Boading Accident Attorneys in Birmingham, AL

Alabama has numerous lakes, rivers, and a large Gulf Coast, providing ample boating opportunities for residents and visitors alike. There are few activities that are more enjoyable than being out on a boat. Whether we are fishing, water skiing, or just taking in all of the scenic beauty the Yellowhammer State has to offer, boating is one of the best ways to spend a day or evening.

All the opportunities to get out on the waterways also presents some inherent dangers. If boaters are not careful, they can wind up injuring themselves and others because of their negligent or reckless acts. If you or someone close to you has suffered injury in a boat accident that was someone else’s fault, you need strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.

At Burge & Burge, we have over five decades of combined experience representing Alabamans who have been injured in boating accidents and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries through no fault of their own. Our lawyers focus almost exclusively on personal injury cases, and we have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law. Over the years, we have established a successful track record with even the most complex personal injury cases, and we routinely go up against well-funded adversaries.

Boating accident cases can often become more complicated than a standard personal injury claim.  This is especially true if the accident takes place in an area like the Gulf Coast, in which case the claim may be subject to Maritime/Admiralty laws, the laws that govern entities that operate vessels on the oceans. This is why it is extremely important to work with a lawyer who not only has personal injury experience, but also one who has extensive experience handling boat accident claims.

What are the Common Types of Boating Accidents? 

There are a number of ways boats and other watercraft can cause accidents and injuries. These include:

  • Collisions with other Types of Watercraft: Boats often collide with other boats, or with other watercraft, such as jet skis.
  • Collisions with Fixed Objects: A watercraft may also collide with a structure or object that is fixed, such a raft, dock, or bridge support.
  • Capsizing or Flooding the Boat: A watercraft that is moving too fast and/or runs into wavy or windy conditions can start to take on water or capsize. This can also happen when a boat plug is inadvertently removed.
  • Grounding: Grounding is when a boat strikes a heavy object or surface that is underneath it. Examples include large rocks, reefs, shoals, or even the shore. When a boat that is going too fast is grounded, it can cause passengers to be thrown wildly, potentially resulting in severe injuries.
  • Falling Overboard: A passenger falling overboard is another potential result of grounding, and this can also happen when the boat is moving too fast, someone is standing up in the boat while it is moving, heavy winds and other inclement weather that occur, and many other reasons. Although it is not as common as other types of boating accidents, falling overboard is one of the leading causes of boat accident fatalities.

What Causes Boat Accidents?

Boating accidents are often caused by operator negligence. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Inexperienced Operators: Many operators of boats and other watercraft are young and inexperienced, and they may not be as familiar as they should be with boating laws and best safety practices. This can cause them to make poor decisions on the waterways that may result in an accident.
  • Reckless Driving: Some boat operators know how to drive safely, but for whatever reason, they choose not to do so. Driving too fast for the conditions, driving too close to other watercraft, trying to create high waves or swamp other watercraft, and similar behaviors put everyone on the waterways in greater danger.
  • Driving while Intoxicated: DUI is one of the leading contributors to boating accidents. Alcohol consumption is very often a major part of boating activities, and as a result, drunk driving on the waterways is very common.
  • Distracted Driving: A growing number of boat accidents are caused by driver distractions. Just as car drivers have a hard time staying off of their cell phones when they are behind the wheel, watercraft operators have the same problem. Texting, taking selfies, and other electronic activity distracts operators from their primary task of driving the watercraft, which increases the risk of an accident occurring.

Other factors that may contribute to a boating accident include boats that are overcrowded (which can cause them to sink and take on water), and equipment failure that may be due to negligent maintenance or faulty products. If it is determined that a product defect is a contributing factor in a boat accident, it may be possible to file a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the faulty product.

Pursuing a Boating Accident Claim in Alabama

When boat accident injuries are caused by the negligence or reckless actions of another party, those who are injured deserve to be fully compensated. Compensatory damages for these injuries may include not only actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, but also non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, disfigurement, permanent disability, and diminished quality of life.

In some limited cases in which the actions of the party responsible for the injury were willful or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and help discourage similarly egregious actions in the future. In Alabama, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.

Speak with a Skilled and Compassionate Alabama Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries, leaving victims with major physical, emotional, and financial pain. At Burge & Burge, we understand that being injured in a boat accident can be a life-altering event, and we do everything possible to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We handle all the complex legal tasks from start to finish, and we deal directly with the other side, fighting hard to recover the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. Throughout the process, we provide strong legal guidance and moral support, and we communicate with you regularly to ensure that you are always kept informed on the progress of your case.

To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 205-251-9000 or toll free at 800-633-3733. You may also message us through our web contact form or stop by our office in person at your convenience.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation for you

Alabama has numerous lakes, rivers, and a large Gulf Coast, providing ample boating opportunities for residents and visitors alike. There are few activities that are more enjoyable than being out on a boat. Whether we are fishing, water skiing, or just taking in all of the scenic beauty the Yellowhammer State has to offer, boating is one of the best ways to spend a day or evening.

