The North Carolina beaches and waterways are just one of the aspects that make this state so wonderful. Many citizens and visitors alike enjoy boating for pleasure, recreation, sport, and commercial activity. At the Law Offices of Robert D. Rouse, III, we love boating and can be found enjoying the water most weekends when the weather is nice. Sadly, irresponsible or inexperienced boaters can lead to disaster on the water.
Boating accidents are often the result of inexperienced captains, intoxication, carelessness, or negligence on the waterway. The captain of a boat or vessel owes an absolute duty of safety to his passengers. When a captain fails to act reasonably or safely, passengers can be injured. If you have been injured while boating, you may be able to recover damages for your injuries. These damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and potentially others depending on the facts of your case.
Injuries on our waterways can occur in many ways: boats will collide with a fixed object such as a pier or dock; boats collide with other boats or vessels on the waterway; a boater strikes a swimmer; there is a defective product which causes a malfunction leading to injuries; or a passenger on a boat is injured by the captain’s negligent steering when encountering rough water. Given the vast amount of waterways in North Carolina, these injuries can occur on private boats, vessels, or personal watercraft (including jet skis and wave runners) or on charter boats or ferries.
A large number of boating accidents are caused by intoxication. Operating a boat or watercraft while drunk or impaired is not only a crime, but it can lead to serious, catastrophic injuries for passengers and other boaters. If someone else’s intoxication caused your injuries or damages, you may be able to recover punitive damages from that impaired driver and other negligent parties. North Carolina law states that the purpose of punitive damages is “to punish a wrongdoer for egregiously wrongful acts and to deter the defendant and others from committing similar wrongful acts.” (See North Carolina General Statute 1D-1).
Boating accidents are fact specific, and each case must be examined individually to determine liability, applicable insurance coverage, and what damages an injured person may be entitled to. We thoroughly investigate boating claims in order to find definitive answers to WHY an accident happened, HOW an accident happened, and WHO is responsible. After answering those questions, we are able to move forward with recovering all damages allowed to an injured person by law.
If you have been injured or if your loved one has been killed in a boating accident, contact a lawyer who has experience with federal maritime law and state rules governing boaters and accidents on the sea. Attorney Robert Rouse is not only an avid North Carolina boater, but he is knowledgeable about the rules that apply to vessels and their captains and can assist you with getting the maximum recovery allowed by law. Attorney Rouse has successfully handled many boating accident claims for both boating injuries and property damage. Contact our boat accident lawyer today to schedule your free, no obligation consultation. We have offices in Morehead City and Greenville to best serve our clients. If due to your injuries or other circumstances you are unable to come to our office, we will meet with you at a location that is convenient for you. We offer a free, no obligation consultation. There is no high pressure sales pitch, just an opportunity to meet us, discuss your claim, and see if we can help.