When an incident occurs on the water, the risk of injuries is high. Whether hurt in a collision, falling on a boat, thrown from a vessel, or run over by another boater, a fun day on the lake can quickly end with mounting medical bills and serious injuries. If you suffered injuries on a local lake or river, an Atlanta boating accident lawyer can help.
At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our attorneys provide free consultations for victims of boat injuries in and around Atlanta. We review your legal options with you, explain the state’s tort laws, and determine the strategy we might take to help you recover compensation based on your medical bills, lost income, and other expenses. Call us today for a free consultation.
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Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group Represents Injured Boaters
Our boating accident lawyers from the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group understand your frustration when someone’s negligence harms you. You were minding your business, out for a day of fishing, relaxation, or fun. Another party’s bad behavior changed everything in a split second and left you worried about your health and finances.
Our Atlanta lawyers work to build boating accident claims and lawsuits for our clients, working to hold the at-fault parties legally responsible. We advocate for our clients while they recover physically and emotionally. They trust us to protect their rights and pursue the financial recovery they need to pay their bills and cover other costs.
While some boat accident injuries are relatively minor, many require extensive medical care, long-term rehabilitation and recovery, and other ongoing support. These victims also have lost income and other related expenses during this time. This is why our clients depend on us to fight for them. We do not believe they should have to shoulder these bills.
Boating in Atlanta
With sweltering heat and high humidity, it should be no surprise that Atlanta residents and visitors look for a way to cool off from March through September. Natural lakes, human-made reservoirs, and rivers throughout Georgia offer many opportunities to get out on the water.
Some of the most popular spots for boating near Atlanta include:
- Lake Lanier, which hosted the 1996 Olympic canoe and kayak events
- Lake Allatoona, with eight full-service marinas
- Randy Poynter Lake in Conyers, which does not allow gas-powered motors
- The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, which provides opportunities for boating, tubing, cliff jumping, and more
- Lake Oconee, just down I-20 East from Atlanta
Each of these locations offers opportunities to rent boats and equipment. While this can offer a relaxing or adventurous day on the water, it also creates opportunities for inexperienced boaters to get behind the wheel and cause serious harm.
Boat Accidents: Causes and Common Injuries
At the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our team helps victims of boating accidents understand their rights and fight for a financial recovery based on their damages. We know how devastating these injuries can be and how they affect all aspects of your life.
We handle cases with injuries that include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries (SCIs)
- Concussions and other head injuries
- Back and neck injuries
- Severe trauma to soft tissue and bone
- Amputations and loss of use injuries
- Internal injuries
- Electrical and chemical burns
- Scarring and disfigurement
Injuries on the lake or river occur in many ways. When boat operators act carelessly or recklessly, accidents happen.
This could include:
- Collisions with other watercraft
- Collisions with stationary objects
- Pontoon boat injuries
- Falls overboard
- Falls on the boat
- Ski or tubing injuries
- Getting hit by a boat while swimming
- Kayakers hit by motorboats
- Rental boat accidents
- Issues at the marina or dock
When we represent a client, our attorneys investigate what happened and gather evidence to show how their injuries occurred. Then, we document their recoverable expenses and losses.
Recoverable Damages in an Atlanta Boat Accident Injury Claim or Lawsuit
The damages we seek on behalf of clients depend greatly on their injuries and the related financial losses. We seek compensation for all documented economic losses and expenses and various intangible losses.
Some examples of recoverable damages in many boating accidents include:
- Medical bills and future care needs related to their injuries
- Expenses related to medical treatment and care
- Lost income from all sources, including salaries, tips, commissions, and more
- Diminished earning capacity if they cannot return to work at the same level
- Property damages
- Other related costs
- Pain and suffering damages
- Other intangible losses
We also represent clients in wrongful death cases. These are often more complex than an injury claim and may have high-value losses. If your loved one lost their life in a boating accident in the greater metro area, we are here to help. We can review your options with you and go over how wrongful death cases work in Georgia.
Proving Liability and Building a Case Against a Negligent Boater in Atlanta
Many boating accidents in Atlanta occur because of the boat operator or owner’s negligence. When our attorneys handle a case, a key part of this process is identifying the liable party or parties.
Depending on the facts of your case, this could include:
- An intoxicated boat operator
- An inexperienced driver
- A careless or distracted boater
- A reckless boat operator
- A rental company
- A boat owner
At Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group, our attorneys investigate boating accidents regularly. We know how to identify the at-fault parties and develop a case against them that supports an insurance claim or civil lawsuit. Under Georgia law, boating accident victims can hold the at-fault party legally responsible and seek compensation for their related damages.