All the opportunities to get out on the waterways also presents some inherent dangers. If boaters are not careful, they can wind up injuring themselves and others because of their negligent or reckless acts. If you or someone close to you has suffered injury in a boat accident that was someone else’s fault, you need strong legal counsel by your side fighting hard to recover maximum compensation for your injuries.

At Burge & Burge, we have over five decades of combined experience representing Alabamans who have been injured in boating accidents and those who have suffered all other types of personal injuries through no fault of their own. Our lawyers focus almost exclusively on personal injury cases, and we have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law. Over the years, we have established a successful track record with even the most complex personal injury cases, and we routinely go up against well-funded adversaries.

Boating accident cases can often become more complicated than a standard personal injury claim.  This is especially true if the accident takes place in an area like the Gulf Coast, in which case the claim may be subject to Maritime/Admiralty laws, the laws that govern entities that operate vessels on the oceans. This is why it is extremely important to work with a lawyer who not only has personal injury experience, but also one who has extensive experience handling boat accident claims.

What are the Common Types of Boating Accidents? 

There are a number of ways boats and other watercraft can cause accidents and injuries. These include:

  • Collisions with other Types of Watercraft: Boats often collide with other boats, or with other watercraft, such as jet skis.
  • Collisions with Fixed Objects: A watercraft may also collide with a structure or object that is fixed, such a raft, dock, or bridge support.
  • Capsizing or Flooding the Boat: A watercraft that is moving too fast and/or runs into wavy or windy conditions can start to take on water or capsize. This can also happen when a boat plug is inadvertently removed.
  • Grounding: Grounding is when a boat strikes a heavy object or surface that is underneath it. Examples include large rocks, reefs, shoals, or even the shore. When a boat that is going too fast is grounded, it can cause passengers to be thrown wildly, potentially resulting in severe injuries.
  • Falling Overboard: A passenger falling overboard is another potential result of grounding, and this can also happen when the boat is moving too fast, someone is standing up in the boat while it is moving, heavy winds and other inclement weather that occur, and many other reasons. Although it is not as common as other types of boating accidents, falling overboard is one of the leading causes of boat accident fatalities.

What Causes Boat Accidents?

Boating accidents are often caused by operator negligence. Some of the most common examples include:

  • Inexperienced Operators: Many operators of boats and other watercraft are young and inexperienced, and they may not be as familiar as they should be with boating laws and best safety practices. This can cause them to make poor decisions on the waterways that may result in an accident.
  • Reckless Driving: Some boat operators know how to drive safely, but for whatever reason, they choose not to do so. Driving too fast for the conditions, driving too close to other watercraft, trying to create high waves or swamp other watercraft, and similar behaviors put everyone on the waterways in greater danger.
  • Driving while Intoxicated: DUI is one of the leading contributors to boating accidents. Alcohol consumption is very often a major part of boating activities, and as a result, drunk driving on the waterways is very common.
  • Distracted Driving: A growing number of boat accidents are caused by driver distractions. Just as car drivers have a hard time staying off of their cell phones when they are behind the wheel, watercraft operators have the same problem. Texting, taking selfies, and other electronic activity distracts operators from their primary task of driving the watercraft, which increases the risk of an accident occurring.

Other factors that may contribute to a boating accident include boats that are overcrowded (which can cause them to sink and take on water), and equipment failure that may be due to negligent maintenance or faulty products. If it is determined that a product defect is a contributing factor in a boat accident, it may be possible to file a product liability claim against the designer, manufacturer, or distributor of the faulty product.

Pursuing a Boating Accident Claim in Alabama

When boat accident injuries are caused by the negligence or reckless actions of another party, those who are injured deserve to be fully compensated. Compensatory damages for these injuries may include not only actual monetary losses such as medical bills, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity, but also non-economic losses such as pain and suffering, psychological distress, disfigurement, permanent disability, and diminished quality of life.

In some limited cases in which the actions of the party responsible for the injury were willful or malicious, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the wrongdoer and help discourage similarly egregious actions in the future. In Alabama, punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of compensatory damages, up to a maximum of $1.5 million.

Speak with a Skilled and Compassionate Alabama Boat Accident Lawyer

Boating accidents can result in serious and catastrophic injuries, leaving victims with major physical, emotional, and financial pain. At Burge & Burge, we understand that being injured in a boat accident can be a life-altering event, and we do everything possible to make the legal process smooth and seamless. We handle all the complex legal tasks from start to finish, and we deal directly with the other side, fighting hard to recover the full and fair compensation you need and deserve. Throughout the process, we provide strong legal guidance and moral support, and we communicate with you regularly to ensure that you are always kept informed on the progress of your case.

To schedule a free consultation and case assessment with one of our attorneys, call our office today at 205-251-9000 or toll free at 800-633-3733. You may also message us through our web contact form or stop by our office in person at your convenience.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay attorney fees if we recover compensation for you