Boating Accidents Attorneys in Birmingham
A relaxing day on the water can quickly go awry when unexpected bad weather hits, the alcohol is poured a little too freely, or you encounter a careless and reckless boater. Boating accidents, while typically more complicated than car accidents, follow the same basic laws and guidelines as auto accidents and other types of personal injury cases. When you suffer injuries and/or property damage because of another boater’s negligence, it’s crucial to know your rights and explore your options with an experienced attorney. Get started now by calling Mann & Potter at 205-879-9661.
Recreational boating accidents are fairly common in this region, particularly during the warm summer months when blue skies and fresh air seem to beckon. This creates the ideal environment for accidents. Bodies of water are dotted with boaters of varying abilities and skill levels, not to mention those who don’t take the responsibilities of boating seriously. Recreational boating collisions can be caused by a number of triggers.
Impaired boating is an ever-present danger when you’re at sea. Even if you and your passengers remain sober, you may find yourself threatened by impaired boaters and their reckless passengers.
The same laws that apply to impaired drivers apply to those who boat while drunk or under the influence of drugs. Per the United States Coast Guard, a boat operator with a BAC of .10 or higher is 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than a boat operator who is completely sober. They note that alcohol can often be even more dangerous to boaters than it is to drivers. While impaired drivers likely have the benefit of experience on their side, recreational boaters often boat so rarely that even slight impairment can significantly affect their ability to navigate safely.
Inexperience is another major factor in many boating accidents. Even an operator who has a significant amount of practice behind them may find themselves overwhelmed and out of their depth when faced with busy waters, inclement weather, or unfamiliar bodies of water. When these situations arise, panic and irrational thinking can set in, laying the groundwork for tragedy.
Boating in Unsafe Waters
Even bodies of water that are traditionally safe can quickly become unfamiliar and risky when bad weather sets in. Additionally, a body of water that is usually safe could be dangerous to an inexperienced boat operator. Many boating accidents occur when boat operators venture into new areas without first becoming familiar with the area.
Damages for Boat Accident Injuries
If you are injured in a boating accident, you may be able to seek compensation from the liable party with a personal injury claim. This is true whether you are a boat operator injured in an accident caused by another boater or a passenger.
Compensation amounts and types vary, depending on the circumstances of the accident and the severity of your injuries. When you speak with a boating accident attorney, you can talk about different compensation options, including:
- Medical bills and related expenses. Medical treatment is costly, and if your health insurance company knows that another party caused your injuries, they will likely expect you to seek compensation from them before asking for insurance to cover your costs. Expenses covered in this category may include copays, outstanding bills, medical equipment, adaptive equipment, transportation to and from appointments, and prescription costs.
- Future medical expenses. If you have injuries that are likely to require future treatment, consider those expenses when exploring settlement offers. This is one benefit of having an attorney. They can explain the future care you are likely to need and calculate what amount is needed to cover that care.
- Lost wages. Taking time off of work can be detrimental to your career and your finances. Document the time you take off of work to handle the accident and heal from your injuries, since you should be compensated for it in a settlement.
- Lost future income. Some injuries are serious enough to limit your ability to work long-term, and some even permanently restrict your career opportunities. This can be financially devastating to a family and should be considered when calculating compensation.
- Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering is difficult to assign monetary value to, but no one denies that accident victims should be compensated for what they’ve experienced. Your attorney may recommend asking for compensation for your pain and suffering.
- Property damage. Whether your boat was damaged in an accident or you had personal property on the boat that was destroyed or lost, do not forget to include property costs in your calculations.
Choosing an Attorney for Your Boating Accident Claim
Boating accidents often cause extraordinary amounts of damage, from property damage to serious injuries and even fatalities. This is not a situation when you want to try to negotiate your own settlement. The insurance companies will have a major advantage over you, as they have decades of experience in getting consumers to accept paltry settlements. It’s unlikely that you can assess the true value of your injuries and losses, and even less likely that you know what it takes to make an insurance company take your claim seriously.
This is where a dedicated personal injury attorney can help. They know what evidence you need to create a strong claim that insurance companies can’t ignore. They know how to present that information in a way that brings insurance companies to the negotiating table. If settlement talks don’t proceed as expected, your attorney will be ready to take your case to court and fight the insurance company head-on.
Focus on selecting an attorney that focuses on personal injury law. Additionally, ensure that your lawyer has substantial experience with boating accidents. While they are similar to other personal injury claims in many ways, there are also key differences that can mean the difference between an acceptable settlement and a great settlement.
Let Mann & Potter Help You with Your Injury Claim
The team at Mann & Potter is committed to helping clients get the compensation they deserve after an accident, and we’ll do the same for you. The earlier you reach out to us and start the process of initiating a claim, the sooner we can begin building a case for you. Schedule your consultation now by calling us at 205-879-9661 or reaching out to us online.