Boating Accidents

More than 70 million Americans enjoy some form of recreational boating, and there are over 13 million registered recreational vessels in the United States. In 2004, there were 336,056 registered boats in North Carolina alone. According to a North Carolina report on boating accidents and fatalities, 23 people died in 2004 from boating accidents, while 123 persons required immediate medical attention. Given the sheer volume of boating traffic along the Atlantic coast, and the explosion of personal watercraft (jet skis, wave runners, etc.) use in the last decade, maintaining safety in the public waters has become increasingly difficult.

Generally, the legal issues involved in boating accidents are similar to other personal injury claims, such as negligence, causation, and damages. Nevertheless, the location and nature of the accident will determine what law controls the resolution of these issues, either federal maritime law or state tort law. Generally, all cases involving a negligent act committed on navigable waters are governed by admiralty law. The applicable law also depends upon the status of the injured person, such as a seaman, a business visitor, or a swimmer.

Boating accidents typically involve pleasure craft, including personal watercraft, rather than commercial vessels. Furthermore, accidents frequently occur during water-related activities such as fishing, diving, and water-skiing. If you have been injured in a boating or water-related accident, Hodges Coxe & Potter, LLP has the knowledge and experience to investigate and evaluate your claim, determine the applicable law, and guide you through the complex legal and factual issues necessary for a successful resolution of the case.

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Boating Accidents