcohol content level of .08% or greater are presumed to be under the influence and cannot operate a marine vehicle safely. Intoxicated boaters may face both civil and criminal liability in the event of an accident. A knowledgeable local lawyer could use a criminal conviction or a guilty plea as proof of negligence in a separate civil case stemming from the boating accident.
Common Watercraft Negligence Cases
Recreational boating wrecks are generally negligence-based, whether from lacking maintenance, inefficient operation, or both. Among the most common reasons for maritime accidents include:
- Navigating in poor weather
- Hitting a sizable wave or wake while operating at a higher speed
- Making propeller contact
- Intoxicated operation
- Failing to carry the proper safety equipment on board
- Colliding into other watercrafts or stationary objects
- Overloading or overcrowding the boat
- Failing to adhere to boating regulations
- Failing to notice other boats and individuals in the water
Intentional tort watercraft accident cases are rare but can occur. For example, if a boat operator intentionally followed another vessel to scare or hurt those on board, they can face liability of an accident occurs. In these cases, a Nashville attorney could make a claim for punitive damages since the boater was intentional in the cause of accident.
Learn More from a Nashville Boat Accident Attorney
The impact of a boating accident can last long after injuries heal, assuming the physical harm is not permanent. If you and your party were involved in a watercraft incident, you should consider contacting a Nashville boat accident lawyer to represent your claim. A member of our talented team could help you during this trying time. We look forward to speaking with you.