Our Morristown personal injury attorneys at The Terry Law Firm understand the tragic repercussions suffered by victims and families hurt on the water. Spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, broken bones, and drowning are among the results of boating accidents. If you have been hurt in a boating accident, we will fight tirelessly to ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
The Tennessee Boating Safety Act
If you have suffered serious injuries as the result of a boating accident, negligence may be to blame. Reckless boaters fail to adhere to the Tennessee Boating Safety Act, overseen and enforced by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).
Key provisions of this law of the Tennessee Boating Safety Act include the following:
- Boaters must not operate any sail or powered vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs – and any boat operator asked to take a blood alcohol test must comply or risk the loss of license.
- Children under the age of 12 are not allowed to operate a powered boat unless accompanied by an adult ready to take control if necessary – there are exceptions for low horsepower outboard motors and completion of a boating education course.
- Reckless operation of a boat that endangers life, limb, or property may be punishable with a fine and jail time.
- Boat owners are responsible for any injury or damage caused by their boats, even if they are not present at the time of the accident.
- Any boating accident must be reported to the TWRA and any accident involving medical treatment or a missing person must be reported within 48 hours.
- Boat operators involved in an accident are required to provide assistance as needed.
- Boat operators involved in accidents involving serious injury or death may be charged with a felony.
- Personal watercraft, such as Jet Skis, must adhere to the same rules as any other boat – and they must be registered.
- Any boats carrying passengers for hire must obtain a license from the U.S. Coast Guard.
- Passengers on boats operated within certain areas below a dam must wear a life jacket.
You May Be Entitled to Compensation for Medical Bills & Other Expenses
Boaters who fail to follow the rules and cause harm must be held accountable. If you have been harmed by a negligent, reckless, or intoxicated boat operator, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your medical bills and other expenses. If you have lost a loved one due to a boating accident, you may have grounds for a wrongful death claim.
To learn how our Morristown personal injury lawyers can effectively represent you, call us at (423) 586-5800 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.