Greene County offers many boating opportunities, including those on the famous Mississippi River. Yet fun days on the water can turn dangerous quickly from factors such as ignoring boating laws and inexperienced operators. If you or a loved one were recently involved in a watercraft incident, contact a Greene County boat accident lawyer as soon as possible.
After reporting your accident to the police, discuss your case in detail with an experienced personal injury attorney if there were severe injuries or fatalities. The legal professional will determine if you should move forward with your case and what you can expect from the entire process, including what damages you might claim in light of your injuries and the related costs.
To legally operate a watercraft in Mississippi, the owner must have a Mississippi Certificate Number and decals validating that number on their watercraft. Decals must be visible on each side of the boat within six inches of the registration number. The decals can also appear six inches before the registration number’s prefix letters.
Boaters born after June 30, 1980 must pass a safety course approved by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks to avoid illegal operation issues. If the boater is under 12 years old and wishes to operate a motorboat or a personal watercraft, such as a jetski, they must be accompanied by an individual 21 years old or older who is certified to operate watercrafts in the state.
Additional regulations and requirements include providing U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation devices for every passenger. Those 12 years old or younger must wear a Type I, II or III U.S. Coast Guard-approved PFDs if the vessel is under 26 feet long. All PFDs must be in serviceable condition, properly sized for the individual, and readily accessible.
Vessels operating on Mississippi waters must additionally carry fire extinguishers, sound devices, and visual distress signals. Sound and visual signal requirements vary in light of the boat’s length. A boat under 39.4 feet long, for example, must have a horn or other device capable of four-second blasts that carry up to one-half mile. Vessels less than 16 feet long must include flares or similar distress signals. Recreational boats over 16 feet long and non-motorized sailboats 26 feet or longer need to carry day and night signals.
According to the Alcohol Boating Safety Act, it is illegal to operate a vessel on federal waters while under the influence of alcohol. Boaters who violate any of these regulations and are involved in accidents with other watercrafts are liable in legal claims by plaintiffs and their attorneys.
Any boat, including a motorboat, sailboat, pontoon, cabin cruiser, party boat, or personal watercraft can become part of an accident. Some of the most common accident examples include:
In addition to operator intoxication, inexperience, error, and inattention, accidents can occur because one or more boaters were speeding, ignoring wake zone regulations, or because of equipment failure. Severe weather and overconfidence, such as misjudging distances, can also contribute to accidents. And while the weather can change within minutes to impact water safety, those that could have been prevented with the right precautions and training typically result in attorney-led legal disputes.
If your last boating adventure took a hazardous turn due to other boaters’ negligence or intentional behavior, contact a Greene County boat accident lawyer as soon as possible. Do not let the accident cost you thousands in medical care and related expenses. Learn what damages you can recover to help you manage your injuries and proceed with the case. Take the first step with your legal claim by calling today.