5 Common Causes of Boating Accidents 

Water activities are popular among Georgia families, especially during the sweltering summer months. Residents flock to lakes across the state to enjoy fun in the sun, setting their sights on places like Lake Oconee, Lake Lanier, Lake Rabun, and Lake Chatuge. But a sun-soaked day on the boat can quickly turn disastrous. More people on the water typically equates to more boating accidents – and more dangerous injuries. So, just what are the main causes of boating accidents?

Let us explain

If you have been injured, Ross Moore Law can help. Our Atlanta boating accident lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve, offering trusted legal advice as you navigate the days ahead.

Read on to learn more about boating accidents – and why our personal injury law firm is uniquely equipped to handle your case!

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Causes of Boating Accidents

There are several repeat causes of most boating accidents. Boating accidents may result from one of the following:

Drug and Alcohol Intoxication

Operating a boat while under the influence is not only illegal, but potentially deadly. In fact, boating while intoxicated (blood alcohol content over 0.8) is the leading cause of fatal boating accidents here in Georgia. While open containers are allowed, the driver must be sober at all times in order to operate the boat safely and prevent accidents. 

Boat Operator Inexperience or Inattention

It’s crucial that the boat operator has adequate experience behind the wheel. While Georgia law permits people aged 16 or older to operate a boat with the proper identification, new drivers are advised to take extra precautions – like never boating alone. Also, because operator inattention is another common cause of accidents, make sure to watch carefully for other vessels, swimmers, animals, etc. while boating in open waters. 

Increased Speeds 

Just like driving a car, boating at excessive speeds increases your risk of an accident. Boaters ignoring the speed limit are more likely to lose control, hit another vessel, or encounter other hazards on the way. Be sure to maintain a safe speed, not only to ensure the safety of those on board, but other boaters as well.

Mechanical Failure

Boat engines or other mechanical components sometimes fail, especially if they are not properly maintained. This can result in a variety of injuries, such as lacerations and burns. Mechanical failure may also produce high amounts of carbon monoxide – a toxic gas that is dangerous when inhaled.

Poor Weather Conditions 

High winds, heavy rain and lightning can make navigating the waterways treacherous. Here in Georgia, summer thunderstorms are a fixture in the forecast, so be sure to check the weather before heading out on the water. If it looks like a storm is approaching, head back to shore immediately. Plus, with temperatures soaring, dehydration is another threat. Make sure to stay hydrated!

Types of Boating Accident Injuries 

While accidents cannot always be avoided, wearing a life jacket can help prevent injury in some cases. Here are some common types of boating accident injuries:

  • Concussions
  • Drowning 
  • Broken Bones 
  • Burns
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBI)
  • Lacerations 
  • Spinal Cord Damage 

If you have been injured in a boating accident, be sure to contact your personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Attorney Ross Moore and his legal team are dedicated to fighting for the damages you deserve – including compensation for medical bills, property damage, and more!

Injured in a Boating Accident? Contact Your Atlanta, GA Boating Accident Lawyer Today!

Here at Ross Moore Law, our injury lawyers are standing by to learn more about your case. If you have been involved in a boating accident, our team will handle your accident claim from start to finish – gathering evidence, negotiating with the insurance company, and fighting for the fair compensation you are entitled to. Plus, we’re equipped to pursue a personal injury lawsuit if necessary.

Our personal injury lawyers near you will advocate on your behalf, freeing you to focus on healing from your accident injuries. For trusted legal representation when you need it most, contact us today to schedule your free consultation.

Our legal team is proud to serve injury victims throughout the state – including Marietta, Athens, Downtown Alpharetta and Atlanta, Georgia. We provide support for the following topics:

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Do I Have a Legal Claim After a Boating Accident in Georgia?

Many Georgia families agree that there’s nothing better than a day on the boat, especially during the hot summer months. Our state is home to many beautiful bodies of water, including Lake Oconee, Lake Lanier, and the Ogeechee River – as well as the sandy beaches lining the coast.  Thousands of boaters hit the waterways each year, but a day of fun in the sun is not always the result. Boating accidents are far too common, resulting in medical bills, lost wages, and costly vehicle repairs. However, do you have any legal claim in boating accident?

Here, Ross Moore Law explains your options.

If you have been involved in an accident here in Georgia, you may be eligible to receive compensation for your boating accident injuries and losses. Here at Ross Moore Law, our injury attorneys can help. Attorney Ross Moore and his skilled legal team are standing by with the legal advice needed to get your future back on track, and to maximize the compensation you receive!

Proving Liability for Boating Accidents in Georgia

Most boating accident claims are filed as negligence lawsuits, used to hold the at-fault party accountable for their actions. Because Georgia has a special consent statute for boat owners, it is possible to hold them liable for any injury or damage that results from their negligent boat operation – whether it violated a Georgia statute or the common law.

Negligent behavior may include the following:

The boat owner, though, cannot be deemed liable if the boat was used without their consent. Note: If an immediate family member is the boat operator, it is presumed that they received permission.

If you are not sure how to prove liability, our Atlanta boating accident lawyers can help. Our law office is skilled in gathering evidence to support injury claims, and we will fight diligently to see justice done.

Is There a Statute of Limitations for Boating Accident Claims?

