Georgia is home to many lakes and rivers, including Lake Chehaw in Albany. This is why boating is a popular leisure activity in this state. Unfortunately, as more people hit the water, there is a greater the risk of a boating accident that could result in serious injury. If you or someone you love has been injured in a boating accident because of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for any medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. The Albany boating accident lawyers at Roden Law can help you pursue the fair compensation you deserve. We know how important compensation is when you are trying to recover from a serious injury and move on with your life.
Contact us today for a risk free, no obligation consultation to have an Albany personal injury attorney review your case. There are no upfront fees or costs involved. You do not pay us anything unless we recover the compensation you deserve.
What to Do If Injured on a Boat
A boating accident can be a frightening experience, which is why it is difficult to understand exactly what to do or how to respond when it happens. By taking the following steps after a boat accident you can help ensure your health and safety and preserve your claim for compensation:
Seeking Prompt Medical Attention
Call 9-1-1 and obtain medical attention right away even if you consider your injuries to be minimal. Some significant injuries caused by a boating accident may not be immediately noticeable.
Before help arrives, you should ensure your safety first and then the safety of others on-board. Use an on-board emergency medical kit until help arrives. If someone falls overboard, throw him or her a life jacket or floating ring to help prevent drowning.
Once you have called the authorities and sought medical attention, you should gather evidence about the accident. This includes the names, addresses, phone numbers and insurance information of the boat operators and anyone else who may have contributed to the accident.
Collecting the registration or identification number of the other vessels involved is also critical, including the names and contact information of any eyewitnesses who may have witnessed the boating accident from ashore or from another nearby vessel. It may be hard to track these people down later so it is best to do it while they are still at the scene.
Reporting the Accident
Under federal law, you are required to file an accident report within five days of a boating accident with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. However, a report must be filed within just 48 hours if a person dies within 24 hours of the accident, requires medical treatment, becomes disabled for more than 24 hours, or disappears from a vessel due to the accident.
The operator of the boat should be the one to report the boating accident. If the operator is unable to for any reason, the owner of the boat can submit the report.
When you report the accident, provide the basic facts, but do not volunteer any unnecessary information or speculation as to the cause of the accident. Even if you believe you were responsible for the boating accident, you should not accept responsibility for the crash. Let the investigation take place so all the facts can come out. Saying you are at fault could hurt your chances of obtaining compensation.
Calling an Attorney
When a boating accident is caused by another person’s negligence, the victim may have the legal right to file a lawsuit and be entitled to compensation for any damages and injuries.
You should consult with a knowledgeable Albany boating accident lawyer after a boating accident to discuss your legal options for obtaining compensation. Filing a boating injury claim can be a tricky situation if you are not familiar with Georgia laws, statutes and regulations applicable to your claim.
The skilled personal injury lawyers at Roden Law have years of experience helping accident victims pursue compensation. We are dedicated to helping the injured receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for their injury claim.
To find out how we can help, call us at 1-844-RESULTS if you were injured in a boating accident.
Common Boating Accidents
Operating a boat can be a fun and thrilling experience, but it also comes with the obligation of ensuring the safety of everyone on the vessel. When boat operators are reckless, it can result in many types of accidents, such as:
- Collisions with other vessels
- Fires or explosions
- Not wearing a life vest
- Getting hit by a propeller
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Collisions with people in the water
- Capsizing of the boat
- Slip and fall accidents
- Flooding on the boat
- People falling off the boat
People often operate boats more recklessly than cars, traveling at excessive speeds or under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Other common contributing factors of boating accidents include:
- Operating in rough weather conditions
- Not paying attention when operating a boat
- Operator inexperience
- Machinery failure
- Jet skiing too close to other boats, docks or the shore
- Hazardous waters
- Violating navigation rules
- Failure to carry safety equipment on-board
- Jumping the wake of another boat
- Overloading or overcrowding the vessel
Even if you or the boat driver take all the necessary precautions when operating a boat, another driver may not be as responsible and attentive. In the state of Georgia, there were a total of 135 boating accidents in 2017 alone, including 12 in Albany.
This is why if you or someone you know was injured in a boating accident caused by another boater’s negligence, you will need an Albany boating accident attorney's legal help if you want to obtain adequate compensation for any damages or injuries done to you or to your vessel.
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Type of Injuries Caused
Boating and being out on the open water is a favorite pastime for many in the Albany area. While boating is typically a safe recreational activity, there are situations that can result in serious injuries that may require ongoing treatment.
