Atlanta Boating Accident Lawyers at the Dressie Law Firm

Your Trusted Advocates: Maximizing Justice, Minimizing Stress.

If you’ve been involved in a boating accident in Atlanta, The Dressie Law Firm’s experienced boating accident lawyers can help you navigate the legal waters to secure the compensation you deserve.

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Why You Need a Boating Accident Attorney 

Atlanta’s exciting collection of picturesque lakes and rivers, such as Lake Lanier, Lake Allatoona, and the Chattahoochee River, invite thrilling activities such as kayaking, jet skiing, and/or simple boat cruising for water-loving recreational enthusiasts. Yet, amidst the laughter brought on by the spray of water, the unthinkable can happen: a serene day can turn tragic with a boating accident. 

Boating accidents can be devastating and can lead to serious injuries, significant property damage, or death. The U.S. Coast Guard reported 4,040 recreational boating accidents in 2022. These accidents led to 636 deaths, 2,222 injuries, and property damage worth approximately $63 million.

The Coast Guard also found that most boating accidents occur due to the actions or inactions of boat operators. This finding aligns with Georgia’s boating accident laws, which allow boating operators and sometimes boat owners to be held liable for boating accidents that occur under their watch.

However, boating accident claims are governed by distinct regulations different from the car accident rules that most people are familiar with, which could make establishing a boat accident claim difficult. That’s where we come in.

At the Dressie Law Firm, we understand the horror and trauma that occurs when a fun boating outing turns tragic. As experienced personal injury lawyers, our goal is to be a beacon of hope for those who have been injured in boat accidents and guide them as they seek compensation for their injuries.

Our Atlanta boating accident attorneys understand the intricacies of Georgia’s boating laws and the compensation claims process and are prepared to stand by you and protect your interests in this difficult time.

    Understanding Boating Accidents in Atlanta

    A boating accident occurs when a boat or vessel collides with another object or vessel, explodes, sinks, or otherwise encounters any mishap while on the water.

    Boating accidents are dangerous not just because of the incident but also because they occur on the water, where it may be difficult to get help. The water also creates a risk of drowning, contributing to the fatality rates for such accidents.

    According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the top causes of accidents on the water include

    • Operator inattention
    • Operator inexperience
    • Excessive speed
    • Alcohol use
    • Navigation violations
    • Machinery failure
    • Bad weather 
    • Improper lookout.

    Most of these factors are within the boat operator’s or captains’ control, so they may be liable when such accidents occur.

    However, every boating accident case is unique, and there are instances where other parties, such as the boat owner or manufacturer, may be legally responsible for the damage caused by a boating accident.

    Identifying the proximate cause of the accident is crucial to determining who is liable and how to handle your compensation claim.

    Legal Responsibilities of Boaters and Your Boating Accident Claim

    Most personal injury claims in Georgia are based on the negligence of the at-fault party, and boating claims are no exception. Therefore, to prevail as the injured party in a boating accident claim, you must establish the negligence of the party or parties against whom you seek compensation.

    Establishing negligence requires you to prove that 

    • The other party owed you a duty to exercise reasonable care in the circumstances (duty of care)
    • They failed in their duty
    • Their failure was the direct cause of your boating accident
    • Your boating accident led to your injuries.

    These elements can be difficult to prove. Fortunately, there are legal principles and strategies that can help reduce the burden of establishing negligence when properly applied.

    For example, there are legal obligations that boat operators, owners, and sometimes manufacturers must satisfy. Some of those obligations under Georgia law include the following:

    • Boat captains must have an operating license before conducting a vehicle across Georgia waters.
    • Boat operators can only operate a personal watercraft (small vessels less than 16 feet long, such as a jet ski) if each person onboard is wearing a Coast Guard-approved floatation device such as a life jacket. Owners of such watercraft must not permit another person to operate their watercraft without meeting this condition.
    • Operating a personal watercraft before sunrise or after sunset is prohibited unless for law enforcement purposes.
    • Boating under the influence, that is, operating any vessel while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, is prohibited and is also a criminal offense.
    • Boat operators must avoid reckless behavior when operating a vessel.

    Proving non-compliance with these obligations may be sufficient to establish negligence.

    Our competent boat accident attorneys also have other strategies to prove negligence that we have honed over the years. We’d be glad to leverage our knowledge and skills to help you achieve a positive outcome in your case.

    Compensation for Boat Accident Victims

    In the aftermath of a boating accident, the victims may be left to deal with their physical injuries and emotional distress, possible property damage, and substantial medical expenses, depending on the extent of their injuries. It is only fair that they receive some form of monetary relief to compensate for their ordeal.

    As a Georgia boat accident victim, you can get compensation that covers :

    • Economic Damages: These are the quantifiable costs of the accident, such as medical expenses and property damage.
    • Non-Economic Damages: This compensates for intangible losses like pain and suffering, emotional distress, and permanent disability.
    • Punitive Damages: Awarded in cases of reckless negligence to punish the wrongdoer.

    However, the specific amount you can get depends on the circumstances of your case. For example, if you somehow contributed to your injuries, your compensation amount might be limited based on Georgia’s modified comparative negligence standard.

    According to this rule, a person who is deemed by the court or insurance company to be 50 percent responsible for their injuries is not entitled to compensation. However, if the victim’s percentage of fault is less than 50 percent, they can still be compensated, although the amount will be limited or reduced to account for their liability. 

    Insurance companies sometimes wrongly apply this principle to minimize the amount they have to pay. That’s why it is important to have solid evidence to substantiate your claim and seek legal representation from an experienced Georgia boat accident attorney to ensure you’re not bullied into accepting a settlement that’s less than what you deserve.

    How the Dressie Law Firm Can Help

    At the Dressie Law Firm, we’ve spent years honing our skills in personal injury law. We bring our wealth of experience to each case we handle and work to ensure positive results for our clients.

    With our client-centric approach, we have secured million-dollar verdicts for our clients, reflecting our dedication to seeking justice and appropriate compensation. We can help you navigate the legal process following your boating accident like we’ve helped others in the past. 

    Specifically, we can

    • Assess your case and help you formulate a fitting legal strategy for your circumstances.
    • Gather evidence to help solidify your claim.
    • Negotiate with the at-fault party’s insurance company to ensure you get the compensation you rightfully deserve
    • Pursue your claim in court and represent you throughout the proceedings if that approach would be more beneficial.
    • Protect your rights and interests so you can focus on your health and recovery.

    We understand the challenges and emotional distress that accidents can cause, especially when someone else is responsible. We are prepared to support you with our legal skills and knowledge as you fight for justice.

    Contact the Dressie Law Firm

    The path toward justice and financial recovery after a Georgia boating accident can be complex, necessitating the need for competent legal guidance.

    Our boat accident lawyers at the Dressie Law Firm understand these complexities and stand ready to help injured boat accident victims chart a course toward a just resolution.

    So, if you or your loved one has been injured in a boating accident, we at the Dressie Law Firm are here to explain your options and navigate the legal process on your behalf. Contact us today, and let us begin the journey to recover the compensation you deserve together.

    The Dressie Law Firm Can Help You

    If you or a loved one is a victim of a reckless or negligent driver, we want you to know that the law is on your side and so is the Dressie Law Firm.

    Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!