Coastal Georgia is one of the most beautiful places in the world to go boating – rivers, inlets and the Atlantic Ocean are all nearby. But boating poses special hazards and can become dangerous. If you or a loved one was injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries.
At Roden Law, we have skilled Savannah boating accident lawyers on our team to assist people just like you. We have years of experience helping our clients obtain compensation for their injuries, and we can help you get maximum compensation for your claim.
There is no risk to you to contact us, because we offer a free consultation and charge no upfront fees of any kind. We do not get paid unless we are able to help you get compensation for your injuries. Contact our law firm today to find out how we can help you.
Call 1-844-RESULTS to schedule a free consultation with a boating accident attorney in Savannah.
If you've recently experienced a boating accident, consult our complimentary checklist for immediate actions after a Boat Accident.
Causes of Boating Injuries
Operating a water vessel does not have as many rules and regulations as driving on the road, which can cause boaters to be less cautious and can lead to serious injuries and deaths on the water.
Some of the most common situations in which a boating accident can occur include:
- Jet skiing
- Water skiing
- Wake boarding
Injuries from boating accidents may be caused by:
- Boating under the influence of alcohol
- Being struck by a boat
- Boat capsizing
- Colliding with another boat
- Falling off a boat
- Slipping and falling on deck
- Moving or using equipment while onboard
- Being struck by a propeller
- Explosions or fires
- Faulty or defective boat equipment
- Boating in adverse weather conditions
- Operator negligence or speeding
- Not wearing a life vest
According to statistics compiled by the United States Coast Guard and nationwide states and territories, 78 percent of all fatalities from boating accidents across the country in 2014 were due to drowning. Of those reporting usage of life jackets, 84 percent of those who drowned were not wearing a life vest. In Georgia specifically, there were 44 drownings in 2016.
If you believe another’s actions caused your injuries, contact a Savannah boating accident lawyer at Roden Law to discuss your right to compensation. If you have a valid claim, we will handle all of the details for you so you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Fill out our Free Case Evaluation form so we can review your claim.
Types of Boating Injuries
The water adds an element of danger to boating that is not an issue with land-based forms of recreation or transportation. Because of this, the injuries can be different and can include:
- Drowning or near drowning
- Carbon monoxide exposure
- Electrocution from a stray current
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Exposure to toxic substances (boat paint, cleaners, antifreeze)
- Puncture wounds
If you have been injured in a boating accident, schedule an appointment today with a skilled Savannah boating accident lawyer. Our team has proven results in helping our clients obtain the compensation they need from their injuries.
Call now to schedule your free case review: 1-844-RESULTS
Getting Compensation After a Boating Accident
Being injured in a boating accident can be a difficult situation, especially if a friend was operating the boat carelessly. That is why it is important to hire an attorney who can handle the situation with compassion and professionalism.
We are well-versed in dealing with the insurance companies on our clients’ behalf and can help you obtain fair compensation for your injuries, which could include:
- Emergency room visits
- Ambulance service
- Doctors’ visits
- Scans (MRI, CT scans, X-rays, etc.)
- Physical therapy
- Lost wages
- Lost future earnings
- Pain and suffering
If insurance compensation is not available, your Savannah boating accident attorney may discuss the option of suing the at-fault party for compensation. It is important to act quickly, because Georgia’s deadline for filing a personal injury lawsuit is only two years, and it is an extensive process to build a claim and file a suit.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation with a trustworthy Savannah boating accident lawyer to see what we can do for you.
Fill out a Free Case Evaluation form so we can review your claim.
Georgia Boating Laws
Like driving a car, there are several rules that boaters must follow when operating a boat to ensure the safety of those on the vessel and in the water nearby. Any failure to adhere to these boating laws and regulations could lead to serious injuries for the boat operator and others. Negligent boaters could also potentially be held liable for any injuries they cause.
Who Can Operate a Watercraft?
Georgia has specific laws regarding who can operate a boat, including the following:
- Children under the age of 12 may operate non-motorized vessels that are less than 16 feet long. If they are accompanied by a competent adult, they may operate a boat with a motor up to 30 horsepower.
