One of the best parts of living in the south is that we can enjoy outdoor
activities for a much larger part of the year than our northern neighbors.
Unfortunately, due to the negligence of some, these outdoor activities
can present dangers for all of us. Nowhere is this more apparent than
it is on our waterways. Boating accidents injure and kill Georgians every year.
Boating while intoxicated (BUI) is a serious crime that can seriously injure other people on the
water. If you have been injured by an intoxicated boater, you should call
the Atlanta accident attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
Number of Boating Accidents Down
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that the number of boating accidents
in Georgia is falling, and that this decline coincides with increased
enforcement of BUI laws. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has
increased its efforts to police our lakes and waterways. As of this past
Friday the number of accidents was down to 91 so far this year, while
at the same time last year there had been 99 accidents. The number of
drownings related to boating accidents is also down this year as compared
to last year. Unfortunately, not all of the statistics for this year are
good. A total of 17 people had lost their lives as a result of boating
accidents going into Labor Day weekend this year, whereas only 12 people
had last year.
Intoxicated Boaters Can Be Held Responsible for Injuring Others
Those who operate a boat while intoxicated run the risk of serious criminal
penalties. Those they injure have a remedy outside of the criminal courts.
The criminal courts are designed to punish the wrongdoer, while the civil
courts are designed in part to make the injured parties whole. Now, a
court can not undo an injury or death caused by a drunken boater, but
the civil courts can force these dangerous boaters to pay financially
for the damage they cause. This sort of personal injury case would involve
a claim of negligence. The basic legal theory would be that the boater,
in operating the boat, had a duty to do so reasonably safely and legally.
By operating the boat while intoxicated and taking some dangerous action
(or failing to take a necessary action) the drunk boat operator breached
that duty. When he or she did so, he or she caused the plaintiff to be
harmed. So long as the plaintiff can prove damages, which can include
things like medical bills and lost wages, the civil courts may hold the
boat operator liable for negligence.
Contact Goldstein & Hayes, P.C.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a drunken boater, the
experienced attorneys at Goldstein & Hayes, P.C. are here to help
you with your case.Contact us today for a free consultation.