Boat operators have a legal obligation to exercise reasonable care and follow boating regulations while out on the water. When they fail to do so, they may be held liable for any harm that results from their negligence.
If you suffered injuries in a boating accident, you should consult an experienced Atlanta boat accident lawyer. To obtain the compensation to which you may be entitled, you must gather evidence to support your claim. A dedicated personal injury attorney could help collect the evidence necessary to build a successful case.
Establishing Liability in an Atlanta Claim
While boat accidents do not usually involve the intention to cause harm, this does not mean that the boat operator cannot be held liable. Accidents often result from someone’s failure to act responsibly. For instance, someone speeding in their boat in proximity to other boaters may cause an accident because of their reckless operation. This type of failure to exercise responsible behavior may be considered negligence and can be grounds for a legal claim.
To prove that a boater carelessly handled their vessel and that their negligence caused harm, the injured must provide evidence, which can include photos, testimony from witnesses, and police reports. Because witnesses can become more difficult to locate, and their memory may become less reliable as time passes, it is important to speak with any witnesses as soon as possible after an accident. An Atlanta boat accident attorney could help an injured plaintiff identify and interview pertinent witnesses to build a stronger claim.
Compensation for Harm Caused by a Boating Incident
If someone’s negligence causes harm to another, they may be required to pay compensation to offset the effects. A plaintiff may receive compensation regardless of whether a case settles or proceeds to trial. Someone injured in a boating accident may recover damages for:
- Emotional distress;
- Pain and suffering;
- Loss of enjoyment;
- Damage to equipment;
- Medical bills;
- Future medical expenses;
- Past and future lost income.
A skilled boating accident lawyer in Atlanta could assess an injured victim’s case to determine what kinds of compensation they may be entitled to based on the severity of their injuries and the devastating losses they experienced.
Boating Accident Caused by Intoxication
Driving a boat while under the influence of alcohol can be just as dangerous as operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated —and it is just as illegal. Under the Official Code of Georgia §52-7-12, anyone who is under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a watercraft may be subject to criminal and civil liability. If a drunk boater causes an accident, that person may be required to pay punitive damages as well as actual damages because of their particularly egregious behavior.
Contact an Atlanta Boat Accident Attorney
A boating incident can cause severe injuries or even death when its operator fails to act responsibly. If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a boat accident caused by someone’s negligence, you should speak with an experienced Atlanta boat accident lawyer for help pursuing compensation. For a free case consultation, call today.