With beautiful outdoor spaces like Lake Allatoona, Marietta, Georgia, is an amazing place to enjoy boating. Boating is a great way to enjoy time in nature to fish, swim, ski, tube, or just to leisurely enjoy the great outdoors. While most boaters do so without incident, there are times that accidents happen, and when it does, you might require a Marietta boat accident lawyer.
If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence in a boating accident in the Marietta area, our personal injury firm is here to help you recover compensation for your losses. We understand the complexities of maritime laws and the liability involved in boating accidents.
Who Is at Fault in a Marietta Boating Accident
In Georgia, the person who owns the vessel is liable for the damage caused by operating it negligently. This could mean state statutes are ignored or violated, or normal care was ignored when operating the craft. Speak to a boat accident attorney in Marietta about the specifics of your case.
If the owner did not give the person operating the vessel his express or implied consent, then the owner will not be liable for the injuries. If an immediate family member is operating the vessel, it is presumed that it is being operated with the owner’s knowledge and consent. Family members included are as follows:
- Father or mother
- Son or daughter
The owner-consent statute means that the owner allowed someone else to operate their boat. Hence, the owner is responsible for any injuries or damages the operator caused due to negligence. Consent is presumed if an immediate family member was operating the boat. By assuming owner consent, boating accident liability is much easier to determine.
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Common Causes of Marietta Boating Accidents
Boating accidents in Georgia may all be different, but accidents typically happen for the same reasons repeatedly. The most common causes of boating accidents in Marietta usually occur because a boat operator is distracted or inattentive. Listed below are some examples of preventable boating accident causes:
- Using excessive speed
- Driver inexperience
- Boating under the influence (BUI)
- Violation of navigation rules
- Failure of equipment
- Hazardous water conditions
Most often, if a boating accident happens, it is because of carelessness. There is usually a responsible party in an accident involving a boat. You can pursue legal action against the negligent party if you are harmed in an incident.
Insurance Companies Are Not on Your Side
Insurance companies are the original victim blamers. Whether or not you are following all the rules of the water and you are badly hurt, you can expect the insurance company to blame you and minimize your injuries. Their goal is to write a smaller check, not to protect you.
Any type of boating accident follows the same rules. Watercraft can get in trouble on the water, no matter the type. Some boating accidents involve the following:
- Commercial vessels
- Yachts and cabin cruisers
- Pontoon boats
- Personal Watercraft (PWC)
- Kayaks and canoes
- Fishing boats
No matter the type of watercraft, if you are injured, you are entitled to pursue compensation for the damages you incurred. Your boat accident lawyer in Marietta can help you navigate the complexities of dealing with an insurance company following a boating accident.
How Much Compensation Can Be Recovered Following a Boating Accident
If you are involved in a boating accident, it is essential to know how compensation works for you. You are entitled to 100% of the damages you sustained. This amount can add up without you realizing how much.
You may be entitled to the types of damages discussed below:
Economic damages are easily calculated as they directly correlate with your financial losses. Among the economic damages you should consider are the following:
- Property damage if your vessel is damaged in the accident
- Medical costs
- Lost wages
- Ongoing medical care expenses
- Compensation for the loss of future earnings
- Home alterations
- Upgraded vehicles due to a disability
- Rehabilitation and therapy
- Travel for medical care
- Property damage for items damaged in the accident, such as phones
These are easily calculated since a monetary value is assigned to each item. The value is based on the financial damages you have sustained and an estimate of the future expenses that the accident will cost you.
Non-economic damages are harder to calculate, but you are entitled to those as well. These losses mean you have lost something that is impossible to replace. Because of this, the sum you receive can be significant.
Some non-economic damages are listed below:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Anxiety and depression
- Lost employment or educational opportunities
- Loss of reputation
- Damage to the victim’s relationships
- Loss of a loved one
These losses can never be fully restored, so a generous monetary settlement is the only way to offset these types of losses. The court will usually award you an appropriate financial amount to begin rebuilding your life in the aftermath of a boating accident. Non-economic damages are typically the largest settlements received after a boating accident.
These are only awarded if the operator of the boat acted in a manner that is considered willfully negligent or if they were behaving maliciously. Things like BUI might be regarded as punitive damages.
Punitive damages are not awarded to provide compensation for the losses. It is a way to punish the boat operator and deter them and others like them not to behave in that matter again. In Georgia, there is a $250,000 cap on punitive damages.
This cap does not apply if the boat operator was under the influence or if they were explicitly trying to cause harm. In those cases, the cap does not determine the maximum amount the victim can receive.
Speak to a Marietta Boat Accident Attorney with John Foy & Associates Today
Insurance companies will want to minimize your claim if you have been injured in a boating accident. Do not risk going it alone. At John Foy & Associates, we are known as the Strong Arm and are ready to throw you a life preserver if the runaround from insurance companies has you drowning in financial issues.
We are determined to work our hardest so that our clients who are victims of boating accidents get the maximum compensation they are due. Contact us today for a no-obligation, free consultation. We can accommodate English and Spanish speakers and will review your case and let you know what we can do for you.