What To Do After A Boating Accident In Alabama
Ferguson & Ferguson
Attorneys at Law
July 8th, 2019
Boating Accident Information
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a boating, jet ski or water sports accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may have a case against the negligent party. Boating accident injuries can be minor, traumatic or life changing. Unfortunately, some boat accidents can also be fatal. If you have been in a boat accident, it is important that you get medical treatment for everyone involved, and gather relevant information immediately. It is also important that you contact a boat accident lawyer as soon as you or a loved one have been seriously hurt or fatally injured in a boating accident.
Recent North Alabama incidents on July 4, 2019 are contributing to one of the highest rate of boating deaths in the last 20 years in Alabama’s. Recent Alabama boating accidents include:
- A crash on Smith Lake resulted in two injuries and a death.
- Two boats collided in a separate accident on Jordan Lake. Two people were killed in the accident.
- Two boats crashed into each other late on the Fourth of July. The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says five people were injured with four of them being taken to the hospital with their injuries.
One boater has not been accounted for at this time.
- Local kayaker dies in Elk river accident.
Gathering Information About The Boat Accident
After you determine everyone is okay and out of danger, you will next need to obtain essential information from those on the other vessel as well as from any witnesses to the accident. Information that you should gather at the accident scene includes, the following:
- Names, addresses and telephone numbers of the boat operators involved in the boat accident.
- Names, addresses and telephone numbers of the passengers involved or aboard any of the vessels in the crash.
- Names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who may have witnessed the accident from shore or from other vessels.
- Registration or identification number of the other vessels involved in the accident.
- Insurance company names and the insurance policy numbers of those who were involved in the accident.
- You should take photographs of the damage to the boat and the location where the accident occurred. Getting this evidence from the scene of the boating accident can be helpful if you later need to prove that the other boat operator was responsible for the accident.
Under the federal law, a boating accident report must be filed if:
- Someone is killed
- Someone is injured badly enough to need medical care beyond the most basic first aid
- There is damage to the vessels or to property that equals or exceeds $2,000
- There is a complete loss of a vessel or a vessel is destroyed
- Someone disappears from a vessel under circumstances that indicate an injury or death has occurred.
Types of Boating Accident Claims
A boat operator may be considered negligent for:
- Hitting a big wave or wake at an excessive speed;
- Deciding to navigate in bad weather, causing individuals to fall overboard;
- Contact with propellers;
- Operating at a high speed;
- Failing to carry safety equipment on board;
- Collisions with other boats or fixed object(s);
- Failing to know the “rules of the road,”;
- Overcrowding and overloading the vessel;
- Boating Under the Influence;
- Falls overboard;
- Fuel fires or explosions;
- Falls on the boat;
- Striking underwater objects;
- Mishaps that involve a person on a towable object;
- Collision with a floating object, including swimmers.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Boat Accident Injuries?
You can avoid some boat accident injuries by practicing common sense. A few of the most common causes of boat accident injuries on lakes and waterways in Alabama include:
- Slippery boat deck
- Improper boat maintenance
- Passengers acting recklessly
- Proper safety gear is not on vessel
- Boat operator is driving distracted
- Inexperienced Boat Driver
- Boat operator is driving recklessly
- Vessel collides with another boat or underwater object
- Boat operator is driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol
Tips for Avoiding a Boating Accident in Alabama
Keep these tips in mind before going out on the water:
- Stay sober at all times.
- Keep an eye on the forecast.
- Make sure there’s flotation devices for every passenger on board.
- Take a course on boating safety.
- Make sure you check your boat from bow to stern before heading out.
- Keep a fire extinguisher on the boat in case of fire.
- Do not overload your boat.
- Watch out for intoxicated boat operators.
Damages You Can Recover
You can receive compensation for all of the following:
- Damaged property
- Medical bills
- Future medicals
- Pain and suffering
- Lost time at work
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Wrongful death
What Can We Do To Help?
Our legal team is here to guide you through the claims process. We can help by doing the following:
- Determining who is at fault in the boating accident.
- Collecting evidence in boating accident.
- Preparing for any interviews, meetings or hearings.
- Gathering medical records and bills associated with your case.
- Documenting all of the facts and evidence of the accident.
- Preparing all of the paperwork.
- Representing you at trial or in settlement negotiations.
If you think someone else was responsible for the boating accident, contact an experienced Alabama personal injury attorney immediately. The experienced boating accident attorneys at Ferguson and Ferguson have represented hundreds of boat accident victims. We can determine who was at fault in your Alabama boat accident. We offer FREE consultations to all of our boating accident victims and we do not collect a fee unless we win for you. Call now for your free consultation. Call 256-534-3435. We are here to help.