After your boating accident, it is important to file a claim in a timely manner. The Georgia statute of limitations is two years, meaning that you have two years from the date of the accident to pursue legal action. There is an exception to this rule if one of the at-fault parties has been charged with a crime related to the accident (or could be). In this instance, the statute of limitations clock is paused until the investigation and prosecution conclude – up to six years. Because it is crucial to preserve evidence, our personal injury lawyers recommend filing a claim as soon as possible. This also gives our accident attorneys in Atlanta ample time to build the strongest possible case.

Why You Should Hire an Attorney After a Boating Accident 

The insurance company will be in touch shortly after your boat accident, but it is important to remember that they are not on your side. Focused on paying out as little as possible, the adjuster will likely try to get you to agree to a quick settlement.

Never give a statement or sign any paperwork without first consulting your Atlanta boating accident lawyer. While it is possible to file a claim on your own, you will likely end up settling for much less than you deserve. Instead, let our personal injury attorneys near you handle every aspect of your claim, including communication with the insurance company. We will also calculate the value of your collective damages to get a better idea of what you are entitled to. And if the insurance company refuses to offer a fair settlement, we will file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

You may be eligible for the following types of damages: 

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Contact Your Trusted Atlanta Boating Accident Lawyer Today!

If you or a loved one have been injured in a boating accident, please do not hesitate to reach out to our team! Remember, the sooner you file your case, the better. Our personal injury law firm will get to work immediately after your free consultation.

Here at Ross Moore Law, we provide honest legal advice and personalized service that meets every one of your needs. Our team is focused not only on recovering compensation, but providing peace of mind along the way.

We are proud to serve clients throughout the Atlanta area including Marietta, Athens, Downtown Alpharetta and throughout Georgia. Ross Moore Law provide support for the following topics:

To get started with an initial free consultation, contact Ross Moore Law today!

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Tips for Avoiding a Boating Accident in Georgia

As summer is starting to wind down and Georgians are preparing to get back to a regular fall schedule (or at least as regular as possible in the midst of COVID-19), there are still opportunities to get out on the waterways. Boating is one of the few activities that can be done while properly distanced in an outdoor environment where it is far more difficult for the virus to spread. And Georgia has numerous lakes, rivers, and parks that are perfect for enjoying the great outdoors on a boat.

If you are one of those who is planning a boating excursion, be sure to take all of the proper precautions. There are thousands of boat accidents and hundreds of deaths on the waterways each year, so it is very important to be conscious of boating safety.

Here are seven important tips for preventing a boating accident in Georgia:

Understand and Follow the Boating and Navigation Rules

There are many different rules and regulations that a boater must be familiar with. Some of these are state laws, while others are specific to the waterway in which you will be navigating. Before going out, always know the rules that need to be followed and consider taking a boat safety course at some point so you are educated on all of the best safety practices.

Know What You are Getting Into

Weather conditions are always a major factor when you are preparing for a boating excursion. Hopefully, you will have clear/sunny skies and just enough of a breeze to keep you cool without creating dangerous waves. But we all know that perfect weather conditions are not likely, so we need to always keep abreast of the latest forecast and advisories. Follow any local advisories that have been issued, and if necessary, you might even have to postpone your trip.

Use a Checklist

Many people use a checklist before going on vacation, and a checklist is also a good idea before you go out on a boat. By having a checklist, you will help ensure that all of the pre-launch tasks are completed, and that you do not miss any important details.

Have Adequate Safety Equipment Onboard

One thing that should always be on your checklist is to ensure that there are enough life jackets/vests for everyone to wear, and that there are plenty of flotation devices available in case someone goes overboard. You should also make sure you have a first aid kit on board as well as a fire extinguisher and anchor.

Notify Someone that You are Going on the Water

Whenever you take a boating trip, you should always tell someone who is staying behind where you are going to be and approximately what time you plan to be back. Things can get dicey sometimes on the waterways, and there may even be times when you are out of cell phone coverage and unable to call for help. Having someone onshore who is aware of your trip provides an extra layer of security as they will be able to monitor your progress and contact the authorities to search for you if you do not come back within a reasonable amount of time.

Avoid Intoxication

Just as drinking and driving is a dangerous and often deadly combination, the same holds true for drinking and boating. It is true that alcohol is often a major part of many boat outings, but regardless, whoever is driving the boat needs to be committed to staying sober. No exceptions.

Avoid Distracted Boating

Another important issue that the boat driver needs to be aware of is getting distracted by his/her cell phone. It is tempting to take selfies and videos while out on the water, or even to send and receive electronic messages. But keep in mind that these activities are very dangerous when you are driving a boat, because they distract you visually, manually, and cognitively. If you are driving the boat, the best thing to do with regards to your phone is either leave it onshore or have someone else handle it.

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You can follow all of the laws and best safety practices on the waterways, but unfortunately, you cannot control what others do. If you or someone you know suffered injury in a boat accident, you may be entitled to compensation as long as you were less than 50% at fault. After receiving proper medical care, your next call should be to an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your case.

At Ross Moore Law, we have secured millions of dollars in verdicts and settlements for victims of all types of personal injuries in Georgia. Our Atlanta personal injury law firm offers a track record of successfully managing car accident, truck accident, boating accident, motorcycle accident, wrongful death, catastrophic injury and other personal injury claims throughout Fulton County & the greater state of Georgia.

So, when your ready for experienced legal advice and legal representation, you can message us online or call our office today at (404) 905-3146. Ross Moore Law is are ready with your initial free consultation today!

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