Articles Posted in Boating Accidents

keep-calm-and-shhhhhThe period immediately following an accident often sets the tone for the insurance claim process.  Though the claims adjuster representing the other party’s insurance company may seem friendly, their primary concern is saving their company money while protecting the individual they insure.  During the claims process the adjuster can use your statements, actions, and behavior against you making it difficult to receive compensation.  Being aware of what not to say after an accident may reduce your chances of doing something that compromises your case.

Avoid Apologizing for the Accident

Immediately following a vehicle accident it is not unusual for drivers to apologize to the owner of the other vehicle.  Even if the other driver is at fault, it is considered common courtesy apologize especially when speaking to someone who is physically injured.  Unfortunately, telling the other driver or the individuals occupying their vehicle that you are sorry may be construed as an admission of fault.  While you will need to talk to the other party in order to exchange insurance information and other details, do not apologize for the accident even if you secretly believe that you were partly responsible.

As the weather warms, Georgia’s lakes, streams and waterways will fill with enthusiasts looking for fun boating opportunities. In Georgia alone, there are more than 317,000 registered vessels. While boating can be fun, there are also safety concerns that need to be addressed when using watercraft. Speeding, reckless operation, alcohol use and bad weather can all lead to serious injuries or an accidental drowning on the water.

In 2013, there were more than a hundred boating accidents, some that even caused fatalities according to a wildlife commission report. Because of the risks involved in boating, Georgia law requires boat operators to take certain precautions to keep themselves and their passengers safe.

Safety tips to reduce risks of boating accidents

The 11th Circuit United States Court of Appeals, which covers Georgia, Florida, and Alabama, published an opinion that reenforces the protections afforded to the injured when they are considering different forums for suit.  In Offshore v. Lynch, the Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s decision to allow the injured woman to pursue her injury claims in state court after the defendant attempted to limit the forum to the federal court system where the alleged at-fault party would have access to a federal statute that limits the liability for personal injury or death.

boat sinkingIn this case a woman, who was a member of a boat club, took a 26-foot vessel owned by the club out to sea.  When the woman was 500 miles from the shore the boat struck the wake of another craft and sent the woman into the air, slamming her back into the boat, and causing devastating physical injury.  Following the accident, the woman asserted that the club that owned the boat was negligent and liable to her for damages over the $95,000 value of the boat.

The woman provided notice to the boat-owner that she was going to file an action against them, but the boat owner sued in federal district court to claim the exoneration or limitation of liability to the value of the vessel under the federal statute.  Following the boat owner’s filing, the district court closed off any other causes of action against the boat owner or the boat related to the injury.  This woman answered the boat owner’s filing, and included her claim for extensive injuries based on the boat owner’s negligence, or failure to exercise reasonable care.  She requested the district court to lift the bar to suit in federal court so she could pursue legal action in state court first.  The injured woman wanted to pursue the common law remedy in state court, and pointed to the well-established exception that allowed a sole person to pursue a claim.  The injured woman went as far as listing stipulations that would protect the boat owner’s right to later invoke the limitation of liability in federal district court.

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As the summer quickly approaches it is time to think about getting the boat summarized and ready to launch.  Many will be packing their boats with supplies and alcohol for their day trips to the lake.  While the combination of alcoholic drinks and a day on the lake can be fun, the statistics have shown it an be deadly.boating accident life preserver red and white

Boating under the influence (BUI) has become a major issue in Georgia despite what many may believe. In 2009 alone, three people died in Georgia and others were injured in a dozen accidents where alcohol was involved.

Statistics have shown that someone operating a boat with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than 0.10 percent is 10 times more likely to die in a boating accident than someone driving a boat while sober.