Tennessee Boating Accidents: Boat Operator Liability
There’s not much one will find more pleasant than spending a summer day on Percy Priest Lake or rafting down the Caney Fork. Nonetheless, when boat operators are unable or unwilling to abide by Tennessee boat laws or safety guidelines, boating sudden becomes very dangerous. Water vehicles are often large and quite powerful, carrying the potential to become a destructive force in a matter of mere moments. This is why boat operators and commandeers bear the responsibility of exercising reasonable caution and concern for present and reasonably foreseeable dangers. The inappropriate or negligent operation of a water craft will increase the risk of involvement in an accident.
Our boating injury lawyers at InjuryTN are committed to holding boat operators who drive negligently accountable for their actions, especially if those actions led to an eventual severe injury or even death.
Boating Laws in Middle Tennessee
Currently, there is a large number of case law throughout the nation which governs how boat operator liability should be identified. Generally speaking, boat operators are not allowed to operate a water vehicle in a way that could be determined hazardous or reckless, which may include:
- Driving at Inappropriate Speeds. Boat operators who are found traveling at speeds that are higher than what would be considered reasonably appropriate for the present conditions of traffic, visibility, and weather as well as any other dangers are not only breaking the law, but they are also placing other lives in harm’s way.
- Exceeding the lawful horsepower limit. A boat operator who fails to ensure their craft is loaded securely and is not overpowered will be seen as negligent if the behavior caused someone else to become injured. Tennessee law prohibits operators of vessels lesser than twenty feet (20ft.) from exceeding the limits detailed by its manufacturer.
- Negligent or reckless operation of the vehicle. This may include boating under the influence or boating in restricted areas.
Talk to a TN Boating Lawyer
Get the help you need in your boat operator liability case today from InjuryTN. Contact our office to schedule your case evaluation!
Boating Under the Influence
Among the most prevalent of boating offenses in Tennessee that end with injury is boating while intoxicated. Tennessee laws governing boating under the influence (BUI) are concerted to be as stringent as DUI laws. It is, therefore, illegal to operate a water vessel while under the influence with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level being more than .08%. Anyone under the legal drinking age of 21 having a BAC over .02% are given citations carrying mandatory minimums of community service in addition to the completion of the Tennessee boater’s safety education and the online Boating Under the Influence course. Privileges of boat operation are suspended prior to the full completion of these courses.
Contact Our Nashville Boating Accident Attorneys
Even though these tough penalties deter most boaters from operating vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs, Tennessee continues to host numerous boating accidents year after year. These accidents are very often caused by impairment, inattentiveness, lacking proper education, underprepared, or otherwise reckless boat operators. The accomplished boating accident attorneys at InjuryTN are pledged to holding those individuals accountable when they cause injury to others and damage to property.
Contact the boating accident lawyers at InjuryTN to schedule your free initial case evaluation to determine the best option for your situation. There are no fees or costs until you receive compensation.