- Georgia defines “competent adult” as someone who is age 18 or older, sober, and with a valid photo ID in his or her possession.
- Boat operators between the ages of 12 and 15 can operate any boat less than 16 feet long if they have passed a boating education course approved by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) or are accompanied by a competent adult.
- Boat operators age 16 or older may operate any type of boat if they have a valid ID and have passed Georgia’s boater education course.
- Boat operators who were born on or after January 1, 1998 must pass a boating education course.
- Boat operators who were born before January 1, 1998, are not legally required to pass a boating education course, but the DNR strongly recommends that they do.
Boating education courses can be taken in a classroom setting or online. Taking this course instructs the boater about how to properly and safely operate a boat.
Safe operation of a boat requires that the vessel have the proper safety equipment on board. This includes:
- Fire extinguisher
- Horn, whistle or bell
- Ventilation system
All boats must also have a personal flotation device (life jacket) for each person on the boat. Everyone on a personal watercraft and those under the age of 13 must wear a life jacket at all times while on a moving vessel. If a boat operator does not have enough life vests and someone on board drowns or almost drowns as a result, the boat operator could be liable.
Boating Under the Influence
The Georgia Boat Safety Act prohibits anyone from operating a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, including all boats, personal watercraft, sailboats, water skis or other devices.
Anyone under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.02 is considered intoxicated under the law, while those who are 21 and older who have a BAC of 0.08 or more are considered intoxicated. Those convicted of boating under the influence can face serious fines, charges, potential jail time and loss of boating privileges.
In 2016, 182 charges of boating under the influence were issued in the state, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division.
Reckless Operation of a Boat
If an individual is reckless when operating a boat, he or she places everyone in and around the vessel in danger. Because of this, certain dangerous operations are illegal, including:
- Operating a boat faster than is reasonable and prudent for the conditions, such as in poor weather, in heavy boat traffic, or near swimming areas and docks
- Overloading a boat beyond the recommended capacity
- Jumping the wake of another boat within 100 feet of that boat or other boats
- Not maintaining the proper distance while operating a boat or while towing a person on water skis – generally 100 feet from other boats, docks, peers and the shoreline
- Not slowing down to idle speed within 100 feet of docks, piers, bridges, shorelines or people in the water
If a boating operator violates any of these boating laws, he or she could potentially be held liable for any resulting injuries. Contact our attorneys today to find out if you have a case.
Schedule your free consultation by calling 1-844-RESULTS.
What to Do if You Are in a Boating Accident in Georgia
If you are operating a boat in Georgia and are involved in an accident, you must do the following right away:
- Stop the boat or vessel.
- As much as possible, assist anyone who is injured or in danger.
- Write down your name, address and vessel identification for anyone who is injured and to the owner of any damaged property.
- File an accident report with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources within five days of the accident.
- Report the accident within 48 hours if anyone involved in the accident dies, is disabled, requires medical treatment, or disappears.
Anyone injured in the accident should contact a reputable Savannah boating accident lawyer as soon as possible to help protect their legal rights. It may be possible to hold the negligent boater liable for your injuries, but you will need the guidance of an experienced attorney.
Our boating accident attorneys in Savannah are ready to listen to your case and evaluate your claim. We charge no upfront fees, and we offer a free consultation. Contact Roden Law today so we can start reviewing your accident case.
Contact Our Savannah Boating Accident Attorneys
Boat operators are liable for themselves and the people riding on their vessels. If you have been injured in a water accident, the team at Roden Law can evaluate your claim and discuss your legal options with you. We can handle everything with the insurance company so you can focus on healing from your injuries.
Our boating accident lawyers in Savannah have helped our clients get the compensation owed to them for their injuries. We work purely on contingency, which means you pay us nothing unless we help you obtain compensation. There is no risk to you and no obligation.
We understand how difficult it is to recover from a boating accident physically, personally and financially. Roden Law can help you recover the compensation that is owed to you. Contact us today to have a Savannah boating accident lawyer help you get your life back on track.