Chattanooga Boat Accident Lawyer

Whether to just relax and socialize or to go fishing with your family, the many lakes in Tennessee have made boating and jet-skiing excursions very popular. Boating is especially popular in the spring and summer months and although it is a fun, exhilarating, and social experience, it can also be dangerous.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, there were 4,730 boating accidents in 2009. These accidents resulted in 3,358 injuries, 736 fatalities, and almost $36 million in property damage. The most common types of water vessels involved in these reported accidents were open motorboats, which accounted for 46 percent, personal watercraft such as jet-skis, which accounted for 22 percent, and cabin motorboats, which accounted for 14 percent. Canoes and kayaks were also involved in boating accidents, but to a lesser degree. The Coast Guard also determined that seven out of every 10 boaters who drowned were using boats that were less than 21 feet long. Approximately 75 percent of all fatal boating accident victims, most of whom were not wearing a life jacket, drowned.

When these accidents occur due to another person, a Chattanooga boat accident lawyer may be able to help by filing a claim and recovering damages on behalf of the injured party. To learn more or begin your claim, consult with an accident attorney today.

Causes of Boat Accidents

There are various reasons why a person may be involved in a Tennessee boating accident. Though these reasons include inclement weather, choppy waves, and defective boat products or parts, the prevalent factor in boating accidents is operator negligence or recklessness. The five principle causes for boating accidents that Chattanooga boat accident attorneys deal with are:

  • Operator inattention
  • Operator inexperience
  • Improper lookout
  • Excessive speed
  • Alcohol use

Although operator inattention tends to cause the highest number of boating accidents, the influence of alcohol tends to be the leading cause of fatal boating accidents in Tennessee.

Types of Boating Accidents and Injuries

There are many types of boating accidents that can cause various types of injuries. Common types of accidents include:

  • Grounding, sinking, flooding/swamping, and capsizing
  • Falling into or overboard a vessel
  • Being ejected from the vessel
  • Fires or explosions
  • Towable device mishap
  • Colliding with an object or another vessel

Additional accidents may include carbon monoxide exposure, striking a submerged object, electrocution due to a stray current, or a person being struck by a propeller, steering machinery, or propulsion unit.

The injuries from these accidents may include bumps and bruises, scrapes, broken bones, severe lacerations, head injuries, brain injuries, internal bruising or bleeding, or spinal cord injuries, and may or may not be fatal. The leading causes of death in boating accidents are drowning, trauma, cardiac arrest, hypothermia, and carbon monoxide poisoning.

Assistance of a Chattanooga Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating accident injuries can be minor and heal quickly, or they can be life-altering. A catastrophic injury may require expensive medical treatment, medication, and rehabilitation, possibly for the rest of a victim’s life; it may even lead to permanent disability. If an injury is serious enough, it may even prove fatal.

Negligent and/or reckless boat operators must be held accountable for the injuries and wrongful deaths their actions have caused. The skilled Chattanooga boat accident attorneys at Massey & Associates, PC, help injured victims and the families of fatal victims pursue the compensation they deserve.

Request a Free Case Evaluation