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Call us today at (423) 282-1041 if you’ve been seriously injured due to someone else’s negligence.

Johnson City Boating Accident Lawyer

If you or a loved one were hurt in a boating accident in Johnson City or surrounding areas of Tennessee, the experienced boating accident lawyers at the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC could help you get the compensation you deserve. They have extensive experience representing boating accident victims, and they know how devastating a boating accident injury can be. Let them work on your behalf so that you can concentrate on your recovery.

According to the United States Coast Guard, there were 248,599 registered recreational vessels in Tennessee in 2017. While the nearly quarter-million registered boats in the state demonstrate how popular boating is, not all boat operators are necessarily experienced or skillful. When someone operates a boat carelessly or recklessly and you are injured as a result, you can hold the negligent operator financially liable for your injuries.

If you suffered severe injuries or your loved one was killed in a boating accident caused by another party’s negligence in the greater Johnson City area, you cannot afford to wait to seek legal representation. Having an experienced attorney on your side will help you achieve the optimal outcome for your case.

The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC understand the many complexities involved in boat crashes, and we can work diligently to preserve critical evidence and prove the negligence of boat operators. Call (423) 282-1041 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.

Do I Need a Boating Accident Lawyer?

Boat accident claims are not the kinds of injury claims that most people are familiar with, so it can be extremely confusing for the average person to try to figure out how to recover compensation. When victims try to handle their own claims while trying to recover from serious injuries, it can be even more stressful.

The cause of an accident determines who could be liable for injuries. In many cases, a negligent boat operator is responsible for causing an accident. Other instances could involve mechanical issues. In virtually all scenarios, victims will be dealing with an insurance company representing the negligent party.

An insurance company could begin by engaging you in a seemingly innocent conversation to discuss your accident, but you should refuse to provide any recorded statement. In most cases, the insurers will attempt to get you to admit to negligence and then use this to deny your claim.

In other cases, insurance companies may offer lump-sum settlements to victims, but be aware that these offers are almost always much less than what victims are entitled to. An attorney will know the true value of your case and will be able to negotiate with an insurer to recover the full amount of compensation you need and deserve.

Why Choose the Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC to Handle My Case?

Tony Seaton is a board-certified specialist in Civil Trial Practice with more than 30 years of legal experience. His accolades include an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale-Hubbell and the 2012 Tennessee Association for Justice Paladin Award.

Robert Bates was named to the Top 40 Under 40 list by the National Association of Personal Injury Attorneys in 2015. He won a sizable jury verdict in a case against one of the best defense lawyers in the state.

The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC have been fighting for clients throughout Upper East Tennessee since 1984. Our firm will make your case a top priority and keep you up to date on every development.

We also represent clients on a contingency fee basis, so you pay us nothing unless you get a financial award. The Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC will pursue a just settlement to your case, and we can file a lawsuit when the settlement discussions are unproductive.

Types of Boating Accident Cases We Handle

Boating accidents are complicated because the causes are not always immediately apparent. For this reason, you’ll want to have an experienced attorney working for you. Boat accidents can be caused in numerous ways, including:

  • Distracted operation
  • Boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Speeding
  • Boating too quickly over a wake
  • Collisions with other boats, objects in the water, or swimmers
  • Overloading boats
  • Improper safety equipment onboard
  • Boat part malfunction

Numerous parties may be liable depending on the details of your case, including the operator of your boat, the operator of other boats, passengers in your or other boats, the boat manufacturer, or others.

Examples of injuries that people often suffer in boating accidents include but are not limited to:

  • Paralysis
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Neck injuries
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Internal organ damage
  • Fractures
  • Lacerations
  • Pulled muscles
  • Sprains

Due to the presence of water, even seemingly minor boating accidents can result in debilitating or fatal injuries. If a person falls overboard and is submerged in water for even a short period of time, they may suffer permanent brain damage.

Boating accident victims may be entitled to compensation for a variety of losses, including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity, if you are unable to return to work
  • Rehabilitative expenses
  • Disability expenses, such as living assistance
  • Pain and suffering

When a person is killed in a boating accident, their family can file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Through this claim, you may be able to recover compensation for funeral expenses and loss of support, among other losses.

Frequently Asked Questions About Boating Accidents

In the aftermath of a boating accident, you may be overwhelmed with financial concerns, physical pain, and confusion about your claim. To ease some stress, we have provided the answers to some common questions we hear at our firm below.


Always make sure that you receive medical attention after a boat accident, even if you do not think that you were harmed. It’s important to go to a hospital to be evaluated for possible injuries that might involve delayed symptoms. Also, contact police to report your accident. Try to take several photographs of the scene of your accident and get the names and phone numbers of witnesses. If you are injured and cannot take these steps yourself, ask a friend, family member, or neighbor to do this for you. Quickly contact a lawyer as soon as you are able, and do not speak to insurance until you have retained legal counsel.
Maritime law technically applies to all navigable waters in the United States, but a case usually needs to include maritime activities and a potential effect on maritime commerce. Maritime activities often involve fishing, shipbuilding, pearl diving, commerce, transport, or any other use of the waters to produce an economic result. Maritime cases are far more complicated than traditional injury cases because they are governed by federal law and handled in federal courts. The cases may not be tried before a jury. When you have the option, you should speak to your attorney about which venue is the most advantageous for your case.
Navigable waters include any waterway that can be used to transport people or property. Title 33 Code of Federal Regulations § 2.36 defines navigable waters of the United States, navigable waters, and territorial waters as 1) territorial seas of the United States, 2) internal waters of the United States that are subject to tidal influence, and 3) internal waters of the United States not subject to tidal influence that can be used for substantial interstate or foreign commerce.

2017 Recreational Boating Statistics from the Coast Guard showed that 4,291 recreational boating accidents involved 658 deaths, 2,629 injuries, and approximately $46 million of property damage. Alcohol use is the leading known contributing factor in fatal boating accidents and was listed as the leading factor in 19 percent of deaths.

The top 10 contributing factors for recreational boating accidents according to the Coast Guard were:

  1. Operator inattention
  2. Improper lookout
  3. Operator inexperience
  4. Machinery failure
  5. Alcohol use
  6. Excessive speed
  7. Navigation rules violation
  8. Weather
  9. Hazardous waters
  10. Force of wave or wake

The Coast Guard reported that there were 93 boating accidents in Tennessee in 2017, the lowest number of the five-year period dating back to 2013. Over $550,000 in damages occurred as a result of those accidents.


Contact a Johnson City Boating Accident Attorney Today

Did you sustain a serious injury or was your loved one killed in a boating accident in the Johnson City area of Tennessee? It could be very complicated for you to recover compensation for your injuries, but an experienced lawyer will be able to help you hold the negligent party accountable.

Law Offices of Seaton & Bates, PLLC is committed to helping boating accident victims who have suffered catastrophic injuries or lost loved ones. You can have our attorneys review your case when you call (423) 282-1041 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

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