Posted in Personal Injury on June 22, 2022
Boating season is in full swing in Middle Tennessee, and the rivers and lakes of the Volunteer State only get more and more crowded between Memorial Day and Labor Day. The combination of crowded waterways, inexperienced boaters, and alcohol means that boat crashes and accidents can and do occur more often than you think.
In some cases, boat accidents can be even more severe than car accidents. That’s because occupants typically aren’t restrained with seat belts while boats are in motion. And when they aren’t wearing lifejackets, boat accident victims run the risk of drowning if they’re thrown from their boats during crashes.
Here’s what to know about boating accidents in Tennessee, including how to get compensation for your damages.
Buy Boat Insurance to Protect Yourself, Your Loved Ones, and Other Boaters
Tennessee law requires all drivers to carry minimum coverage liability insurance to legally drive. This insurance is designed to cover the medical bills and property damage of anyone they crash into while driving. However, Tennessee DOES NOT require boaters to purchase the same type of insurance.
Although it isn’t required in Tennessee, it’s highly recommended. Having boat insurance not only protects your boat in the event of a collision or accident, it also protects you from having to pay out of pocket in the even that you are found at-fault. In addition, you can add Medical Payments coverage to your boat insurance, which helps cover some or all of your medical bills regardless of who is at fault.
Finally, adding uninsured boater coverage helps you obtain compensation after a boat accident involving another boater who is uninsured and can’t pay your damages out of pocket. Because boating insurance isn’t required in Tennessee, adding this coverage is essential, as it can mean the difference between paying your own bills out of pocket and having them covered in full.
Boat Insurers Fight Claims Just as Hard as Auto Insurers
Having boat insurance, especially uninsured boater insurance, is highly recommended. But as anyone who has been involved in a car accident that wasn’t their fault can tell you, dealing with the insurance company is rarely a pleasant or easy experience. Insurance companies of all kinds work hard to reduce or deny payouts to policyholders or claimants, and that’s also true after boat accidents.
No matter what type of claim you need to file against your boater’s insurance, there’s a good chance your insurer will either lowball their offer to you or deny your claim entirely. At this point, many injured boaters simply give up and pay for their costs out of pocket or through their health insurance. But it’s possible to get paid in full with the right legal representation on your side.
Matt Hardin Law Knows Boating Accident Claims
Proving negligence and liability after boating accidents can be more difficult than after car accidents. Right-of-way isn’t as easily established on the water as it is on land, and there are no stop signs, red lights, or speed limits that can help determine when negligent boaters broke the law before injuring others.
However, that doesn’t mean that proving fault is impossible. Our experienced Nashville boat accident lawyers know how to collect, analyze, and present evidence to insurance companies and/or juries to that definitively prove when boaters were negligent in the minutes or seconds leading up to a crash.
If you were hurt in a boat accident that wasn’t your fault, don’t count on your insurer or the other boater’s insurer to play fair with your compensation. Contact us today for a free consultation to find out how our experienced boat accident lawyers can go to work for you.