South Georgia is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country and has an abundance of lakes and rivers perfect for all kinds of water activities. The problem is: accidents happen more often than you may think and the injuries they cause can be catastrophic. If you have been injured in a boating accident caused by the negligence or recklessness of a boating operator in Fancy Bluff Creek, Hickory Bluff, or any other body of water near Brunswick, you may be entitled to receive compensation for the damages your injury has burdened you with. Seek legal advice from a qualified Brunswick boat accident lawyer from Roden Law. Our law firm has decades of combined experience helping injury victims recover compensation for injuries just like yours.
We offer a free, no-obligation consultation so that you can get the legal answers you need. If you decide to move forward, we will be able to guide you through the entire legal process. We offer our services on a contingency fee basis, so there are no legal costs to you unless we recover fair compensation on your behalf.
If you've been in a recent boating accident, access our free Boat Accident Checklist for essential post-accident guidance.
Georgia Maritime Laws and Regulations
Boating can be a dangerous recreational activity, particularly when operators are careless or fail to obey laws and regulations in place to help keep people safe and protect them from injury. Learn more about some of Georgia’s regulations for boaters. If the operator who caused your injury violated one of these regulations, it may be easier to prove negligence and obtain compensation.
Who Can Operate a Boat?
Anyone who is at least 16 years old can operate any boat in Georgia if they have passed a boater education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources and have valid identification. Children from 12 to 15 years of age can legally operate any vessel less than 16 feet, but they must also pass the boater education course and be accompanied by an adult.
Children age 12 years or younger are not permitted to operate a boat 16 feet in length. However, they may legally operate a vessel that is non-motorized or powered by a motor of 30 horsepower or less, provided they are accompanied by an adult.
Required On-Board Equipment
It is important to be well-equipped when traveling in bodies of water. Some required items include:
- Personal flotation device – Those under 13 years of age are required to wear a flotation device at all times on any moving vessel. On a personal watercraft such as jet skis, all people of any age are required to wear one.
- Fire extinguisher – It is crucial that all watercrafts be prepared for fires. Unlike fires on shore, it may take a while for help to reach the scene and passengers’ only escape route is into the water.
- Horn, whistle or bell – It is important for vessels to carry an audible sound signal in situations when there is low visibility.
- Ventilation system – This crucial tool removes flammable gases that could potentially cause explosions.
- Mufflers – Mufflers prevent backwards water flow that can damage the vessel’s engine.
- Backfire flame arrestor – Internal combustion engines can easily backfire, producing flames that cause fires. Backfire flame arrestors prevent the ignition of gasoline vapors that cause these backfires. All boats with an inboard engine must contain an approved backfire flame arrestor.
In Georgia, it is illegal to obstruct navigation. This includes:
- Anchoring a boat in the traveled section of a river or channel that will interfere or prevent the passing of other boats
- Attaching a boat to a buoy, light, beacon or any other navigational aid placed on waters by the authorities.
- Moving, displacing, damaging, tampering or destroying any navigational aid
- Obstructing a boat ramp, wharf, or pier
Reckless operation of a boat or personal watercraft refers to the disregard for others’ safety. This includes:
- Causing damage from the wake of the vessel
- Jumping the wake of another boat within 100 feet of other boats
- Water skiing close to swimmers
- Failing to regulate speed near swimming zones
Georgia law prohibits anyone from boating under the influence (BUI) of alcohol. Those arrested for boating under the influence may lose their boating privileges and be charged with fines up to $1,000 or could face incarceration for up to one year.
If you were injured in a boating accident caused by any of the above violations, you may be entitled to pursue compensation. Our Brunswick personal injury lawyers at Roden Law can answer all your legal questions during a free consultation.
Types of Boating Accident Injuries
Getting injured may be the last thing on your mind when you go boating, but it happens more often than you may realize. Some potential injuries from boating accidents include:
- Broken bones
- Head injury
- Spinal cord injuries
- Cardiac arrest
Boating accidents typically occur when people underestimate the potential dangers. The boating operator has a duty of care to ensure that all passengers are safe from harm. If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, it is important that you seek legal help right away as these types of accidents are complicated.
Our team at Roden Law is here to answer your legal questions. Do not hesitate in contacting our Brunswick boat accident lawyers for your free, no obligation consultation.
Call us at 1-844-RESULTS today.
Types of Boating Accidents We Cover
Our attorneys have seen many different types of boating accidents, including:
- Collisions involving two or more vessels
- Collisions with stagnant objects such as rocks or land
- Collisions with people in the water
- Crashing after hitting another boat’s wake
- Slip and falls
At Roden Law we handle many types of boat accidents involving various types of watercraft, including:
- Cabin boats
- Deck boats
- Inflatable water boats
- Jet skis
- Pontoon boats
If you have been injured on any of the above vessels in any of the above situations, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney you can trust with your case. Our Brunswick boating accident attorneys are here to help you seek compensation for your injuries. We will fight hard to negotiate a settlement that you deserve.
Contact us by filling out this Free Case Evaluation form.
What is Negligence in a Boating Accident?
In order to build a strong case and fight for compensation, you must prove that the operator’s negligence or recklessness contributed to the boating accident.
Common examples of negligence that could lead to boating accidents include:
- Making sharp turns
- Ignoring inclement weather
- Traveling with too many people
- Overloading the boat with excess cargo beyond the boat’s capacity
- Failing to pay attention
- Defective or malfunctioning equipment
- Poorly maintaining the vessel
Who is Liable for a Boating Accident?
Typically, boating accidents are caused by the operator of the boat who was acting in a negligent manner. Depending on the type of situation, other parties may be at-fault and held accountable. These parties may include:
- The owner of the boat
- The company that manufactured the boat or equipment on the vessel
- The rental company
- Other passengers, if they act negligently
Determining fault in boating accidents can be complicated. It is important to seek a skilled attorney to help you determine fault. Our Brunswick boat accident attorneys can guide you through the entire legal process. Your attorney will investigate the accident, handle all communication with other involved parties and submit important documentation on your behalf. Talk to our attorneys at Roden Law today.
Start by scheduling your free consultation HERE.
Seek Help from a Brunswick Boat Accident Lawyer
Our attorneys understand how difficult these situations can be for the victim and his or her family. We want to ensure that your main focus is on your healing and well-being. We will handle the entire legal process and work hard to pursue a compensation that can help you move forward with your life.
Contact us today for your free, no-obligation consultation to discuss your legal rights. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you do not pay us unless we obtain compensation for your case.