Chattanooga Boat Accident Lawyer

A boating accident can transform an enjoyable recreational outing into a nightmare. You can be injured in a boat accident while operating a watercraft, swimming, fishing, or working on the water.

If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an accident involving a motorboat, sailboat, jet ski, canoe, or other watercraft on Tennessee waterways, you should reach out to a Chattanooga boat accident lawyer. An injury attorney could help you identify the responsible parties and determine whether state or local court is the best forum for filing your claim for damages.

Types of Boating Accidents

Boat accidents come in many forms. They can involve collisions with other large watercraft or a crash with a smaller object like a kayak or jet ski. In some cases, a boat can even hit a swimmer. Other common types of boating accidents include:

  • Sinking, grounding, and capsizing
  • Being thrown from the vessel or falling overboard
  • Equipment failures
  • Fires and explosions
  • Mishaps during boarding and disembarking

Injuries from boating accidents can include contusions, lacerations, broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, and even death. A Chattanooga attorney could examine the exact circumstances of the boat crash to pursue damages on behalf of the injured person.

Common Causes of Boat Accidents in Chattanooga

A boating accident can result from many factors, but operator negligence is often the cause. Examples of operator negligence include:

  • Failure to adequately monitor the condition of the boat and the boating environment, including weather, waves, and other hazards
  • Failing to keep a proper lookout
  • Operating the craft while intoxicated
  • Violating the rules of navigation
  • Speeding

Distracted and inexperienced operators tend to cause the most boating accidents, but operators may be found negligent if they displayed any behavior that constitutes careless or reckless operation of their craft.

Types of Damages

An attorney in Chattanooga could significantly increase the plaintiff’s chances of securing adequate payment for their losses by pursuing all possible forms of compensation in a watercraft collision claim. Recoverable damages in these cases could include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Loss of income and earning capacity
  • Property loss, such as watercraft
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Additional compensation for the plaintiff’s mental distress, extended rehabilitation, or wrongful death of a loved one may also be available.

Determining Liability for Damages

State law requires anyone seeking compensation from a boat accident to prove the watercraft operator, owner, or other responsible party is at fault. If multiple parties have contributed to the accident, the plaintiff may name all the contributors and defendants, and they will share liability.

Under the comparative negligence doctrine, a plaintiff must also show they are no more at fault than the other parties. This means they must prove they are no more than 50 percent at fault for the accident, or they will be barred from recovery. If the plaintiff is no more than 50 percent at fault, their damages will be reduced by their contribution to the accident. For example, if the plaintiff is 20 percent at fault, the defendant will only be responsible for 80 percent of the compensation.

A local lawyer could be extremely helpful in evaluating liability for damages under the state’s comparative negligence law.

A Chattanooga Boat Accident Attorney Could Help You Recover Damages

Involvement in a boating accident is a traumatic experience, and the resulting injuries can be severe. It is important to identify the party or parties responsible for the accident and pursue financial compensation for your injuries. A Chattanooga boat accident lawyer could offer an initial review of your case and advise you regarding your eligibility to recover damages. Call today to schedule a consultation.

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