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Need Help After a Boating Accident?

With the experience and legal knowledge needed to give your case its best chance of success, a Gulf Shores boating accident lawyer from Long & Long can make a significant difference after an accident. Boating accidents are different from other motor vehicle accidents, and it takes a skilled litigator to obtain the maximum compensation with a legal claim. When you work with us, you can rest easy knowing your case will be getting the attention and care it deserves.

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The Gulf of Mexico, with its picturesque shores and inviting waters, draws thousands of boaters each year for a variety of boating activities, from leisurely cruises to fishing excursions. However, amid the beauty of the Gulf, boating accidents shatter the tranquility all too often, resulting in serious injuries and, tragically, even fatalities. 

The U.S. Coast Guard’s recent data revealed a national decrease in boating fatalities from 2021 to 2022, but the Gulf Shores region remains susceptible to such incidents. In 2022, there were a staggering 636 boating fatalities nationwide, while property damage from boating accidents amounted to $63 million.

Long & Long provides experienced representation for victims and their families who are dealing with the aftermath of Gulf Shores boating accidents. Our team includes attorneys who are licensed boaters with a deep understanding of common boating hazards and laws. Share your story with us today and find out what legal options are available to you.

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We’ve won MILLIONS of dollars for our INJURED neighbors.


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What Causes Boating Accidents?

Boating accidents can arise from various causes. Chief among these is the influence of alcohol. In Alabama, it is considered a DUI offense to operate a boat while intoxicated. However, the reasons behind boating accidents are diverse, including factors such as:

  • Water or Weather Conditions: Unpredictable weather patterns and adverse water conditions, such as rough seas, strong currents, or sudden storms, can significantly impact a boater’s ability to drive safely.
  • Operator Error, Distraction, or Inexperience: Inattentiveness, distractions, or the lack of experience on the part of the boat operator can lead to critical errors, increasing the risk of collisions or other accidents.
  • Speeding: Excessive speed on the water can diminish reaction time and escalate the severity of accidents. Speeding is a common factor in boating incidents and can result in serious consequences.
  • Defective Parts or Machine Errors: Malfunctions or failures in a boat’s machinery, often stemming from defective parts or inadequate maintenance, pose a significant hazard and can contribute to accidents.

Injuries from these types of accidents can vary in severity. Your ability to seek compensation will typically depend on who is liable for the accident.

Understanding Liability in Boating Accidents

Boating accident claims can be complex, with multiple parties potentially sharing liability. Determining fault may involve investigating the actions of boat operators, manufacturers, or even maintenance providers. In Alabama, the pure contributory negligence doctrine adds a layer of difficulty; this legal principle stipulates that if a victim is found even slightly at fault for an accident, they may be barred from recovering damages.

If you find yourself facing accusations or being blamed in any way for a boating accident that wasn’t your fault, contact an experienced boating accident attorney in Gulf Shores immediately. Whether dealing with issues of operator negligence, defective equipment, or challenging weather conditions, a skilled legal professional can guide you through the intricacies of a boating accident claim and help protect your rights.

Two personal flotation devices (PFDs) are seen on a boat, indicating safe boating practices by the operator.

Alabama Boating Safety

In order to stay safe and avoid accidents, one should take the following precautions when boating in Gulf Shores:

  • If you own the boat, make sure to inspect it before going for rides and get regular maintenance on it.
  • Familiarize yourself with maritime laws and regulations, and always travel at a safe speed.
  • When riding on a boat in Alabama, children under the age of 8 are required to wear a well-fitting and secure personal flotation device (PFD). However, everyone on board should have access to a PFD that fits them at all times.
  • Anyone driving a boat should have an Alabama boating license. Those aged 12 and older can test for a license, but only those who are 14 years of age or older may operate a boat unsupervised.

Recoverable Damages

Accidents on the water can be especially severe, leading to property damage, serious injuries, and sometimes even the loss of a loved one. If you have been injured in a boating accident by no fault of your own, these are some of the damages you may be entitled to with a boating accident claim:

  • Medical Expenses
  • Lost Wages (both past and future)
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Property Damage 
  • Funeral/Burial Costs

When you’ve been in an accident while boating, you will likely find the expenses adding up quickly. That’s why the boating accident attorneys at Long & Long offer free initial consultations and don’t take payment unless we secure compensation for our clients! Wherever you are financially, we are here to offer legal advice and representation if you have a case.

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What to Do After a Gulf Shores Boating Accident

If you are in a boat wreck in Gulf Shores, AL, here are the steps to take immediately after the incident occurs:

The first thing to do after an accident is contact emergency medical services, as well as the police or Coast Guard. Even if injuries seem minor, seek medical attention promptly. Injuries sustained in boating accidents may not be immediately apparent, and a medical examination can uncover potential issues. After seeing your doctor, be sure to follow the treatment plan they have for you and follow up as needed (especially if your condition worsens over the next few days or weeks).

You should also complete an accident report with law enforcement and be sure to get your own copy. Simply give an accurate and detailed description of what happened without taking or placing blame.

  • Collect contact information, insurance details, and boat registration information from all parties involved in the accident. This includes names, addresses, phone numbers, and vessel identification.
  • Take photographs of the accident scene, including any damages to vessels, injuries, and relevant landmarks. Documenting the area can provide valuable evidence later.
  • Obtain contact information from any witnesses to the accident. Witness testimonies can be crucial in determining liability.

If you are facing any legal issues or being blamed for the accident, a Gulf Shores boating accident lawyer from Long & Long can help you understand your rights under maritime law and Alabama’s boating regulations. It is important to get this process started as soon as possible, as Alabama’s two-year statute of limitations on boating accidents will go by fast!

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I had lost all confidence in attorneys until I used Long &Long. They were easy to work with and they have a great staff. These guys are able to get the job done in a timely manner.

Franklin S

I would recommend Long & Long to anyone that needed a lawyer. My family and I had the pleasure of working hand and hand with Mr. Earl and Tami.

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Had a great experience in dealing with this attorney firm. They seem to have done their best work for my wife and myself. They really care.

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A Skilled Attorney from Long & Long Can Help After an Accident

When you’re injured in a boat accident, you need a lawyer with boating experience to help you navigate the legal process. At Long & Long, our knowledgeable lawyers are committed to advocating for boating safety and ensuring our clients receive the compensation they deserve. Whether you’ve experienced injuries or the loss of a loved one in a boating accident, our team is prepared to stand by your side. 

Contact a Gulf Shores boating accident lawyer from Long & Long, Attorneys at Law today for a compassionate consultation. We can help guide you through the complexities of your case and fight for justice on your behalf.

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