Boating is a beloved pastime of many Georgia residents. As long as you are following the applicable state laws and acting responsibly while operating your vessel, going out on the water is generally a fun and safe way to spend time outdoors. However, not all boaters adhere to this basic duty to protect the safety of others, and sometimes their negligence can lead to serious, life-altering injuries.
If a boat collision or other type of accident involving the reckless use of a watercraft has left you severely harmed, contact a Kennesaw boat accident lawyer to discuss your legal options. With support from an experienced injury attorney, you could more effectively enforce your rights and demand adequate restitution.
Any boater that gets into an accident on the water is obligated under Official Code of Georgia §52-7-14 to render aid to anyone else involved in the incident, so long as doing so does not put the operator or their passengers at risk. After offering assistance as needed, the boater must provide their name, address, and vessel identification information to every person who suffered injury or personal property damage in the incident.
All accidents involving physical injuries or property damage totaling $2,000 or more in value must be reported to the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR) within five days of the collision. If any injuries caused by the accident require medical care, or if the accident directly results in a disappearance, permanently disabling injury, or death within 24 hours, the deadline for filing a report with the DNR is 48 hours after the incident. A Kennesaw boat accident attorney could assist with fulfilling these requirements prior to building a civil claim.
If someone’s reckless behavior directly causes a boat accident, they may be held legally responsible for the accident and all ensuing damages. Importantly, O.C.G.A. §51-1-22 allows an injured party to hold the vessel’s owners liable under such circumstances, even if they were not operating the vessel when the incident occurred.
Compensable losses can be economic or non-economic in nature, and may include:
As a boat collision attorney in Kennesaw could further explain, any percentage of total fault a court assigns to an injured party for causing or worsening their damages could be held against them as a deduction from their final damage award. Additionally, any person found equally or more to blame for an accident than all other parties combined is ineligible to recover any compensation at all. An experienced lawyer could help ensure that an injured person does not face more than their fair share of the blame for an accident and pursue the compensation they deserve from the negligent party.
Although it may seem obvious that someone else’s carelessness caused your harm, there is still a legal process that must be followed to prove negligence in court. Determining fault for a boating accident can be a complex process, particularly if the defendant is claiming that you caused or contributed to your own injuries. Understanding and overcoming these obstacles could be much easier with seasoned legal representation on your side.
A dedicated Kennesaw boat accident lawyer could provide tireless support from beginning to end of your legal proceedings. Call the Gunn Law Group today to schedule your free case consultation.