Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

John at Dawn

In 2015, there were 136 reportable boating incidents, 77 injuries and 13 fatalities. Falling overboard was the leading cause of fatalities with 3 deaths attributed to it. The most common cause of injury accidents was operator inattention. The most dangerous lake for injury accidents last year was Center Hill Lake.

In the personal watercraft (PWC) or jet ski category, Ft. Loudon lake was the most dangerous. There were 9 injury accidents and 3 fatal accidents. The primary causes of jet ski accidents were excessive speed and off throttle loss of steering. (For inexperienced jet ski drivers, off throttle loss of steering is a real problem because the natural inclination if you get into trouble is to let off the gas. But on a jet ski, a driver cannot steer at all without being under throttle.)

So if you are set to spend the day on the river or lake, here are some tips on how to stay safe this summer: Continue reading

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Memorial Day is a day to remember and be grateful for those brave men and women who have died while serving our country in the military. It is also the unofficial start of summer. Beach trips, parades, lake outings, pool parties and barbecues are on a lot of folks’ agenda.   Here are ten safety tips to help keep your weekend fun and injury-free:  Continue reading


Last week, a question was posted on Avvo (a legal Q & A site) seeking advice about what should be done following a car accident. The questioner was worried about getting sued, and the primary source of his anxiety was because he had substantial assets including investment accounts but he only had $100,000 in automotive insurance coverage. In particular, he wanted to know if he should  hire his own lawyer separate and apart from any lawyer hired by his insurance company?   Before I get to that, let me start with something more important.   Continue reading

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Last year was a record year for vehicle recalls. Already this year, Ford has announced a recall of nearly 400,000 Ranger pickups due to faulty airbags.  The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has just announced a recall of Britax car seats.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission issues a new recall virtually every day.   As a consumer, how do you know if the products you and your family use are safe?  And what do you do if you get hurt by a defective product? Continue reading

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Each year, more than 1.4 million people will suffer a brain injury from a car accident, fall, assault or some other cause. The brain is incredibly complex and so is the treatment of brain injuries. Primarily, physicians have relied upon CAT scans and physical symptoms such as loss of consciousness, dizziness, nausea, slurred speech, confusion and the like to determine the severity of the brain injury.

But both of those methods have their limitations. For instance, CAT scans can only detect if there is cranial bleeding. They are unable to detect damaged brain cells that are not bleeding. As for the physical symptoms, they may not always be detected or reported. For instance, in a car accident, a person may lose consciousness for a short period of time and regain it before any emergency medical personnel reach the scene. Or with a young infant who has not yet learned to talk, it would be difficult to know if the child was slurring its speech or was dizzy, etc. Continue reading

Kate and John boating

Middle Tennessee has many wonderful lakes: Center Hill, Old Hickory, Percy Priest, Normandy Lake and others. Our family’s favorite is Tims Ford where we like to spend as much time as possible out on the water.

While boating and jet skiing are fantastic recreational activities, there are a number of laws applicable to both. Let’s review 10 of the most important: Continue reading

dock photo 2For the past eleven summers, our family has spent as many weekends as possible on Tims Ford Lake. We enjoy swimming, water skiing, jet skiing, grilling out with friends and all of the other fun the lake has to offer. But, in those eleven years, there have been some unspeakable tragedies as a result of electrocutions.

Around the corner from us, two young boys were electrocuted and died when they jumped from their dock and into the water. The electrical work on the newly installed dock had been improperly installed allowing a live charge to enter the water. Then, just two years ago, an adult was electrocuted and died as a result of an improperly grounded dock.  Both accidents were preventable. So what can you do to make your dock safe? Continue reading

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I can feel it. Can you?   Summer is almost here. The kids have just a few more weeks of school and then it is time for pools, lakes, waterparks, time at the river and more fun in the sun.  In an effort to ensure everyone has a safe summer, May is National Water Safety Month, and in March of this year, Governor Bill Haslam signed a proclamation to that effect for the State of Tennessee.

While water can be the ideal spot for summer fun, it can also be a spot for terrible drowning and near-drowning accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 10 people a day die from drowning accidents. And drowning is the number one cause of death for children 1 to 4.

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In the United States, over 6 million Americans suffer with paralysis. Some of the injuries were induced by traumatic spinal cord injuries. Others were the result of medical conditions such as stroke or medical malpractice in the form of birth injuries and otherwise. 

But, there is new hope in the form of implanted electrical devices. The devices are implanted under the skin of the abdomen and electrodes are then placed at the patient’s spinal cord. Then, the device sends electrical impulses to the spinal cord which basically reboots the neurons and retrains the nerves.  

In a recent study, four patients who were all left paralyzed from car accidents and motorcycle accidents have been able to retrain their damaged nerves allowing them to voluntarily move their affected limbs. While none of the patients have learned to walk again, one of them has been able to stand for as long as 27 minutes. 

Tennessee law provides that the negligent operator of a boat is responsible for injuries or deaths caused by the operator’s conduct.

The boat owner is also held responsible for the acts of the operator if the operator had permission of the owner to use the boat and if the boat owner was not in the business of leasing or selling boats.  If the boat owner is in the business of selling or leasing boats, the owner is not liable for the negligence of the operator.  However, a boat owner in the business of selling and leasing boats can still be held liable for negligently entrusting the boat to an incompetent driver.

Many boat owners have liability insurance on their boats and this insurance is available to provide compensation to those negligently injured by a boat operator.