In order to take advantage of the state’s beautiful shoreline and lakes, thousands of Georgia residents spend time boating and enjoying other nautical recreational activities each year. While boating can be an extremely enjoyable way to spend your time, it also carries with it a risk of serious injury.
When serious boating accidents happen, victims’ lives can be changed in an instant. In addition, some boating accidents may even be fatal or lead to serious drowning incidents, leaving victims’ families and loved ones trying to make sense of a senseless tragedy. Under Georgia law, when people are injured by accidents caused by negligence, they may be able to recover for their losses by filing a legal claim against the responsible party or parties. A boating accident lawyer can help you determine what course of action to take.
There are several parties that could be held liable in a boating accident that resulted in injury, including the following:
Other Boaters – Other boaters are among the most common causes of boating accidents. Despite Georgia’s prohibition on boating while intoxicated, many people still view boating and drinking alcohol as going hand in hand. In addition, many boaters may fail to pay attention due to a variety of distractions, including reading, looking at scenery, talking to passengers, or using a cell phone or other personal electronic device. Many boaters also may not be qualified to pilot their watercraft, or may not be aware of how to properly operate it. If any of these or similar issues caused an accident, it may be sufficient to establish liability on the part of another boater.
Boat Manufacturers – Under general product liability principles, people who are injured by defectively designed, manufactured, or marketed boats may be able to recover for their injuries. Defective design claims arise when a boat is designed in such a way as to make it inherently dangerous. For example, if a boat is unreasonably prone to capsizing because of its design, it is likely that it has been designed defectively. On the other hand, a defective manufacture claim will be based on some issue that occurred in the manufacturing process, such as the use of defective materials or poorly sealed seams. Finally, marketing defects involve a failure to warn a consumer about a non-obvious danger that could have been easily mitigated by providing a warning.
The Driver of the Boat on Which You Are Passenger – In addition to boaters in other boats, the person operating your boat may also be at fault in causing an accident. Similarly, any instances of boating while intoxicated, distracted boating, boating too fast, or other forms of negligence may be sufficient to establish legal liability.
Marinas – Companies that are in the business of renting boats to consumers have a duty to ensure that the watercraft that they rent are safe to use and free from dangerous defects. If an accident occurs because a marina rents out a boat that is unsafe to operate, victims may be able to recover from the rental company for any losses they sustain.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Lawyer Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
The Atlanta injury attorneys of Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC are dedicated to helping people affected by boating accidents obtain justice through the legal system. We are available for an initial consultation to discuss your case with you at no cost to you, and generally do not charge any attorney’s fees unless we bring your case to a successful resolution.
In addition, we are committed to making ourselves available and keeping you fully in the loop as to the progress of your case. To schedule a free consultation, call our office today at (404) 869-8600.