As you take out your family to spend some time on Georgia’s coastlines and lakes, it is essential to understand more about boat accidents. Whether you are going fishing, cruising or sailing, something as innocent as an enjoyment time could lead to a catastrophe because of the fault of another person. If you or your loved one has been injured in a boat accident, it is crucial to ensure you seek compensation by working with a reliable Georgia boating accident attorney. However, who will be responsible for the compensation?
Who is Liable for a Boat Accident in Georgia?
The law in Georgia does not allow you to sue the boat owner for the injuries unless the owner negligently left the boat with another person who caused the accident. Therefore, if you have to hold the owner liable, you must prove they knew the operator was not qualified enough or the boat was not well-maintained. Here are the people who may be responsible for the accident.
1. Boat Operator
Mostly, the boat operator is held responsible for the accident. This is because the operator has the control and responsibility of ensuring the boat is being operated the right way and laws are followed. They must also ensure everybody in the vessel is obeying safety protocols.
2. Boat Owner
In Georgia, the statute does not allow you to sue the boat owner unless they had the consent that the underqualified operator had the boat at the time of the accident. If the accident happened because the vessel was not properly maintained, you could sue the owner for liability. The boat owner must ensure their boat is in good condition before allowing people onboard.
3. Boat Manufacturer
You can also hold the manufacturer responsible if the accident was due to a defect in the boat. Manufacturing and design defects make the manufacturer liable. However, there must be evidence that you were not aware of the fault and that the injuries resulted from the defect.
4. Rental Company
If you were involved in a boat accident with a rental company, you could hold the company liable. This is even easier if the reckless operator was from the rental company. The company might be responsible for the injuries even if the passengers and operator were renters. However, you must know that most rental companies in Georgia include their terms in the agreement that gives consent to the owner. You must agree to follow safety rules and instructions to operate in the deal. Such practices include wearing lifejackets, not over-speeding and avoiding taking drugs or alcohol while in the boat.
Responsibility for a boating accident can also fall on a passenger. If another passenger was reckless and their intentional actions caused the accident, the person may be held responsible. Reckless actions can be pushing another person overboard, causing fire or distracting the boat operator while driving the vehicle.
These people may be responsible for a boating accident in Georgia. However, liability is not automatic. There must be proof of consent and negligence. The best way to deal with the aftermath and prove the fault is by securing a skilled boating accident lawyer.
Published by Tom Clark