Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents in Georgia

Boat Accident

Boat sinking near the port.More than a hundred boating accidents happen in Georgia every year, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. Of those accidents, about ten percent result in fatalities. However, even a nonfatal boating accident can have serious repercussions for those involved, including severe injuries and costly medical bills. At the Butler Kahn, we strongly believe that injured Georgians shouldn’t be left to face these difficulties alone when someone else is to blame.

If you have been hurt in a boating accident in Georgia that was someone else’s fault, contact the Butler Kahn right away. Our Atlanta boating accident lawyers have decades of combined legal experience helping people like you get the compensation they’re owed. We offer free consultations, which means it will cost you nothing to learn more about your options for pursuing the justice you deserve.

What Are the Most Common Causes of Boating Accidents?

The most common causes of boating accidents in Georgia include:

  • Operator inattention – Operating a boat while distracted is just as dangerous as driving while distracted. Boat operators need to be constantly on the lookout for other vessels, objects in the water, and other hazards that could potentially cause an accident.
  • Speeding – Operating a boat is not the same as driving a car, especially when turning. It takes much longer for a boat to complete a turn. Speeding makes it that much harder for an operator to avoid a potential collision.
  • Reckless behavior by an operator – An operator who gets too close to other vessels, makes sudden turns, or behaves aggressively in other ways greatly increases the odds of causing an accident.
  • Boating while impaired – One should never drive a car while impaired by drugs or alcohol, and the same is true of operating a boat. Impaired boat operators have a harder time recognizing hazards and have delayed reactions in an emergency situation.
  • Mechanical failure – A mechanical failure can lead to a wide range of injuries, including burns, lacerations, and broken bones, depending on the piece of equipment that fails. Furthermore, those injuries can be compounded if the boat becomes stranded away from shore.
  • Inexperienced operators – Safely handling a boat requires training and practice. Many accidents are caused by inexperienced operators who take unnecessary risks, can’t recognize signs of danger, or don’t know how to respond to an emergency.
  • Passengers slipping on the deck – Water, spilled drinks, and other hazards on the deck of a boat can cause a passenger to slip and either hit the deck or fall into the water.
  • Reckless passengers – Roughhousing, running on a wet deck, improperly using equipment, or distracting an operator can cause innocent bystanders to be injured.
  • Lack of safety equipment – A relatively minor problem on a boat can become much more serious if the boat lacks proper safety equipment. Boats should always be equipped with radios, life jackets, emergency signaling devices, and other safety gear.

What Are Some Consequences of Boating Accidents?

A boating accident can lead to serious consequences, including:

  • Injuries – An accident on the water can lead to serious injuries ranging from lacerations and contusions to fractures and traumatic brain injuries, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
  • Drowning – The biggest danger for those on the water is the chance of drowning. If an accident causes a passenger to fall into the water, they could drown without proper safety equipment and swift intervention. Even if someone who has drowned is resuscitated, they could sustain permanent brain damage.
  • Stranded passengers – Without quick help, a relatively minor accident on the water can have serious consequences. A boat that is not equipped with a radio, signal flares, and other safety equipment can cause hurt passengers to become stranded on the water after an accident, delaying medical treatment and exacerbating their injuries.
  • Property damage – A collision on the water could result in thousands of dollars in property damage, particularly if the vessel sinks as a result.

What Are Some Common Boating Accident Injuries?

Boating accidents frequently result in major injuries, including:

  • Drownings, both fatal and nonfatal
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Lacerations from spinning propeller blades and other sharp objects
  • Crushed or severed limbs
  • Spinal cord damage, including paralysis
  • Burns
  • Injuries to muscles, joints, and connective tissues
  • Broken bones

Who May Be Held Liable in a Boating Accident?

Depending on how the boating accident occurred, there could be several parties who can be held liable for resulting losses, including:

  • The operator of the boat – If the operator was impaired, distracted, speeding, or otherwise negligent, they could be liable for the accident.
  • Passengers – Passengers can be held liable for a boating accident if they behaved dangerously, distracted the driver, or interfered with the safe operation of the boat.
  • The manufacturer of the boat – The manufacturer of a boat can be held liable for an accident if it was caused by a mechanical or design defect of the vehicle.
  • Dockworkers – If a boat is not properly maintained, the dockworkers responsible for keeping it in good order may be liable for a resulting accident.

What Damages Are Available in a Boat Accident Injury Lawsuit?

If you’re left with major injuries and extensive financial losses resulting from a boating accident, it is important to seek the full and fair compensation you deserve. An experienced boating accident lawyer can help you demand compensation for losses, including:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Reduced future earning potential
  • Pain and suffering from your injuries
  • Emotional or mental distress
  • Damaged personal property

What Is the Statute of Limitations for a Boating Accident Lawsuit?

Georgia law gives you two years from the date of a boating accident to file a lawsuit against any liable parties. Missing this deadline will most likely cost you the chance to recover any compensation for your injuries.

Contact a Boating Accident Lawyer in Georgia Today

If you’ve been injured in a boating accident and someone else is at fault, you deserve compensation — compensation that a Georgia boating accident lawyer from the Butler Kahn can help you pursue. Contact us today for a free consultation and learn how we can help.

Picture of Jeb Butler
Jeb Butler’s career as a Georgia trial lawyer has led to a $150 million verdict in a product liability case against Chrysler for a dangerous vehicle design that caused the death of a child, a $45 million settlement for a young man who permanently lost the ability to walk and talk, and numerous other verdicts and settlements, many of which are confidential at the defendant’s insistence. Jeb has worked on several cases that led to systemic changes and improvements in public safety. He has been repeatedly recognized as a Georgia SuperLawyer and ranks among Georgia’s legal elite. Jeb graduated in the top 10% of his class at UGA Law, argued on the National Moot Court team, and published in the Law Review. He is the founding partner of Butler Kahn law firm. Connect with me on LinkedIn
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