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Karen’s Story: Sorting Through a Drunk Boater’s Stories and Demanding Justice

It was a beautiful August evening on Alabama’s coast. Karen and her husband Doug were enjoying a peaceful evening on Pelican Bay, fishing and chatting. Karen, a friendly bank manager, and Doug, who works in law enforcement, were excited to enjoy a serene break from their busy and stressful lives. Unfortunately, this peaceful time didn’t last long.

An intoxicated boater was tearing through the water at dangerously high speeds, headed right toward the shore where Karen and Doug were fishing. The boat didn’t slow down as it ran aground. By some miracle, the two were able to escape being crushed by the boat. But Karen, who had a history of knee problems, fell as she tried to flee, badly injuring her knee.

drunk boating

Karen Faces a Total Knee Replacement and a Difficult Recovery

While they were grateful to escape with their lives, Karen and Doug knew there was something seriously wrong with Karen’s leg. They went to the emergency room that night for treatment and to make sure nothing was broken. The next day, her leg was covered in deep purple bruises. It soon became clear that Karen’s injury was very severe.

While Karen had pre-existing knee problems, she had been managing her pain. Now, her doctors told her that she needed a knee replacement. Anticipating a mountain of medical bills, Karen and Doug immediately called Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys for help.

RELATED: Can I Get Punitive Damages in an Alabama Injury Claim?

Our Investigation Uncovers Inconsistencies in the Drunk Boater’s Story

The story surrounding Karen’s injuries was already shocking: the boater crashed into the shore at a high-speed and nearly crushed them. However, as the Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys team investigated her claim, things became even more disturbing.

The Boat’s Driver Was Highly Intoxicated

While the driver claimed he wasn’t intoxicated at the time of the crash, and his teenaged passenger insisted that he only had a “beer or two,” he still had a 0.10 blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) two hours after the crash. This meant that he probably had a BAC of .12 or .14 at the time of the accident.

Alabama’s legal limit is 0.08. When you have a BAC between 0.12 and 0.14, most people have a hard time standing up and experience blurred vision. Even with a BAC of 0.10, they often have slurred speech, poor judgment, and decreased coordination. In addition to Karen’s personal injury claim, the boater also faced criminal DUI charges.

He Claimed to Be Driving by “GPS Only”

Although it was a clear August evening, both of the boat’s inhabitants asserted that it was too dark to see the shore. The driver reported that he was operating his boat at high speed in a no-wake zone solely by using his GPS.

However, we discovered that the first crash report was made at 7:45 p.m., two minutes before nightfall, according to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration. The driver’s claims weren’t adding up.

A Teenaged Passenger’s Story Is Equally Inconsistent

The 36-year old driver had spent the evening at a popular waterfront oyster house with a teenaged girl. When we took the young lady’s sworn testimony, her memory was remarkably poor. In her 60-page deposition, she stated, “I don’t know” or “I don’t remember” 107 times.

Furthermore, while she claimed to be sitting at the front of the boat looking at her phone at the time of the crash, this was physically impossible. According to our experts, if she had been at the front of the boat, she would have been thrown six to eight feet onto shore during the crash. However, she reported simply being knocked to the boat’s floor—and walked away from the crash unscathed.

The driver and his passenger were unable to provide clear or straightforward answers during our questioning. We became convinced that their extreme negligence caused Karen’s injuries — and they were trying to hide it.

Based on our assessment, we advised the boater’s insurance company that we would demand punitive damages at trial. Punitive damages do not compensate an accident victim for their losses. Instead, they punish someone for their intentionally or recklessly actions. They are only awarded in the most shocking cases—but our team was convinced that they were appropriate in Karen’s case.

RELATED: Jasmine’s Story: Finding Closure After an Accident With a Drunk Driver

The Boater Agrees to Settle the Case for $290,000

To make sure that Karen had the resources she needed to recover from her surgery and make an example of the intoxicated driver, we demanded the highest possible amount from the insurance company.

Thanks to the results of our thorough investigation and aggressive tactics, the insurance company and the reckless boater agreed to settle Karen’s claim for $290,000—nearly reaching the insurance policy’s limits. After paying her attorney’s fees, case costs, and medical bills, Karen received $149,565.38, giving her financial security and peace of mind while she recovered from her knee replacement.

Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys: Aggressive Strategies, Real Results

At Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys, we know that attitude matters. That’s why we don’t compromise and accept settlements that don’t meet our clients’ needs. We aggressively pursue justice through careful research and bold strategies. And we’re not afraid to go to trial if that’s what it takes to get justice.

If someone else’s poor choices have caused you or someone you love to suffer, don’t wait to call us. We’ll meet with you for free, evaluate your situation, and offer honest legal advice on what to do next. To schedule your free, no-risk consultation, call us today at (251) 888-8888 or complete our brief online contact form.

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Note: Andy Citrin Injury Attorneys uses pseudonyms in our success stories to protect our clients’ privacy.

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

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