Nashville Boat Accident Lawyer

Tennessee is home to many beautiful lakes, and water sports such as boating and jet skiing are popular during the summer. Unfortunately, not all boaters act responsibly. Careless behavior on the water such as drinking or speeding can lead to serious injuries and wrongful deaths.

Boating laws exist to keep our waters safe, and boaters who break the law face serious consequences. At Larry R. Williams, PLLC, we’ve represented many victims of boating recklessness, and won compensation for medical bills, property damages, pain and suffering, and more.

Tennessee Boating Regulations

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency enforces the Tennessee Boating Safety Act and patrols our lakes to ensure boaters abide by the rules. They have the authority to stop any vessel and issue citations, as well as make arrests if necessary. Many negligent boaters, however, slip under the radar until it’s too late, once an accident has already happened.

Boating under the influence, just like a DUI, has a limit of .08% blood alcohol level before it’s deemed illegal. However, even one drink can impair a boater and lead them to make devastating choices. Ignoring speed limits and not paying enough attention to surroundings can lead to a boat crashing into another vessel – or worse, a swimmer or jet skier.

Reckless boating is a very serious offense against Tennessee boating law, punishable with fines and up to six months in jail. In the event of injuries, the Coast Guard may impose additional fines and imprisonment of up to one year. Examples of reckless vessel operation include:

  • Boating in a swimming area.
  • Using excessive speed in crowded areas.
  • Using excessive speed in conditions that restrict visibility.
  • Operating an overcrowded vessel.
  • Operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

A judge can hold the owner of the vessel responsible for damages or injuries caused by negligent operation, even if the owner was not present during the accident (unless the operator used the boat without owner consent). This means that victims of negligent boating accidents can file claims against the operator of the boat as well as the owner of the boat, if they are two separate parties.

In 2013 (the most recent year data is available), there were 154 reported boating incidents in Tennessee. This includes 25 fatalities and 80 injuries. The leading type of incident was collision between two vessels due to improper lookout. Attorneys can use this type of behavior in a court of law to prove negligence and hold one party responsible for damages. If a reckless boater injuries you in a boating accident, you could be eligible to receive compensation.

Your Boating Accident Personal Injury Attorneys

At Larry R. Williams, PLLC, we’re proud to represent clients who’ve been injured by negligent boaters in middle Tennessee. We have a thorough understanding of our state’s boating laws and can recognize immediately when an operator’s negligence was the cause of an accident. Injuries and wrongful death due to an operator’s reckless behaviors will not stand at our firm. We’ll fight aggressively for your rights in a court of law, and stand by your side until you get the compensation you deserve.

If you or someone you know has sustained an injury on one of Tennessee’s many lakes because of a negligent vessel operator, you have rights. Contact the personal injury lawyers at Larry R. Williams, PLLC, to speak to a caring representative about your options for filing a claim and demanding compensation for the damages you’ve suffered. Don’t let one person’s reckless behavior decide how you will live the rest of your life. Call us today at (615) 256-8880 to discuss your case with a professional who can help.