Swimming Accident in Georgia
Many people take to Lake Lanier and the other lakes in and around Georgia to swim, kayak, paddleboard, or just beat the heat. Every year, however, dozens of them suffer injuries in accidents that involve passing boats or jet skis. These kayaking, paddle boarding, and swimming accidents in Georgia can be severe or even fatal. If the boat or Jet Ski operator’s actions caused the accident, you may file a claim for compensation.
What types of injuries occur on Georgia lakes?
A boat or Jet Ski versus swimmer incident can lead to serious or fatal injuries for the swimmer, which include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe lacerations
Because of the nature of accidents that occur in water, if a boat knocks a swimmer unconscious in the water or otherwise incapacitates him, it places the swimmer in danger of drowning.
Whom can I hold liable in my kayaking, paddleboarding, or swimming accident?
Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be able to hold the boat operator, boat owner, or boat rental company liable.
Boat owners and operators have a responsibility to use caution and follow safety protocols while operating a boat or riding a Jet Ski. This includes being aware of swimmers and taking precautions to avoid injuring them. If the operator does not exercise reasonable care and his actions led to your accident and subsequent injuries, you may be able to hold him liable for your injuries. If a rental company knowingly rented the boat to an inexperienced or intoxicated driver, the company may also be partially at-fault in your accident.
In cases where a defect caused the accident, the manufacturer of the boat may be responsible for the accident and resulting injuries.
What do I have to do to prove negligence?
In order to prove negligence in Georgia, you must meet a number of criteria. This includes proving:
- Georgia law state that boat operators have a duty of care to others in the water.
- The boat operator acted in a way that breached this obligation, i.e., he was negligent.
- The boat operator’s negligent actions caused your accident and injuries.
- You suffered damages, e.g., medical bills, lost wages.
Common ways that boat and other watercraft operators cause accidents include:
- Failing to look for swimmers, paddle boarders, kayakers and others in the water
- Attempting to do things beyond their ability and experience level
- Having insufficient navigation lights
- Boating in inclement weather and hazardous waters
- Operating the boat at high speeds
- Breaking navigational rules
- Boating while intoxicated, either from alcohol or drugs
How can I recover compensation for a swimming accident in Georgia?
Georgia law does not require boaters to carry liability insurance, which may leave swimmers who suffer injuries in an accident with a watercraft with what seems like no options. However, victims can file a lawsuit against the at-fault party for damages related to the accident. For help filing a lawsuit, speak with an injury lawyer at the Law Offices of John Morrison, LLC. Contact us today at 770-951-8900 to get started.