Four Elements Determine Negligence in a Boating Injury Case
When we work on this type of case, we look to determine who acted negligently and caused the accident or the injuries to occur.
We can generally hold a person accountable if we can show:
- They had a duty to behave in a specific way to prevent our client’s injuries.
- They failed to meet their duty.
- Their failure caused the accident or failed to prevent it.
- Our client suffered physical, emotional, and financial harm.
For example, imagine enjoying a day kayaking on Lake Allatoona. An inexperienced boater shows off for their friends when they fail to see you. Their boat collides with yours, and you suffer serious injuries.
In this case, our attorneys might gather evidence that includes:
- A report from investigators at the Georgia Department of Natural Resources
- Witness statements
- Documented damage to each vessel
- Your relevant medical records
- Photograph or video evidence
- Paperwork showing your related expenses and losses
- Accident reconstruction
This might allow us to show:
- The boat operator needed to go at the posted speed and slow down their vessel while in the presence of other boaters.
- They failed to do so.
- This caused them to overlook your smaller vessel in the water, allowing the collision to occur.
- You required medical treatment and rehabilitation that cost you money.
With this information, our Atlanta attorney could develop enough support for a successful insurance claim against the boater and/or the rental company, depending on the case’s details. Some circumstances require a civil lawsuit filed in the appropriate county court. Under Georgia law, victims usually have up to two years from their injury date to file the initial paperwork.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Answered by a Boating Accident Attorney
Some common questions we hear from clients hurt in Atlanta personal injury accidents include:
How Much Is My Boating Accident Injury Case Worth?
Recoverable compensation in an accident depends on the case. There is no way to determine the value of your case without investigating what happened, documenting your damages, and taking other steps to estimate your losses and expenses. Our attorneys calculate the fair settlement value of a client’s case after the investigation but before demanding compensation.
How Long Will It Take to Get Money for My Injuries?
Some insurance claims wrap up quickly, and others take longer, especially if they require a lawsuit and go to trial. There is no standard timeline.
If you have creditors calling, our attorneys may be able to help. You may have alternatives to help pay your medical bills and other expenses, too.
Should I Give a Statement to the Boating Company or Its Insurer?
Our attorneys tell our clients never to discuss their cases with anyone. We handle all communications with the liable party, their attorneys, and their insurer. Insurance companies often ask for recorded statements, but we advise our clients not to give them. Giving this type of statement could hurt your case, not help it. You can discuss your options with an attorney first.
Will a Settlement Cover My Future Medical Needs?
You can recover damages for future care expenses related to boating accident injuries. You may have high ongoing and future care costs. When our clients have this type of expense, we work with medical specialists, economists, and other experts to understand their prognosis, ongoing support needs, and likely future treatment.
This allows us to estimate the value of these damages. We then include this in our demand for compensation or the evidence we present to the judge and jury to prove our client’s expenses and losses.
The Insurer Made an Offer. Should I Accept It?
Never accept an offer in your injury case without discussing it with a boating accident lawyer. Insurance companies often offer money to victims in the initial days or weeks after an accident. This is way too soon. The victim does not yet know their prognosis, if they will recover fully, or the cost of their treatment.
The insurer knows the victim will have a strong case against their policyholder, so they push a lowball offer as early as possible. They hope the victim will see a check for thousands of dollars and jump on it. However, it is unlikely to cover your full range of expenses and losses.
How Soon Should I Start a Claim or Lawsuit?
We recommend calling an attorney as soon as your injuries allow. While Georgia law offers up to two years to sue in most cases, getting started on developing a case sooner allows your lawyer to identify and collect evidence that disappears if you wait longer.
Once you have a plan for treatment and physical recovery, it is time to consider your financial health. Getting compensation from the liable party or parties is the best way to ensure you do not have to pay for your injuries and expenses out of pocket.
What Are My Legal Options for Pursuing Compensation?
You could recover compensation in an Atlanta boating accident in two ways: Filing an insurance claim or suing the at-fault party. However, some boaters do not carry liability insurance covering their activities on local lakes or rivers. This makes it impossible to demand compensation from an insurer. These cases require a lawsuit. Other circumstances may also call for a lawsuit over an insurance claim. Your attorney can offer additional advice.
Discuss Your Case With an Atlanta Boating Accident Lawyer Today
An attorney from the Atlanta Personal Injury Law Group can evaluate your boating accident injury case with you today for free. We assess your rights and options based on the specific details of your accident and injuries, explaining how we might approach the claim or lawsuit and the compensation we may recover for you. We are a contingency fee firm, meaning you pay us nothing upfront.
Contact us today at (404) 609-1724 to get started with your complimentary consultation.
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