Going out on the water with family and friends can be one of the most rewarding leisure experiences. Unfortunately, boating accidents occur all too frequently and can result in severe consequences for those involved. If you were injured on the water, contact a Jonesboro boat accident lawyer to start the process of making you whole again.
Even if you are not sure whose fault the accident was, your trustworthy personal injury attorney could help determine your legal rights and the compensation you may be eligible to receive by going to court or reaching a settlement. Let a legal advocate handle the complicated legal matters and allow you to focus on your rest and recovery.
Legal Duties of Boat Owners Involved in Accidents
All Jonesboro boat owners and operators must adhere to the rules and regulations stipulated by the Georgia Boat Safety Act as laid out in Official Code of Georgia Annotated § 52-7. A violation of the Georgia Boat Safety Act is a misdemeanor and can affect an injured boater’s legal right to compensation in the event of an accident. Important safety rules that boat operators must adhere to include:
- A duty for the operator of a vessel involved in an accident to assist other persons affected by the accident if the operator can do so safely;
- A duty for the operator of a powered vessel to reduce its wake when approaching nonpowered vessels to ensure the safety of the occupants of the nonpowered vessel; and
- If traveling at more than idle speed, a duty to keep the vessel more than 100 feet away from any swimmer, structure, or vessel outside of normal traffic channels.
The Act also stipulates that an owner must salvage a vessel within 12 months of sinking or the owner forfeits all property rights to the vessel. A local boat accident attorney could keep a plaintiff informed of this rule to ensure that they retain their rights to the vessel.
Legal Deadlines for Lawsuits in Jonesboro
Most types of lawsuits have a statute of limitations that determines how long an individual can wait to bring a lawsuit depending on the situation. If an individual fails to commence a lawsuit within the designated statutory timeframe, they will be unable to use the legal system to win compensation for their injuries.
Lawsuits arising from boating accidents are governed by O.C.G.A. § 9-3-33 and require commencement of a personal injury lawsuit within two years of the accident date. A boat owner may also bring a lawsuit for damage to personal property if their boat was damaged due to another party’s conduct. A lawsuit for personal property damage must commence within four years of the occurrence of the damage.
If the owner of the boat was also physically injured in the accident, O.C.G.A. § 51-1-32 creates separate causes of action for the owner’s physical injuries and the damage to the boat. This means that the two-year statute of limitations applies to that claim, and the four-year statute of limitations applies to the personal property damage claim. It is an injured individual’s choice whether to bring a lawsuit for both of these claims at the same time or separately. A Jonesboro water vessel collision lawyer could help determine the best legal strategy for the specific circumstances.
Contact a Jonesboro Boat Accident Attorney to Learn Your Legal Rights
Boating accidents are common enough that all recreants must be cautious when they go out into the water. If you were injured in this manner, reach out for a free consultation with a Jonesboro boat accident layer today to determine the best legal strategy. Your lawyer could advocate for you and take care of the entire legal process so you can focus on your recovery and wellbeing.