Boating is a fun and exciting activity for entrepreneurs, but according to the US Coast Guard, thousands of people each year suffer injuries and property damage from boating accidents. You don’t want to put your startup company at risk with such a major distraction and financial worry.
Over the years, insurance companies have become increasingly effective in dealing with boat accident claims. However, when an accident does occur, it can often be challenging to navigate the process of dealing with insurance companies. It’s the reason why many boat owners are encouraged to have boat insurance.
In Tennessee, boating has become increasingly popular, and with the great demand come rising insurance rates. While insurance companies are there to provide coverage and protection, they also have an inherent interest in minimizing their financial risk.
Tennessee also has a shoreline that stretches more than 11,000 miles and is considered a mecca for boating and fishing enthusiasts. The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA) enforces boating laws and regulations in the state for public safety.
Boaters must also carry personal flotation devices (PFDs) for each person, and all boats must have a warning device, like a horn or whistle, on board. Boating under the influence (BUI) is illegal in Tennessee, and anyone operating a boat while under the influence can face criminal charges.
Boat accident statistics in Tennessee
As per Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), 158 boating accidents were reported in Tennessee in 2020. These accidents resulted in 14 fatalities and 121 injuries. The most common accidents were collisions with fixed objects, capsizing, and falling overboard.
The TWRA also reported that most boating accidents occurred on weekends during June, July, and August. The most common time of day for accidents was between 2 PM and 8 PM.
The Tennessee boating laws are there to protect the safety of boaters and should always be followed. However, in the case of a boat accident, it’s important to understand the process of dealing with an insurance company. We recommend the Law Office of Burroughs & Capps for a free and confidential case review and consultation.
Boat accidents and problems with insurance companies
Boat accidents can be severe and often result in significant damage, injuries, or even fatalities. The aftermath of a boat accident can be overwhelming and stressful, especially when dealing with insurance companies.
Problems with insurance companies may arise during the claims process and may include:
- Delays in processing claims: Insurance companies may take a long time to process claims, which can cause delays in getting the repairs or medical treatment.
- Denial of claims: Insurance companies may deny claims for various reasons, such as lack of coverage or if they believe that the policyholder’s negligence caused the accident.
- Low settlement offers: Insurance companies may offer low settlement amounts that do not fully cover the costs of the damage, injuries, or losses incurred.
- Difficulty understanding policy coverage: Policyholders may find understanding their insurance policy coverage challenging and may not be aware of the specific benefits or limits.
- Legal disputes: Legal action may be necessary if there is a dispute over the cause of the accident or if the insurance company denies the claim.
It’s essential to understand your policy’s coverage, to keep detailed records of the accident, to document any injuries and damages, to keep track of all related expenses, and to seek legal help if necessary. An attorney specializing in boating accidents can help navigate the claims process and ensure that policyholders receive the compensation they are entitled to.
How to deal with insurance companies after being in a boat accident?
Dealing with insurance companies after a boat accident in Tennessee can be a complex and overwhelming process. However, by taking the following steps, you can help ensure that your claim is handled properly.
1. Understand Tennessee boating laws and regulations:
Learn about the laws and regulations that govern boating activities and accidents in Tennessee. According to Tennessee law, all boats operating on state waters must be registered and have a valid registration certificate. Boating accident victims have a two-year statute of limitations to sue. It means you can no longer seek compensation for your damages if you don’t sue within two years of the accident.
2. Gather evidence and documentation of the accident: Gathering proof and documentation of a boat accident are crucial to support your insurance claim. The following are some critical pieces of evidence and documentation that you need after a boat accident:
• Witness statements
• Police report
• Medical records
• Repair estimates
• Expense records
It’s essential to keep all the above documentation safe and have them readily available when filing a claim with your insurance company.
3. Contact and file a claim with your insurance company:
After a boat accident, contact your insurance company to report the incident and file a claim before it gets late. Here are the steps you should take when contacting and filing a claim with your insurance company:
• Locate your insurance policy
• Contact your insurance company
• Provide the information
• Provide documentation
• Follow up
4. Work with a personal injury attorney:
Working with a personal injury attorney can be beneficial when dealing with insurance companies after a boat accident. An attorney can help navigate the legal process and protect your rights. Here are a few ways a personal injury attorney can help:
• Reviewing your insurance policy
• Gathering evidence
• Negotiating with the insurance company
• Filing a lawsuit
• Representing you in court
5. Navigate the claims and settlement process: Navigating the claims and settlement process after a boat accident can be complex and time-consuming. The right approach will increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement. Here is how you can navigate the claims and settlement process:
• File a claim promptly
• Consider hiring an attorney
• Be prepared to negotiate
• Be patient
It’s important to understand that the process can take time, and it’s essential to be patient, stay informed, and work with your insurance company to settle.
6. Prepare for a potential lawsuit: If your insurance company denies your claim or is unsatisfied with the settlement offer, you may need to sue. A personal injury attorney helps to prepare for this possibility.
When dealing with the insurance company, it is essential to know that insurance adjusters will look for ways to minimize the amount of money they have to pay out on your claim. Therefore, it is vital to be cautious when providing information to the insurance company and to only accept settlement offers after consulting with an attorney.