While boating can be a fun activity to share with friends and family, it also comes with significant risks if the driver of the boat does not operate it properly. In addition to the potential for injury from a collision, boating accidents also present the risk of drowning. If you sustained an injury in a boat crash, a skilled personal injury attorney could help you seek compensation for your losses.
Many factors can contribute to a boating accident such as operator inattentiveness, inexperience, and intoxication. A Forsyth County boat accident lawyer could assist in determining the cause of your collision and help you hold the responsible party accountable.
Proving Negligence in a Boat Collision
To recover damages in a boat crash case, the plaintiff’s attorney must prove that the defendant’s negligence caused the accident. To prove negligence, a plaintiff must establish four elements including duty of care, breach, causation, and damages. The process of proving negligence is the same regardless of whether the plaintiff was a passenger or the operator of another boat.
Duty of Care
The first element of negligence involves establishing that the defendant owed a duty of care to the plaintiff. People who are driving a boat owe other boat drivers as well as others on the water a duty to boat safely and responsibly while operating their boat.
Damages are only available in a claim when a plaintiff can show that the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff. Proving a breach in the duty of care can be accomplished in many ways, including establishing a defendant was intoxicated or operating the boat in an unsafe manner at the time of the incident.
Causation and Damages
An attorney can demonstrate causation by showing that a plaintiff’s injuries resulted directly from the breach of duty. This means that the plaintiff may not have sustained their injuries if it were not for the defendant’s reckless behavior.
A plaintiff establishes damages through the admission of medical bills or proof of lost wages. A skilled Forsyth County boat accident attorney could help a plaintiff determine the value of their damages as well as help them collect the necessary evidence to prove the other elements of negligence.
Determining Liability in Forsyth County
Injuries in boat accidents can frequently stem from the negligence of a boat operator. However, there are a variety of potentially liable parties in any given boat collision. A knowledgeable Forsyth County boating accident lawyer could review a case and identify if more than one party may be liable for the plaintiff’s injuries.
The Boat Operator
The most common defendant in a boat crash lawsuit is the boat operator. Many boat accidents involve collisions with skiers, fixed objects, other boats, or the shoreline. When an operator causes a boat to collide with something due to their reckless behavior, catastrophic injuries may occur, and they could be held accountable for their actions.
The Boat Owner
Under the Official Code of Georgia 51-1-22, boat owners could face liability even when they are not present during a boating accident. This statute places liability on the owner of a boat for any accident where they gave consent for another person to operate their boat. This consent does not have to be expressed, meaning a boat owner could face liability for not preventing another person from using their vessel.
The Boat Manufacturer
Some boat accidents occur through no fault of the people onboard. When a defective boat part leads to an accident, the passengers and driver injured in the accident may have a viable claim for monetary damages against the boat manufacturer.
Contact a Forsyth County Boat Accident Attorney Today
The consequences of a boat accident can last a lifetime. In addition to the physical injuries, the psychological toll of a boat crash could have a devastating effect. To seek compensation against the person or entity responsible for your accident, contact a Forsyth County boat accident lawyer today.