The Charlotte area is home to one of the area’s most scenic lakes. Lake Norman is a popular summer destination and one North Carolina’s most visited lakes, while it’s smaller but still popular cousin, Lake Wylie, sits on the southwestern edge of Charlotte. Lake Hickory, High Rock Lake, and Lake James are also popular lakes utilized by Charlotte resident. All of these areas are great places to for boating and Jet Skiing during the summer. Regrettably, the increase in activity on the lake also brings on the increase in the number of boat related injuries, sometimes fatal, which are often the result of negligent operation or BUI (boating under the influence).
Due to the nature and location of water-related accidents, it is imperative that an investigation be performed before the evidence needed to support your claim has vanished. Unlike cars or other land-based vehicles, boats and Jet-Skis can be moved from the scene rather quickly and hidden from site. In addition, eyewitnesses are usually on vacation and hard to track down once they return home. We strongly encourage you to contact an experienced Charlotte boat accident attorney immediately after your accident for your free consultation.
The Charlotte boat accident lawyers at Auger & Auger have been helping victims of boat, Jet-Ski, swimming, waterskiing and personal watercraft accidents and injuries for over 20 years. “We know the concerns and frustrations that a person can have following an injury on the water, especially in locating insurance coverage to pay for the mounting medical costs, lost income and injuries that they received. The sooner a boat accident victim hires us, the better off they will be in the long run” said Attorney Herb Auger.
Partner Herb Auger is the lead trial attorney on boating accidents cases and is familiar with Federal Maritime Law and its interaction with North Carolina’s laws regarding water related accidents.
An average of one person per year dies on Lake Norman due to a boating accident. In one case, a 9-year-old boy was killed while on a Lake Norman boat operated by a 15-year-old girl. She was following another boat too closely when they collided, killing the young boy. According to an official, the one variable that could prevent a lot of boating fatalities is a life jacket.
The following lists a few of the common causes of boating or Jet Ski accidents:
Since 2010, NC requires that boat operators under the age of 26 are required to pass a boater education class in order to operate a personal boat or other watercraft, but loopholes in the law exist providing lax rules for rental boat operators. In 2011, a young woman lost an arm and a breast when a man who had never operated a boat before, rented a boat and then accidentally backed over her while she was in the water and he was trying to tie up to another boat.
State law also requires that boat operators be 14 years of age or older. Just as with a motor vehicle, boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs is illegal. Recent statistics confirm that the most common cause of boating accidents and 16% of boating fatalities in 2012 were the result of boating under the influence. If you are operating a boat while under the influence of drugs and alcohol and someone sustains an injury due to your negligence, you are not only personally liable for damages but the state will charge you with a felony.
Growing medical bills, serious injury, aggressive insurance companies, mental stresses, lost wages, and pain and suffering are just a few of the costs you or a loved one may be dealing with after a boating or Jet Ski accident. In the worst case scenario, you may have funeral preparations and costs to attend to. We will deal with the insurance companies and handle your case so you can focus on healing. We only charge a legal fee when we recover settlement your case. If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, call the experienced Charlotte boat and Jet Ski accident attorneys today for your free consultation.