Georgia Personal Injury Attorneys Offer Tips for Safe Boating on Georgia Waterways
Now that summer has arrived and temperatures are rising, many people are preparing for boating excursions to fish, ski, wakeboard or otherwise enjoy the waterways of Georgia. Although boating is a fun source of recreation, a boat can pose a serious risk of injury when not operated safely. There were approximately 112 boating incidents in Georgia in 2013 that cause 27 drownings, 16 other fatalities and 59 additional injuries according to the most recent data from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.
Boating accidents can cause debilitating injuries that cause victims to incur substantial medical expenses and prolonged periods of disability. Many accidents that occur when watercrafts are navigating the Georgia waterways are the result of unsafe practices, such as boating under the influence, traveling at an unsafe speed and failing to keep a safe lookout for swimmers in the water and other vessels. When a boating accident is caused by these types of careless or inattentive boating practices or other forms of negligence, a negligent boat operator can be liable for injuries and fatalities caused by careless or reckless boat operators.
Our Georgia boating accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have provided some suggestions for those getting their boat ready for summer fun:
• Never Drink and Boat: While this may seem like common sense, anyone who has been boating knows that the practice of operating boats while intoxicated is far too common. Alcohol and drug use impairs the physical and mental ability of people to operate any type of motor vehicle. Because boats are less responsive in terms of steering and lack braking ability, impaired operators arguably pose a more serious risk then intoxicated drivers behind the wheel of a car.
• Perform Necessary Maintenance: When a boat malfunctions because of neglected maintenance issues, this increases the risk of boating accidents. If someone is injured as a result of maintenance issues, you can be liable for injuries resulting from the improper functioning of the boat.
• Wear Life Jackets: The best practice is to have all occupants wear life jackets. At the very least, you should always have enough life jackets on board for all boat occupants and make sure they are readily accessible. Further, the U.S. Coast Guard mandates that all child passengers 13 and under wear a life vest anytime the vessel is in motion.
• Comply with Boat Capacity Limits: Boats are rated for a maximum number of passengers and maximum weight. These limits should be carefully observed because overloading a boat increases the risk that the boat will capsize or take on water and sink.
• Exercise Caution with Rental Boats: When you rent a boat, you might have little or no information about maintenance of the vessel. You might want to confirm that the boat has been recently maintained. Renters also typically will be asked to sign a waiver of liability. This form might result in your signing away your rights to compensation for injuries caused by the negligence of the boat rental company. This type of document should never be signed without reading it carefully and understanding the consequences of signing.
Put Our Law Firm's Over 37 Years of Experience to Work For Your Case
If you or a family member is injured in a boating accident or a loved one dies, you may have a right to compensation for your injuries or loss. Our Atlanta boating accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.