Recreational Boating Accident Attorney in Fairhope, AL
With 60 miles of coastline along the Gulf of Mexico and hundreds of miles of coastline along the state’s bays, rivers, and bayous, Fairhope is the perfect place for boaters. Whether your boating time is spent at North Beach Park, Shuxmarina, or anywhere else, being on the open water is a wonderful feeling. However, it also puts you at risk of boating accidents. Boating is a major responsibility and ignoring that responsibility could cause serious injuries or fatalities.
If you’ve been hurt in a boat accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries and other losses. We’ll help you explore your options. Call Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne at 251-206-5458 to set up a meeting now.
Common Causes of Alabama Boating Accidents
The most common cause of baiting accidents is operator error. While issues with boating components or repairs can cause collisions, crashes can usually be attributed to a boater’s mistake.
Drinking and boating is a serious problem in Alabama, contributing to many collisions every single year. It is illegal, but many people take it as more of a recommendation than a law. Despite the fact that boating while impaired is just as dangerous as driving while impaired, people are far more likely to relax with a drink while in control of a boat.
Distracted and fatigued boating is another major source of accidents on Alabama waters. The open water is unpredictable, and unless you are focused on the task at hand, you risk veering into dangerous waters or colliding with another boat. Operating a boat while tired is dangerous, as fatigue can affect you as much as drinking heavily.
Inexperienced operators put themselves, their passengers, and other boaters at risk of serious or fatal injuries. This is especially problematic during inclement weather or when navigating unknown waters. Boaters should get as much training and practice as possible before setting out with passengers.
General recklessness is another common reason Alabama sees so many boating accidents. From ignoring weather warnings and failing to bring proper safety equipment to performing unsafe maneuvers, reckless choices can change your life forever.
Who’s Liable for Your Injuries?
Determining liability is important if you want to seek compensation. There are many potentially liable parties in a boating collision:
- An involved boater. In a one-boat or multi-boat collision, there’s a good chance that one of the operators is the liable party. As explained before, operator error is the most common cause of collisions, so you can probably trace your crash back to one of the boat operators.
- Boat owner. If the boat is owned by someone else and they failed to perform necessary maintenance, they could be held liable if the boat malfunctions and causes a collision.
- A passenger. When a passenger acts recklessly, they can be liable for a boat collision. They could also be at fault if they jumped in the water and the boat operator had to take evasive action to avoid hitting them.
- Boat manufacturer. If the boat’s designer or manufacturer cut corners when it came to making the vessel, they could be in legal trouble if the boat later causes a collision. Using unsafe components, failing to test safety equipment, or otherwise failing to keep boat operators reasonably safe are dangerous mistakes for manufacturers.
Boating Accident Injuries
Some collisions only lead to minor injuries and bad memories. Others leave victims with permanent life-changing injuries. Reported injuries include:
- Broken or crushed bones
- Soft tissue injuries
- Cuts and lacerations, which may lead to infection when exposed to open water
- Traumatic brain injury
- Damage to the neck, back, and spine
Traumatic brain injuries are an area of concern in boating accidents, as falls overboard are always a risk. Being underwater for too long stops the flow of oxygen to the brain, which can cause permanent brain damage. This shows how important it is to have proper safety gear at all times and train everyone on safety protocols.
Why Boating Accident Claims Are So Complicated
Waterways are subject to a variety of local, state, and federal laws. Until an attorney takes a look at the details of your claim, it’s difficult to know which laws apply and how they may affect your case.
For example, if you are injured in a boating accident while working, you wouldn’t apply for workers’ compensation. Instead, you’d pursue compensation under maritime law. Due to the complexities of maritime and personal injury law, it’s recommended that you talk to an Alabama boating accident attorney as soon as possible.
Choose Our Team to Fight for You
Boating accidents can be traumatic, especially if you are left with serious injuries. You may be looking at a weeks-long or months-long recovery process, a totaled boat or one that needs extensive repair work, and a long stretch of time away from work. It is imperative that you get the compensation you deserve so you do not have to shoulder these costs on your own.
The team at Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne fights aggressively on behalf of our clients. We know that a full and fair settlement can make this incredibly difficult time more bearable for you. While nothing can give you back the time you’ve lost due to the accident or take back your injuries, fair compensation can at least give you the tools you need to recover without significant financial damage.
Start Your Claim Now by Contacting Wilkins, Bankester, Biles & Wynne
Personal injury claims are subject to a strict statute of limitation laws, so it’s recommended that you talk to an attorney right away after a crash. Just call us at 251-206-5458 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.