Charlotte Boat Accident Attorneys
Legal help for water and drowning accidents in in North Carolina
Regardless of the time of year, you can be sure that boaters are out on the waterways around Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Boating is an incredibly popular activity. Our region has plenty of residents and visitors who partake in boating, either for recreation, fishing, or other activities. However, boat accidents can lead to severe injuries.
At Price, Petho & Associates, our qualified and experienced team is ready to help when you need a Charlotte boating accident attorney. We conduct a full investigation into what happened and work to secure any compensation to which you may be entitled. If you have lost a loved one due to an overboard accident, our wrongful death lawyers in Charlotte are ready to assist you with your case. Contact us today to find out how we can help you as we’ve helped hundreds of clients since 1979.
What would you like to know?
How often do boat accidents happen?
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) releases an annual list of recreational boating accident statistics. For the year 2020, they report 5,265 total boating accidents across the country. Out of these incidents, there were 767 deaths and 3,191 injuries. When analyzing the data provided by the USCG for North Carolina, we can see that there were 183 recreational boating accidents reported, with 23 fatalities.
It is important for us to point out that these statistics only include accidents reported to the Coast Guard. There are many other boating accidents deemed less serious and therefore not reported. However, boat passengers can still sustain significant injuries in these non-reported accidents.
What are the different types of boating accidents?
Our boat accident lawyers regularly help clients and families get through accidents involving the following:
The most serious accident that can occur on a boat is one that leads to the drowning of the victim. According to the USCG, 70 percent of all fatal boating accidents in 2020 involved victims drowning. Most drowning accidents are entirely preventable, and typically occur due to operator error and negligence.
If you have lost a loved one due to the negligent actions of a boat owner or operator, our Charlotte wrongful death attorneys can help in a free consultation.
Overboard accidents can lead to severe injuries or death. The Coast Guard also tracks overboard incidents, another common boating accident. These types of accidents can be terrifying for everyone involved. In 2020, 335 overboard accidents occurred across the country, with 181 deaths and 161 injuries. You can see that nearly half of these accidents end in fatality for the victim.
When a person is on a boat, whether in the ocean, on a lake, or in a river, the wide open spaces often give a false sense of security to those on board the vessel. When a boat operator is inexperienced, driving distracted, speeding, it’s more likely they will collide with another vessel, a fixed object, or even another boat, which can lead to a fatal overboard incident.
Party boat accidents
Boaters in and around the Charlotte area regularly enjoy recreational boat parties, which is perfectly legal. However, the very nature of partying often means that there may be alcohol or other unsafe activities involved. For some people, partying and boating do not mix well together.
Personal watercraft (PWC), like Jet Skis for example, are a very popular recreational water vessel, and often involved in party boat situations. However, owners of PWCs should never let inexperienced or intoxicated people operate these vessels. PWCs can reach high speeds very quickly, which can lead to severe injuries in the event of an accident or collision.
Remember, it is against North Carolina law for anyone to operate a water vessel under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The legal blood alcohol content level for a boat operator is .08%, the same as it is for driving a vehicle.
Pontoon boats used to be thought of as slower vessels used for recreational purposes. Typical pontoon boats feature a flat surface with a larger lounge area on top and two inflatable or rigid “pontoons” that keep the vessel afloat. However, modern pontoon boats are often much faster than they used to be, and these vessels can cause severe injuries in the event they are involved in an accident. According to the Coast Guard, pontoon boats rank in the top five types of water vessels responsible for casualties each year across the country.
One of the main causes of pontoon boat accidents is people falling overboard in front of the pontoon boat and being struck by the propeller. This can occur in a variety of ways, but often happens when victims are “bow-riding.” This means that they were sitting on the front deck and dangling their legs or feet into the water while the boat was still moving. A boat operator will not have time to stop the vessel if a person falls in the water while bow-riding. It’s up to the boat operator to ensure passengers are safe, especially when in a tourist situation.
Waterskiing and towing accidents
Many recreational water activities involve being towed behind a boat. The most common of these is waterskiing, but they also include wakeboarding, knee boarding, and inflatables and tubing.
Unfortunately, waterskiing can be risky in the wrong conditions. Inexperienced waterskiiers are much more likely to suffer injury. However, it is not always the fault of the water-skier. When towing a skier, boat drivers must maintain a steady course and avoid any dangers or obstacles in the water. It should go without saying boat operators should never drive the vessel while impaired by alcohol or drugs.
If you or a loved one suffer a boating injury due to another’s negligence, the attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates can talk to you about your options in a free consultation.
What are the main causes of Charlotte boating accidents?
Regardless of whether a person is a commercial boat owner or a private boat owner, it is important that steps are taken to ensure the safety of those on board. This includes inspecting and maintaining the vessel and ensuring that every passenger has access to adequate safety gear. The USCG updates an annual list of the top causes contributing to boating accidents, and these include:
- Operator inattention
- Improper lookout
- Operator inexperience
- Excessive speed
- Alcohol use
- Machinery failure
- Navigation rules violation
- Hazardous waters
- Force of a wave or wake
When looking at this list of accident causes, we can see that most of these incidents could be prevented if owners and operators of a vessel performed their jobs responsibly.
Do you have a boat accident attorney near me?
Price, Petho & Associates has offices at 1420 Elizabeth Ave in Charlotte. We also maintain offices in Rockingham and Rutherfordton for your convenience. If you are too injured to come to us, we can visit you at home or in the hospital.
Trusted boat accident lawyers serving Charlotte
If you or someone you care about has been injured in a boating accident caused by the careless or negligent actions of another person, please contact the personal injury attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates for experienced help today. Our team conducts a complete investigation into your case to secure the compensation you both need and deserve for the harm you’ve suffered. To schedule a free consultation, call us at 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form today. We proudly serve clients in Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.