Boating and other water-based activities are very popular pastimes in Georgia, and the state’s abundance of rivers, lakes and attractive coastal waters mean that enthusiasts are never short of options when it comes to spending time on the water.
Unfortunately, however, Georgia’s waterways can sometimes be dangerous places to be. There is less public focus on water safety compared to, for example, road safety, but that doesn’t make the dangers that exist on the water and the potential for accidents any less real. Fortunately, victims of boating or personal watercraft accidents in Georgia have somewhere to turn in their fight for fair compensation for their injuries. The Georgia boating accident lawyers at The Angell Law Firm, LLC in Atlanta are highly experienced in all types of personal injury cases, and are ready to help victims enforce their rights.The dangers of boating
According to the United States Coastguard’s Recreational Boating Statistics, there were 4,515 accidents as a result of recreational boating or personal watercraft accidents across America in 2012. These included 651 deaths, 3,000 injuries and around $38 million dollars in damage to property. The figures also show that 2012 had a fatality rate of 5.4 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational water vessels.
In Georgia alone the Coastguard recorded 111 accidents in 2012, of which 11 were fatal accidents and resulted in a total of 13 deaths. A further 80 people were injured in these water-based accidents, and the cost of property damage was estimated to be around $410,488.
The variety of different watercraft that people take onto the water and the differing speeds they can travel means it is not surprising that accidents regularly happen. The problem is compounded by the lack of knowledge and experience of many of the boat owners.
Unsurprisingly, alcohol is a common feature in relation to boating accidents, much in the same way that it contributes to many road vehicle accidents. According to the Coastguard, alcohol use was the leading contributing factor in fatal boating accidents in 2012, and was apparently reported as the leading factor in 17% of deaths.Establishing who is at fault
Because the rules governing conduct on the water, such as who has priority and who should give way to who, are much less clear than on the road, it can be hard to prove who is at fault in the event of an accident or, more importantly, who is the innocent victim.
Any accident investigation is made harder by the fact that often boats are traveling at great speed, meaning accidents can happen so quickly it is difficult for any witnesses to be sure of exactly what happened. With road accidents, investigators can often use evidence from CCTV cameras and marks on the road such as skid marks to help them uncover the series of events that led to the accident. Unfortunately however, these forms of physical evidence are not often available in boating accidents.
Insurance companies can be quick to try and take advantage of the lack of clarity over exactly what happened in an accident. They may try to claim that you are partly to blame for the accident and therefore are not entitled to compensation, or they may try to make an initial offer of compensation that is much less that you are entitled to.Georgia boating accident lawyers
Therefore, if you have been unlucky enough to have been injured in an accident involving a boat or other personal watercraft then it is important you speak to Georgia boating accident lawyers for professional legal advice before speaking to an insurance adjustor.
If you have been wrongfully injured in a boating accident as a result of someone’s negligence you may be entitled to financial compensation. This compensation can cover any pain and suffering you have gone through as a result of the accident, any permanent injuries you have been left with and medical bills arising as a result of the accident. In the case of a fatal boating accident, family members may be entitled to damages, and a good personal injury lawyer will be able to advise you on how to claim this.
The Lawyers at The Angell Law Firm, LLC are Atlanta based personal injury specialists who are dedicated to representing innocent accident victims, including boating accidents victims, throughout the state of Georgia.
Our lawyers have many decades of combined experience in helping accident victims in Georgia claim the full amount of compensation they are entitled to. Our attorneys have an excellent track record in actions against insurance companies and big organizations, and our dedicated team of trial lawyers won’t hesitate in taking your case to court if necessary in order to maximize your compensation.
So, if you have been injured in a Georgia boating accident, then contact The Angell Law Firm, LLC in Atlanta today and take the first step towards claiming the compensation you deserve.