Boating Accident Fatality in North Carolina
Charlotte, NC Personal Injury Lawyer
On May 16, a boating accident took place on the Roanoke Sound in North Carolina that claimed the life of one man and injured another. According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, three people were on one both and two on a second boat when the boats collided in the water. Apparently, one boat sustained more damage than the other.
According to the Commission, 130 boating accidents occurred in North Carolina in 2014, of which 23 were fatal. A total of 176 vessels were involved, and 93 persons who were injured in these boating accidents required medical treatment. Among the leading causes of fatal accidents include operator inexperience, hazardous waters, alcohol use, operator inattention, carelessness/recklessness, restricted vision, and excessive speed.
Establishing Liability in Boating Accidents
The majority of boating accidents usually involve a collision with another boat or another boat’s wake, hitting a wave, or hitting a submerged object, rock, or land. In a collision between two boats, both operators will usually be at least partly at fault. In North Carolina, if the injured party was partly at fault for the accident, he or she is barred from recovering for any injuries. Injured passengers on either of the boat, if they are without fault, may have a legal case against the operators of both boats.
In instances where a boat hits a big wake, the impact can knock passengers down or throw them overboard. Liability for a wake accident is not always clear. Liability in a wake accident will generally depend on the circumstances, such as the the size of the wake, the boat’s speed, visibility, boat traffic, or whether the operator warned the passengers in reasonably timely fashion that they were heading for a wake. The operator of the boat that created the wake may also be liable depending on the location and the boating traffic. For example, if the boats were in a no wake zone usually found in marinas, then creating a wake violates safety rules and the operator would likely be liable for any injuries.
When an operator collides with a submerged rock or object, or runs aground, operators may be held liable for passengers’ injuries if the collision was the result of careless conduct, such as speeding in a dense fog or choosing to operate the boat without charts or a GPS. Additionally the lack of proper safety equipment on board may also help establish a boat operator’s or owner’s liability for the accident.
North Carolina does not require boating insurance and, therefore, it is possible there is no insurance policy in place when a boating accident occurs. If a boat operator still owed money on the vessel, it is likely the loan holder required the operator to maintain comprehensive insurance on the vessel in the case of an accident, theft, or other catastrophic loss. Even without insurance directly on the vessel, the operator might be covered by a homeowner’s policy or renter’s insurance policy that covers any liability due to the operator’s fault.
Boating accidents involve a very specific issues of law, and the maritime laws governing boating accident cases are very complex and vary depending on the location and circumstances of the boating accident. The personal injury attorneys at Bice Law, LLC, can help you seek compensation for your injuries if you have been in boating accident. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Contact the Personal Injury Law Firm of Bice Law
The personal injury firm of Bice Law will examine your case to determine the type and amount of damages that your injury warrants, including payments for medical expenses, lost income, pain and suffering, and any permanent disability. We’ll determine whether an out-of-court settlement or trial is the best strategy to obtain maximum benefits for you or your family. If you have suffered injury or harm because of someone else’s actions, take the first step to protect your legal rights – contact the personal injury firm of Bice Law serving both North and South Carolina. You only have a limited time after your injury to file a claim, so act quickly. Call 877-BICE-877 today or submit an online request to get a free consultation with a personal injury attorney. We serve families across both North Carolina and South Carolina.