In North Carolina, there were 166 boating accidents in 2015, including 21 fatal accidents. This data comes from the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, which provides information on registered boaters within the state, as well as data on accidents and injuries. Some of these boating accidents were accidents of navigation.
Accidents of navigation is a phrase used to describe accidents which occurred because of the elements out on the water, rather than because of a failure to successfully handle or navigate a ship. They are accidents that occur simply because of the inherent risks and uncertainties of being at sea.
Accidents of navigation generally are not accidents that can be avoided by exercising an appropriate level of nautical skills. This type of accident is distinct from incidents caused by boater negligence. When an incident on a boat is considered an accident of navigation, it becomes more difficult for accident victims to recover compensation.
Boating accident victims can pursue a claim and recover compensation if they can show intentional wrongdoing or if they can show negligence, which is defined as a level of care and competence below what would be expected of a hypothetical average boater. In accidents of navigation, the boat operator may not have been negligent in operation, so it can be more difficult for victims to obtain money for accident damages.
There are circumstances in which boating accident victims, and families of victims killed in the boat accident, can still pursue a case to recover compensation. For example, if the boat operator failed to have sufficient life jackets onboard, this could be an example of actionable negligence if it can be proved this led to more substantial harm.
A Charlotte boating accident lawyer can provide assistance in determining if you can pursue compensation after a boat accident, including after accidents of navigation. Call an attorney for help as soon as possible.