Birmingham, AL Boat Accident Lawyers
Boating on one of Alabama’s beautiful lakes is a common recreational activity for many citizens, especially during the hot summer months. However, there are many dangers surrounding boating that people may not understand. Operating a boat safely takes skill and the proper precautions. Unfortunately, not every operator follows Alabama’s boating laws – leading to accidents. If you or a loved one have been involved in a boating accident, contact an experienced Birmingham, AL boat accident lawyer for a free legal consultation.
Boating accidents can result in a number of different types of injuries. Some of the more common injuries that result from boating accidents, include:
- Brain injuries
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Limb amputations
- Wrongful death
- Burn injuries
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
What Causes Boating Accidents?
Just like roadway auto accidents, most boating accidents are the result of operator negligence. Drinking and boating do not mix, yet many boaters use lakes as an opportunity to kick back with a few drinks. Alabama law prohibits drinking and driving, and it prohibits boating under the influence (BUI).
By law, an operator cannot be in control of any water vessel if he or she has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more or is under the influence of a substance that impairs mental or physical ability. Boaters who break these rules are subject to legal ramifications just like drivers under the influence. More importantly, these boaters are a serious danger to others on the water and should not be allowed to remain in control of their vessels.
BUI can lead a vessel operator to boat negligently, failing to pay attention to other vessels on the water. When a boater operates his or her vessel under the influence, there is a high chance of collision. Boat collisions can cause serious property damage. A high-speed boat or Jet Ski collision can lead to severe injury and death – from injury or drowning. Boaters under the influence can also fail to scan the water for divers or swimmers, causing fatal accidents.
Other causes of boating accidents are similar to automobile accidents – boating while distracted, reckless boating, negligent boating, and inexperienced boaters operating a vessel. Many boaters mistakenly believe that when they are on open water the laws don’t apply to them. However, the Alabama Marine Patrol can stop vessels if they suspect BUI or negligent driving, and fine or arrest operators.
If You’ve Been Involved in a Boating Accident
If a negligent boater crashes into your vessel or otherwise causes you injury, you can sue the negligent party for financial compensation for property damage and medical bills. If you’ve been in a boating accident, you may not know what to do. Many boaters do not understand boating laws in Alabama and fail to realize the law holds boaters to the same standards as automobile drivers. Contact an experienced and successful Birmingham boat accident attorney if you or a loved one have suffered as a result of being involved in a boating accident.
After a boating accident, call the proper authorities to report what happened. In Alabama, if a boating accident causes damages exceeding $2,000, you must report it to a Marine Patrol officer and file a report within 10 days of the accident. If the damages total less than $2,000, you can still file a report by contacting your local Marine Patrol office. They will provide an Operator/Witness Statement Form you can fill out for your personal records.
Legal Help From a Birmingham Boat Accident Attorney
If you’ve been involved in a boating accident, whether it was minor or major, contact the Birmingham boat accident attorneys at The Mitchell Law Firm, LLC, for expert advice about your case. Negligent boaters and boaters who drive under the influence are common in Alabama during the summer, and their carelessness can result in a large number of accidents and lawsuits. If a negligent or reckless boater injured you or caused property damage, discuss your options with a skilled attorney.
For help filing a claim with the Alabama Marine Patrol or a claim with the state courts, trust our team of expert boating accident attorneys in Birmingham, AL. Our state has laws protecting innocent victims of boating accidents, allowing you to pursue compensation from the boater who caused your crash. Don’t let another boater’s recklessness ruin your summer. Contact us to discuss your case with Birmingham, AL boat accident lawyers who can help you.