Some of the common types of injuries caused by boating-related accidents include:
- Drowning or near drowning
- Cardiac arrest
- Burn injuries
- Head trauma
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bruises or lacerations
- Broken bones
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
Boat operators can be held liable for causing such serious injuries or even death because they have a legal responsibility to operate their vessels in a safe manner. An attorney can help bring a boating accident claim for any property damage, permanent injury, medical expenses and trauma.
Contact a qualified Albany boating accident lawyer who has the knowledge and resources to hold negligent boat operators accountable for their actions and secure adequate compensation for the injuries they have caused.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-844-RESULTS.
Parties Liable After a Boating Accident
Those who operate a boat and do so negligently can be held liable for boating accidents. However, it can often be difficult to prove liability in a boating accident.
Your Albany boating accident lawyer must prove that the at-fault party failed to use reasonable care when operating the boat. This means the boat operator failed to act the way a reasonable person would if he or she was in the same situation.
Examples of parties that can be held liable after a boating accident include:
- The boat operator – For example, an operator could potentially be held liable if he or she failed to take steps to ensure passenger safety, was boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol, was operating the vessel carelessly or recklessly, or disregarding boating laws.
- The boat owner – Sometimes owners are held liable for knowingly loaning the vessel to someone not qualified to operate it.
- The boat manufacturer – If the accident was caused by defective equipment, the boat manufacturer may be held liable.
- The boat rental company – For example, maybe the boat rental company failed to fix any maintenance problems on the vessel.
- The boat passengers – If a passenger acted in a negligent or reckless manner causing injury to another passenger or prevented the operator from operating the boat safely, the passenger could be found at fault.
If you were involved in a boating accident, and sustained serious injuries or losses as a result, you may be entitled to sue the party you believe to be at-fault. Though it may be difficult to prove negligence in certain boating accidents, with a skilled and knowledgeable Albany boating accident attorney on your side, obtaining the compensation you need and deserve might be possible.
Fill out a Free Case Review form to get started.
Georgia Boating Laws and Regulations
Under Georgia law, any boat operator 16 years of age or older can operate any type of boat if they have passed a boater education course and have a valid ID. Boat operators born before Jan. 1, 1998 are not required to pass an education course. However, even if an operator has not taken a course, he or she must comply with Georgia boating laws. Operators could be found at fault for an accident if they were violating boating laws.
One of the most important Georgia boating laws is the 100-foot law, which requires all boat operators to slow down to idle speed when they are within 100 feet of any vessel which is moored, anchored, or adrift outside of normal traffic channels. This also includes maintaining idle speed within 100 feet of docks, piers, wharfs, shorelines, bridges, or people in the water nearby.
This means that it is illegal for boat operators to:
- Follow another vessel too closely
- Jump the wake of another vessel
- Zip along shorelines where vessels are anchored
- Change or reverse course to ride or jump the wake of a vessel
- Overtake or pass another vessel without sound signals
Taking a boating education course can help boat operators become responsible and educated on boating safety and boating laws.
At Roden Law, our Albany boating accident lawyers have detailed knowledge of Georgia boating laws and how to apply them to your case.
If you suffered a boating accident on Georgia waters, call us at 1-844-RESULTS to help you file a claim.
Obtaining Compensation for a Boat Accident
After a boating accident, you may be entitled to many forms of compensation for personal injuries or any property damages. These can include recovering compensation for medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, permanent disability and even wrongful death.
This is why it is important to hire an attorney who can deal with the insurance companies on your behalf and obtain fair compensation for your injuries. If your immediate needs and expenses are not covered by the insurance company, an Albany boating accident lawyer can help discuss the legal options of suing the at-fault party for compensation.
Filing a personal injury claim after a boating accident must be done quickly in order to meet Georgia’s statute of limitations which is only two years from the date of injury or from the date the injury was discovered. If you fail to file within the two years, you lose the right to do so.
You need a skilled Albany boating accident attorney to help you through this process. We have dealt with many types of these cases and know how to build a strong case so your claim is successful.
Call Roden Law right now at 1-844-RESULTS.
Contact an Albany Boating Accident Attorney
If you or a loved one were involved in a boating accident, our personal injury lawyers understand the difficulty of recovery. While obtaining compensation cannot change what happened, it can help you adjust to life after an injury.
At Roden Law, our Albany boating accident attorneys are committed to fighting for the rights of the injured. Those harmed by others because of negligent or reckless behavior must be held accountable, and the victims should get the compensation they are entitled to.
Contact us today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We work on a contingency fee basis, which means we do not charge for any services unless we are successful obtaining the compensation owed to you.