Boat Accidents

Charlotte Boat Accident Injury Attorneys

Providing experienced representation to victims of North Carolina boat accidents

North Carolina has thousands of miles of waterways, making boating a popular recreational activity year-round. Boaters, swimmers and watercraft drivers enjoy spending time out on Lake Norman or Lake James, and kayakers can spend a lazy day on the Catawba, paddling around. It’s important to remember, however, that with the many experienced boaters come inexperienced or careless boaters as well.

According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC), there are more than 300,000 registered vessels in the state. Inexperienced boaters may not know what rules apply on the water, how to react during an emergency, or what hazards to look out for. These types of boat owners and operators are a hazard to everyone aboard the boat and in the same vicinity.

If you or a family member were injured in a Charlotte boating accident, the attorneys at Warren & Kallianos, PLLC are ready to help. Our combined decades of experience give you an advantage when working to achieve a beneficial and fair settlement. Act quickly so we can begin our investigation immediately and identify the responsible parties as soon as possible. Give us a call today.

About Boating Accident Fatalities in North Carolina

The NCWRC also reports 147 boating accidents statewide in 2016, with 22 fatal accidents. Fortunately, this is a drop from 166 in 2015. The majority of fatalities were caused by three types of accidents:

  • Departed vessel voluntarily
  • Fell or jumped overboard
  • Collision with fixed object or another vessel

Common Causes of Boat Accidents

As with any other motor vehicle collision or accident, most incidents are the result of driver error: speeding, reckless driving, being drunk behind the wheel, and driver distraction top the list. However, a significant number of watercraft-related accidents occur each year because of:

  • Operator inattention and inexperience. Teens as young as 14 can obtain a boating license. There is no practical exam, which means some drivers may be on the water without ever having tried to steer a boat in a safe or secure setting. Braking too hard or trying to take too tight of a turn can capsize a boat.
  • Hazardous waters. Rough, choppy waters have been the bane of many experienced boaters. If the weather changes quickly or unexpectedly, you can find yourself stranded, grounded, or fighting for your life if the boat capsizes. Low visibility is also a serious concern, as a driver can miss stationary objects, other boaters, or even submerged objects that might otherwise be visible.
  • Another watercraft. Smaller boat, jet-skiers, water skiers, and congested water in general can lead to accidents. This is especially true for people who are not in motorized boats or watercrafts, like kayakers or swimmers. If the waters are congested, the excessive wakes can make the water unsafe for everyone.
  • Defective boat parts. People die on boats because of defect parts: carbon monoxide leaks can lead to poisoning, fires in the engine can lead to explosions, and defective brakes, shifters, and throttles can cause unintended collisions.

Our boating accident lawyers are prepared to handle claims involving these and many other types of accidents. If you’re entitled to compensation, we work with you to build a case that gives you the most positive chance of recovering the maximum amount.

Common Boating Accident Injuries

Boat accidents can be particularly serious, due to their circumstances. Victims may be left with long-term or permanent injuries, including:

These injuries can be extremely severe and expensive to manage. When your boating accident was due to someone else’s negligence, filing a personal injury claim can help. Some of the costs our injury attorneys will seek compensation for on your behalf include:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Job retraining
  • Ongoing care and medical appointments
  • Physical therapy
  • Assistive devices
  • Pain and suffering

Who is Liable in a Charlotte Boat Accident?

North Carolina uses the concept of contributory negligence, meaning that if the injured person contributes fault to an accident even one percent, they can’t recover any compensation. This also applies to boat accidents. Depending on what body of water your accident occurs, however, there are different federal laws that may apply. Your personal injury attorney can answer questions specific to your situation.

Following are a few examples of potential liability in boat accidents.

  • Injury from another boat’s wake. When a boat strikes against the wake made by another boat, it can cause people to be ejected from the vessel and get hurt. Sometimes it can be difficult to determine which boat driver is to blame. It could be Boat Operator A’s fault for not avoiding Boat Operator B’s wake, or Boat Operator B’s fault for creating a wake in a no-wake zone, or creating a wake by driving recklessly.
  • Striking an object or land. A boat can collide with a stationary object under any type of weather condition. If the boat drivers are carefully and properly navigating, sometimes accidents can’t be avoided. However, if they are operating recklessly, especially in inclement weather, they could be liable for any accident or injuries.
  • Lack of safety equipment. If a boat accident occurs, and there is no safety equipment on board the vessel, the owner could be held liable for any injuries or fatalities. This equipment can include life jackets, flares, life rings, fire extinguishers, and safety whistles.

If you were injured or someone you love was killed in a boating accident, you may be eligible to seek compensation. Our attorneys work for you not only for financial recovery, but also to hold the responsible party accountable.

North Carolina Boat and Watercraft Accident Lawyers

Far too many boating accidents are avoidable. Talk to the attorneys at Warren & Kallianos if you or a family member were injured out on the water. We can help you seek compensation for your injuries and fight aggressively for your rights. To schedule a free initial consultation at our office in Charlotte, please call 704-377-7777 or fill out our contact form.