Georgia has some of the finest lakes and rivers in all of the Southeast. Locals and out-of-state visitors alike can be found boating, jet skiing, canoeing, and kayaking on state waters on a year-round basis. Although certainly a pleasurable pastime, operating or being a passenger on a watercraft can lead to significant injury or even death in the event of an accident.
If you sustained injuries in a boating wreck, you could be facing serious physical and emotional trauma. You may benefit from speaking with an Augusta boat accident lawyer in the aftermath of a crash. A qualified personal injury lawyer could investigate the facts of the case to determine your eligibility for compensation. You could potentially recover damages for medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and any long-term pain and suffering you may have.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, 633 individuals lost their lives in boating accidents in the United States in 2018 alone. Recreational boating accidents that year also resulted in 2,511 injuries and property damage in the tens of millions of dollars.
Boating collisions are commonly due to a person’s negligence. Any of the following behaviors could potentially cause a boating accident and lead someone to seek help from an Augusta attorney:
The operator of a boat should always pay close attention to the task at hand. Unpredictable changes in the weather and water conditions require that a boater always be on the lookout for signs of danger. Statistically, operator inattention is a leading cause of boating accidents.
Boating should be done at a speed slow enough to give the operator time to react to dangers on the water. Just like roadways, many bodies of water have posted speed limits. Choosing to ignore designated speed limits could potentially place boaters in danger of injury.
Every boat owner has a responsibility to perform regular maintenance checks to ensure their boats are in safe operating condition. An improperly maintained boat can get into an accident caused by a mechanical failure. Potential plaintiffs could consult a boat accident lawyer in Augusta to determine if the manufacturer of a faulty boat part could be held liable.
Consuming alcohol combined with traveling at high speeds or negligent behavior may also lead to injuries. Boating accidents involving alcohol are a leading cause of recreational maritime deaths.
Recreational boating activities in Georgia are regulated at the local, state, and federal levels. Failure to abide by boating safety rules might result in serious injury and legal liability. Certain laws and regulations are put in place to prevent accidents, such as:
A watercraft operator who is caught with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 percent or greater may receive a charge for boating under the influence. Boating under the influence could form the basis of a negligence claim. An Augusta lawyer could hold a defendant liable if their alcohol consumption led to a boat accident.
Required safety equipment includes life jackets, fire extinguishers, navigational lighting, and emergency communication devices. Failure to have mandated safety equipment on board could endanger lives in the event of an accident.
Boating should be an enjoyable activity. However, boating negligence can all too easily result in serious injury and significant property damage. If you were injured in a boating accident because of another person’s negligent or reckless behavior, you might be entitled to monetary damages for all losses and expenses relating to the crash. Get in touch with an Augusta boat accident lawyer today and begin exploring your legal options.