Huntsville Boat Accident Lawyer
Boating is a popular activity here in Alabama – unfortunately, this recreational pastime leads to deaths and injuries each year. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 4,463 accidents in 2016 leading to 701 deaths, nearly 3,000 injuries, and $49 million in property damage. When a boater or passenger on a boat incurs injury from another party’s negligence, he or she may be able to file a claim and collect compensation for any damages that result. If you or a loved one recently suffered harm in a boating accident and believe someone else may be responsible, contact the Huntsville personal injury attorneys at Conchin, Cloud & Cole, LLC, to discuss your legal options.
Alabama Boating Laws
Like many states, Alabama has its own boating laws that all passengers and operators of watercraft must follow. Some of the most relevant include:
• No one under the age of 12 may operate a vessel. Those over the age of 12 who want to operate a watercraft must take a boater safety education course approved by the state of Alabama.
• It is unlawful to operate a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or any other drug, recreational or prescription.
• Boaters must follow all rules and regulations regarding wake zones and other posted signage.
In general, operators of watercraft must use reasonable care while using their vehicles. Failure to do so could make them civilly liable for any damages that result.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
Boating accidents can occur in any number of ways, but some are more common than others. Some accidents that give rise to injury and property damage include:
Many boating accidents result from the negligent operation of a driver. This may be from driving too fast for weather conditions, collision with a submerged object, or even collision with another boater. This can lead to extensive property damage, injuries, and even death.
Alabama’s boating laws allow anyone over the age of 14 to operate a boating vessel without supervision from an older adult. As a result, many inexperienced boaters might not know how to react to avoid a collision or other accident on the water.
The weather can turn in a few minutes here in Alabama. Sudden high winds or heavy rain can create dangerous situations for boaters.
Finally, a boat may malfunction, either because of a defective product or lack of maintenance. This may give rise to a personal injury claim when a malfunction causes economic or non-economic harm.
The Elements of a Boating Injury Claim
To collect compensation from a boating accident, the following must apply:
• The defendant owed a duty of care to the victim.
• He or she violated this duty of care by committing negligence.
• This negligence was the direct cause of the victim’s injuries.
• The victim suffered economic or non-economic harms as a result.
A boating accident claim can provide compensation for medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and even intangible losses such as physical pain or suffering. When a person commits negligence, he or she may be responsible for any damages that result, in accordance with Alabama law.
Your Huntsville Boating Accident Attorney
Boating can provide a great escape from the Alabama heat. Unfortunately, people sustain serious injuries on boats each year. If you or a loved one recently suffered harm in a Huntsville boating accident, you may be eligible to file a claim to compensate for your injuries, pain, and suffering. Contact the attorneys at Conchin, Cloud & Cole, LLC to schedule a free initial consultation and learn more about your legal options.