Boat Accident Lawsuits in North Carolina - FAQs

Water activities are prevalent in North Carolina because we have three hundred miles of coast, lakes, and rivers that are perfect for water activities. Unfortunately, North Carolina residents become injured and die in boat accidents every year. In 2019, there were 134 boating accidents in North Carolina. Sadly, 14 people died that year in boating accidents. In 2018, 192 boating accidents resulted in 30 fatalities.

Many of these boating accidents are caused by negligence that is completely preventable. If your loved one has been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If you have been injured in a North Carolina boating accident, we recommend contacting Arnold & Smith, PLLC, to schedule your initial consultation today. We will discuss some of the most frequently asked questions related to boating accident lawsuits below.

What to Do After a Boating Accident

Being involved in a boat accident is a jarring and often terrifying experience. It can be challenging to know what steps to take immediately after a boating accident. First, you should make sure everyone is safe to the best of your ability. After the accident, you may have to notify the appropriate agents in the event of death or extreme property damage. The Wildlife Resources Commission will provide you with a written report, including the boat accident details.

Once you check to make sure you and others are safe and notify the necessary agencies, we recommend contacting our Charlotte region boating accident lawyers to discuss what type of legal options you have. If another person's negligence caused your injuries, we could investigate the boating accident. We will advise you of whether you have a right to compensation through a personal injury lawsuit.

How Do Boating Accidents Occur?

There are many different causes of boating accidents. As mentioned above, many boating accidents could have been avoided had the negligent party acted reasonably and safely under the conditions. Some of the most frequent causes of boating accidents include the following:

  • A lack of focus and awareness on the part of the boat operator, leading them to operate the boat negligently and cause a collision or overturn the boat
  • Inexperienced boat operators who do not understand North Carolina boating laws are not familiar with the type of both are operating and do not know how to react safely to dangerous conditions
  • Reckless drivers, passengers, or skiers can distract the operator or lead to people falling overboard and other dangerous situations
  • The boat operator fails to keep the boat's engine properly maintained, causing the boat to capsize or crash
  • Boat operators who speed by coastlines, other vessels, or when heading toward the dock. Operating a boat at slower speeds makes hazards and other boats easier to identify
  • Intoxication by drugs or alcohol can cause boat accidents. In North Carolina, boating operators may not operate a boat with a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher
How Do I Obtain Compensation After a Boating Accident?

If you have suffered a severe injury due to a boating accident, you are probably wondering how you can recover financial compensation. You may be facing extensive medical bills, all while having to take time off of work to recover. As with car accidents, victims of boat accidents have a right to bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person or company whose negligence, recklessness, or intentional behavior caused their injuries.

Figuring out who is at fault for your injuries and liable under North Carolina law can be challenging. In most cases, it is assumed that the boat owner listed on the registered certificate and identification number is legally responsible for the boat. In other cases, the maintenance company may have failed to service the boat, resulting in an accident. Perhaps the life jacket company engaged in false advertising, resulting in your injuries. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine who is liable for your damages.

Typically, the family doctor that applies to car accident cases also applies to boat accidents. Suppose a 15-year-old was drinking and got into his parent’s boat, colliding with an innocent victim. In that case, the victim could hold his parents accountable. Whoever purchased and maintained the boat can be held liable for the negligence of another family member who caused the accident. You will need to prove that the owner consented to the family member operating the boat.

For help answering these complicated questions and navigating what to do after your boat accident, contact Arnold & Smith, PLLC. Our experienced attorneys can help guide you through the process and advocate for you ever step of the way.

Client Reviews
Arnold & Smith was great. They are always on time for your case, they really know what they are talking about. They are very good about giving you updates on your case. I highly recommend everyone to use Arnold & Smith as your attorney they will make sure you get the best result possible for your case. By far the best attorney in the area. Austin
Resonable expectations were set and the results far exceeded them. I was well informed, prepared and supported by Matt and his team. They provided comfort and confidence, as well as a great outcome. I can't possibly describe how grateful I truly am for what they have done for me. Matt was recommended to be by another trusted individual and I believe that was a blessing. Anthony
I can't say enough great things about Matthew Arnold and his team. I had a very complicated, high-conflict case which took a lot of time and effort on everyone's part, and I feel like my case was given the time and attention it required. Matt Arnold is a great attorney, and I would go as far as saying one of the best in Charlotte, if not the best. Bree is also amazing. Amber