They may not get as much attention as car or truck accidents, but boating accidents are just as devastating to victims and their families. According to the United States Coast Guard, there were over 4,400 recreational boating accidents nationwide in 2016, resulting in more than 2,900 injuries, nearly $50 million in property damage, and tragically, the loss of 701 lives. Roughly 4 out of 5 of these deaths were due to drowning.
Boating is appealing to many Atlanta-area residents because of the relative freedom offered by the open water. But with that freedom comes the responsibility to operate the boat in a safe manner that does not put passengers and other boaters at risk. Unfortunately, many recreational boaters are poorly trained and reckless.
An experienced Atlanta boating accident attorney can offer valuable counsel and assistance if you or a family member have been seriously injured due to a recreational boater's negligence. At the offices of Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., Attorney, our team will investigate your accident thoroughly and present you with your best legal options. We are dedicated to helping you get back on your feet after a boating accident.
What Are the Causes of Boating Accidents?
Boat passengers are especially vulnerable in the event of an accident due to the lack of seat belts or safety restraints. And unlike motorists, who typically drive their cars every day and understand the basic rules of the road, many boaters only go out on weekends or holidays. As a result, they may not have the proper training. According to the Coast Guard's figures, 77 percent of fatal boating accidents “occurred on boats where the operator did not receive proper safety instruction.” Overall, the Coast Guard said these are the five most common causes of boating accidents:
- operator inattention;
- operator inexperience;
- improper lookout;
- excessive speed; and
- machinery failure.
There is also the problem of boating under the influence of alcohol or drugs (BUI). Many boaters take a casual attitude towards BUI. But under Georgia law, operating a boat while drunk is no less a crime than driving drunk. In fact, Georgia legislators amended the state's BUI law in 2013 following a series of serious accidents on Lake Lanier. As the law now stands, the same blood-alcohol standard for DUI–0.08 percent–applies to BUI as well.
Help Us Help You Following a Serious Boat Accident
Boating accident injuries are often serious and life-threatening. Even a non-fatal drowning can lead to oxygen deprivation and permanent brain damage. Other common boat accident injuries include spinal cord damage, severe tissue damage, burns, and even amputation of limbs.
At the offices of Calvin A. Edwards, Jr., Attorney, our focus is on helping the victims of boating accidents. Each case is unique and requires a tailored approach. Our Atlanta boating accident attorneys will assembly any necessary experts to help establish a boat operator's negligence and document the full extent of your injuries to a judge and jury. The litigation process is often not a short one, but by working together, we can maximize the chances of a favorable outcome.
Call us today at 470-539-8528 and tell us your story. We are ready to listen, advise, and assist.