Boat Collision Savannah, GA200 Stephenson Ave., Suite 200
Savannah, GA 31405
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Boat Collision Savannah, GA
Picture this: It’s a perfect summer day, and you’re basking in the sun as your boat sails down Bull River, heading toward Tybee Island.
Suddenly, a speedboat comes toward you, and there’s no way to avoid a collision. As both boats come into contact, your dreamy summer day ends, leaving you with personal injuries and severe damage to your much-loved vessel.
Unfortunately, boaters often face danger, whether from inclement weather or other boaters not paying attention while on the open water. When an accident happens, it can be costly, even if you have full insurance on your boat. Worse than that, you can suffer serious injuries that impact your daily life.
If you’ve recently experienced a boat collision in Savannah, GA, you’ll want assistance from an experienced personal injury law firm that can help make things right again.
Schedule a free case review with the qualified legal team at Morgan and Morgan today. We’ll inform you of your legal options and help you obtain the compensation you need to pay for your medical expenses and repair your boat.
Common Causes of Boat Collisions
While boat collisions are often unexpected, they still happen regularly. Here are a few typical causes of boat collisions.
Running Out of Gas
You did remember to check the gas tank, right?
Running out of gas is one of the most common reasons boats collide. Sometimes, people simply forget to fuel up before they undock from the harbor. Other times, they don’t correctly estimate the fuel it will take to reach their destination.
When a boat runs out of gas, it becomes difficult to maneuver. You won’t be able to steer it like you would when it’s running on fuel. If you’re in a crowded area, a boat with no gas is likely to collide with others nearby.
Driving a boat isn’t simple or easy. You can’t hop behind the steering wheel of a vessel and navigate the seas without some essential training. If you’re under the age of 25, you’ll need a boater’s license to operate a boat in Georgia.
Even if you’re past the age restrictions for a boater’s license, most individuals must undertake a state-approved education course before operating a water vessel.
One of the primary causes of boating accidents is a lack of skill. If you don’t have experience operating a boat, it’s best to seek qualified training and the help of a competent navigator before attempting to traverse the open waters on your own.
Not all causes of a boat collision in Savannah, GA, are due to operator mistakes. Sometimes, defective equipment can suddenly stop working, leading to an accident. To prevent a possible collision, it’s wise to have an experienced mechanic inspect your boat every year before you take it out on the water.
A mechanic will test all the equipment on your boat to make sure that it’s fit for the water. Their work can help you prevent unexpected mechanical failures, which can be devastating if you’re miles away from the harbor.
When boating, it’s smart to designate a companion as a lookout. The lookout can regularly scan the water, looking for any hazards that might result in a boat collision in Savannah, GA.
Without a lookout, you’re relying entirely on yourself to handle your boat’s navigation. While that may be okay for a small speedboat, it becomes much more dangerous if you’re handling a yacht or catamaran. Boat captains can’t see in every direction on larger boats, so you’re at a higher risk of a collision if you don’t have a lookout.
Adverse weather conditions can be terrifying, especially if you’re on the open ocean. While you can look at weather forecasts to mitigate your risk of experiencing a storm, sometimes the weather is unpredictable, and you’ll find yourself in the midst of a dangerous situation.
Bad weather like thunderstorms or high winds can hinder your vision and increase the likelihood of a boat collision. You’ll need to monitor your surroundings carefully while ensuring your passengers’ safety.
Like cars, your risk of an accident increases when you use excessive speed on a lake, river, or ocean. While traveling fast in an open area may seem safe, you never know what lies beneath the waves. You may accidentally run into sea creatures or debris floating in the water, which can cause an accident.
You should obey state rules and operate your boat at a speed that’s safe for you, your passengers, and other vessels nearby. Remember, when traveling too quickly, it becomes challenging to make the necessary adjustments to prevent a boat collision in Savannah, GA.
Too Much Alcohol
It might sound relaxing to indulge in a few beers or glasses of wine while on the water, but too much alcohol impacts your judgment and reflexes. Many accidents occur because the boat operator has had too much to drink.
In Georgia, a strict law prohibits boaters from operating a vessel when their blood alcohol level is higher than 0.08. In general, levels of alcohol increase by about 0.02 with every drink. Other factors, such as dehydration or hunger, can adversely impact blood alcohol levels as well.
