The Boater Who Hit You Probably Has No Insurance

May 5, 2023 | Allen A. Ritchie, Motor Vehicle Accidents | 0 comments

Allen's Answers - Boating Accidents


Many people think a boating accident is like a traffic accident, except you get wet. Nothing could be further from the truth.

First, while the state of Alabama requires you to have insurance to drive a car, that is not true to drive a boat. If there is trouble getting your medical bills paid or your boat repaired, you are probably going against an individual and their ability to come up with the cash. A severe boat injury could cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills alone. You are wise to carry your own insurance since there may not be a Flo, Jake, or The General to write a check.

Second, your accident could be governed by state, federal, or international law. It often depends on which body of water the accident occurs. If that was not confusing enough, the Alabama law stating that if you are even a little to blame for the accident, you cannot collect anything is untrue on a federal waterway. On U.S.-controlled water, your injury money is reduced by your percentage of the blame. Also, the time limit to file a claim on federal waterways is different than in Alabama.

Put all this (and much more) together, and you can see why boating accidents here in Mobile and on the Gulf Coast can be complicated. You need a local lawyer who clearly understands our waters.

Let me add a bit of legal insight into drinking and boating. Drunk boating can be just as serious as drunk driving. Let me strongly advise you to keep your alcohol intake on land … and in moderation.

If you suffer from a personal injury accident – car, boat, on-the-job, slip and fall, nursing home abuse, etc. – you can talk to us at the Law Firm of Eiland and Ritchie (251) 666-1212 for free. We want to help you get back on your feet.

Plus, join us on NBC 15 LawCall here in Mobile every Sunday night at 10:30, right after the news. We’ll have some legal information you can use. Plus, we specifically set aside a few hours on Monday morning to answer any questions you may have in real-time. Just call our office.

Allen Ritchie

Alabama Personal Injury Lawyer