Sandy Springs and the entire state of Georgia is near many beautiful lakes, such as Lake Lanier, Black Shoals Lake, and Lake Acworth. Taking a boat out on the water is a great way to relax, unwind, and enjoy the nature around you—but it comes with some risks. A nice day out can quickly turn tragic if a boat accident happens. If you have become a victim of this type of accident, you’ll want to speak with a Sandy Springs boat accident lawyer as soon as possible.
Just like drivers of cars and trucks, those who operate boats have a responsibility to act safely towards others. If they fail in that duty, the at-fault party should pay for the costs. At John Foy & Associates, we have been helping accident victims get the compensation they need after being injured at no fault of their own.
Our experienced boat accident lawyers can help you, too, starting with a FREE consultation. To get started for FREE today, call (404) 400-4000 or contact us online.
What You Need to Win a Boat Accident Case in Sandy Springs
Any personal injury case in Sandy Springs is based on the concept of negligence. Someone has been negligent when they fail to act in a way that another ordinarily prudent person would in the same situation. In other words, negligence is a form of carelessness.
To be eligible for compensation after a boat accident, you must be able to show that another party was negligent and that their negligence led to your accident. Someone can be negligent without meaning to cause harm, or they might be intentionally breaking certain laws, such as these boating laws outlined by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (GDNR).
Georgia Boating Laws
Boaters must follow certain “rules of the road” like other vehicles in Georgia. One of the most important ones is the 100-foot law. According to Georgia Code section 51-7-18, no one can “operate any vessel or tow a person or persons on water skis, an aquaplane, a surfboard, or any similar device on the water” in Georgia at higher than idle speed and within 100 feet of:
- A vessel that is moored, anchored, or adrift outside normal traffic channels
- A wharf, dock, pier, peeling, bridge structure or abutment
- The person in the water or
- A shoreline adjacent to a full-time or part-time residence, public park, public beach, public swimming area, marina, restaurant, or another public use area
All boats must follow the 100-foot law and slow down to idle speed when within 100 feet of anything mentioned above.
Those operating boats must also:
- Pass on the right side when coming upon another vessel
- Stay as far right as possible on narrow streams and rivers
- Drive carefully when overtaking or passing other boats and going around curves or bends and
- Yield to sailboats if operating a powerboat
Boat operators also cannot drive a boat with a blood alcohol content of 0.08 or higher, the same as with other drivers.
Get Help Building Your Case
So, to win your case, you will need to gather evidence to show that the other party was negligent in your boating accident and injuries. A boat accident lawyer in Sandy Springs will be familiar with local boating laws and know how they apply to your case. They can also help you build a strong case to demonstrate what happened.
To schedule a FREE consultation with an experienced boat accident lawyer today, call (404) 400-4000 any time.
Common Causes of Boating Accidents
The most common cause of death in boat accidents in the United States is drawing. Victims can also suffer paralysis and other catastrophic injuries because of a boat accident. These incidents are serious, and there are many situations that may contribute to them, the top ones being:
- Drinking while operating a boat
- Inexperience operating the boat
- Excessive speed
- Not looking out properly
- Inattention while operating the boat and
- Machinery failures
Alcohol can be a huge problem when it comes to boat accidents. Many people take their boats out on the water to have a good time with friends or family. However, it’s the duty of the person driving the boat to not operate it while under the influence of alcohol. Doing so is incredibly negligent.
Crucial Steps to Take After a Boat Accident in Sandy Springs
The steps to follow after a boat accident are much the same as those we recommend after any type of accident:
- Call 911 to report the accident to the police so a police report is created.
- Take pictures of the boats involved in the accident, the entire scene, boat damage, and injuries.
- Talk to any witnesses and get their names and phone numbers.
- Get medical attention as soon as possible.
- Speak with an experienced Sandy Springs boat accident lawyer as soon as you can.
Just like with any personal injury case, you will likely have to deal with the at-fault party’s insurance company. Insurance companies can make the claims process very difficult, as they often try to offer you a lowball settlement or find other ways to reduce what they have to pay you. This is why it’s best to work with a boat accident lawyer right away, as they will be able to handle the insurance company for you.
Be very careful to never accept the first settlement, agree to give recorded statements, or sign anything when speaking with the insurance adjuster. Talk to a lawyer first. Insurance companies are not on your side, but your boat accident lawyer will be your biggest advocate during this time.
You May Be Entitled to Full Compensation
If you did not cause your boat accident, you should not have to pay for any of the costs. The goal is to get you full recovery for the damages you have experienced because of the accident. Those can include all of your medical costs, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering you have experienced.
If you lost a loved one in a fatal boat accident in Sandy Springs, you might also be able to bring a wrongful death case to seek compensation. Talk to your lawyer about the details.
Speak with a Sandy Springs Boat Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Many boat accident victims are worried about the money side of hiring a lawyer. Thankfully, at John Foy & Associates, we make it easy and risk-free for you. We work on contingency, which means there is no upfront cost, you do not pay us unless we win you money, and our fee is simply taken as a percentage of whatever we win for you.
We’re also ready to give you a FREE consultation to review your case and talk about how we can help. Call us today at (404) 400-4000 or contact us online to get started with your FREE consultation.