Boat operators should carefully evaluate the risk before deciding to boat and drink. The consequences of drunk boating can be severe, resulting in jail time, damaged vessels, and personal injuries to yourself or others.
Lack of Attention
You may be distracted by conversations and activities when you’re out on a boat with friends and family. While boating should be an enjoyable activity, you don’t want to lose sight of your responsibility for ensuring the safety of your passengers.
If you plan to spend time enjoying the company of your passengers, make sure that you appoint another person to act as a lookout. They can take over navigational activities if they have the requisite experience.
What to Do After a Boat Collision in Savannah, GA
If you’re involved in a boat collision in Savannah, GA, it’s critical to take steps to protect yourself and your passengers.
Your first objective is safety. Make sure that your boat is stable in the water. If you’re in a dangerous position, try to get to the harbor as quickly as possible. If your vessel isn’t navigable, radio for help. If another boat is involved in the collision, check with the operator to ensure that they’re not in immediate jeopardy.
Like any other type of vehicular accident, boating collisions often result in injuries. Most times, passengers aren’t secured with a seat belt, so a significant jolt can result in someone being thrown from the vessel or landing on hard objects within the boat. Check everyone for injuries that need immediate attention, and administer first aid.
Remember that some injuries may not be immediately apparent. For instance, passengers may not realize that they have internal bleeding or a concussion for several hours. Once you’re off the boat, it’s crucial for everyone who was in the accident to seek medical attention.
Next, you’ll want to document the damage to your boat. Take pictures of the impact on the vessel and thoroughly inspect it for impairments. Even if the accident looks minor, such as a dent or a few scrapes, there may be internal damage that needs repair.
Before taking your boat out again, take it for a thorough inspection to determine whether any fixes are necessary.
After a boating accident, it’s vital to seek legal advice. If another vessel or passengers were in the accident, you might need legal help to recover medical costs, lost wages, and other expenses.
A qualified lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can evaluate your case and determine what your options are.
How Morgan and Morgan Can Help You With a Boat Collision in Savannah, GA
Morgan & Morgan is the largest personal injury firm in the United States. We help clients obtain the damages they need to recover from a severe accident like a boat collision.
Even if you’re not sure whether your circumstances warrant legal action, seeking legal advice is never a bad idea.
Contact our office today to schedule your free, confidential case review.
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What Kind of Damages Can I Obtain From a Boat Collision?
The damages you’re eligible for depend on the circumstances of your accident, your injuries, and any expenses you’ve incurred due to the collision. We’ll thoroughly assess your case to figure out the damages you can recover from a legal claim.
Typically, people involved in boat collisions can claim damages to reimburse their medical expenses, lost income, household care costs, and pain and suffering.
Who Is Liable for a Boat Collision in Savannah, GA?
Liability in a boat collision isn’t always straightforward. Under Georgia law, all boat owners are responsible for damages incurred by their vessel, regardless of whether they were operating the craft or allowing another person to use it.
If an accident occurs between two boats, a lawyer at Morgan & Morgan can identify who is at fault per maritime law and file the appropriate legal actions.
How Long Do I Have to File a Personal Injury Claim for a Boat Collision in Savannah, GA?
Under Georgia law, you have two years from the date of your accident to file a personal injury claim. While you have time to consider legal action, starting the process early is advisable. That way, the facts are fresh in your mind, and it’s easier for your attorney to obtain the proper evidence for your case.
How Can a Lawyer Help Me in a Boat Collision Case?
If you’ve suffered any injuries from a boat collision, seeking assistance from an attorney is advisable. They’ll consider the facts of your case in alignment with state and maritime laws. If you’re the victim in the accident, your lawyer can represent you in a claim to obtain the damages you need to become financially whole again.
Even if you don’t know who’s at fault for the accident, an attorney can help you sort out the details. It’s never wise to navigate the legal and financial waters of a boating accident on your own. Medical expenses are often high, and your boat may need significant repairs before it’s operable again.
Will My Insurance Cover My Boat Collision?
Insurance is a tricky topic, especially when it comes to boat collisions. An attorney at Morgan and Morgan will evaluate your insurance policy and the other party’s boating insurance, along with the circumstances of the crash, to determine which policy applies.
If the accident was not your fault, the other party’s insurance policy will typically cover your expenses.
Get Compensation for Your Boat Accident Injuries
Contact Morgan & Morgan today to schedule a free case review with one of our experienced attorneys. We’re ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for your boat accident injuries.