How a boating accident attorney can help the injured

Numerous boating accidents occur annually in Georgia. As with car crashes, many are minor, but far too many are serious, causing devastating injury or death. Many situational factors contribute to boat crashes, but most have at least some similar traits, according to Georgia boating accident attorney, Kathryn Burmeister.

Common causes of boating accidents

Boating accidents can occur due to any one of the most common causes, but often more than one is involved, according to the United States Coast Guard. The reasons for recreational boat crashes include:

Operator inexperience. Anyone operating a boat in Georgia must have a working knowledge of relevant laws for operating a watercraft as well as the specific requirements associated with the particular craft he or she will operate on the water.

Taking a boating education course represents a first step toward understanding the basics of boat safety. But, just like taking a course on driving a car, it’s a good idea to ask a more experienced driver to come along for the first several outings. Taking a certified boating course in Georgia will give you an awareness of rules and regulations and will help save money on insurance rates.

Operator inattention. The US Coast Guard states that operator inattention is the leading factor, that leads to a boat crash. Everyone loves the thrill of boat rides and the associated party atmosphere that often accompanies it. The banter and laughter coming from passengers have the potential to distract the boat operator. But it’s crucial to remember that while operating the vessel, you have the lives of your passengers at hand. Instead, prioritize safety at all times. Prior to the trip, commit to remaining alert to surroundings, including other boats in the vicinity.

Failure to appoint a lookout. It’s important to appoint someone to act as a lookout for times when the boat is in motion. This is especially crucial when other passengers participate in sports, such as tubing, wakeboarding, or waterskiing. The lookout will alert the boat operator of any dangers like fallen or low power lines, abnormal tidal activity, shoaling areas, dead tree stumps, and the like.

Reckless behavior by drivers, passengers, or water sports participants. Reckless behavior by anyone in a moving boat can have severe consequences, resulting in moderate to severe injury. Burmeister Law Firm has boat accident lawyers who have helped numerous victims of boating accidents sue those responsible for their injuries. Surprisingly, the second leading cause of fatal boating accidents is passengers falling overboard while the boat is in motion. In short, do have fun, but use good judgment while on the water.

Inadequate boat maintenance. Just like your car, boats require regular maintenance, and failure to do so can result in the boat capsizing or engine failure leading to a crash. Improper maintenance can lead to engine failure or steering difficulties, which often leads to injuries of varying degrees, even death. Also, if the boat does not have appropriate safety equipment, such as navigation lights, life preservers, first aid kits, or flares, this can make an unfortunate situation even worse. In fact, failure to maintain the boat may put the owner and operator at fault for any damage or injuries caused by an accident.

Alcohol use on the boat. People commonly consume alcohol while boating, but the operator must never drink alcohol. Operating a boat with a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 percent is a criminal offense — just like when driving a car. Passengers must also refrain from drinking so much that they become a liability to the operator and his ability to remain alert to their surroundings.

Hazardous weather conditions. While people typically engage in recreational boating during the summer months, when the weather is mild, weather conditions can change rapidly. This creates hazardous waters and puts all involved in danger. If strong winds unexpectedly kick up, or dark clouds form, get back to dock as soon as possible. Purposely venturing out in poor weather increases the likelihood of a devastating accident.

A boating accident attorney can help those injured while on the water

If you or a loved one has been injured in a boating accident, the responsible party can typically be held liable for negligence. A boating accident attorney can help you identify which laws were violated and determine financial compensation to seek for covering injuries, wages lost, suffering, etc.

The boating accident lawyers at Burmeister Law Firm will compassionately and expertly assist you in navigating the legal process and act as your advocate every step of the way. It’s important to speak to an attorney about your injuries as soon as possible.

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