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 & Lina, LLC.
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 & Lina, LLC
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries due to a drunken boater, the experienced attorneys at Goldstein Hayes & Lina, LLC are here to help you with your case. Contact us today for a free consultation.