Boating makes for a relaxing pastime or a fun afternoon getaway. Unfortunately, accidents on the water are common. Injuries can be life-threatening, and there is always the risk of drowning.
If you were hurt in a boating accident, let a dedicated personal injury attorney at Smith Hulsey Law help you seek justice. A successful settlement or lawsuit could provide financial compensation that covers all your accident-related losses. To maximize your chances of a favorable outcome, discuss your case with a Dawsonville boat accident lawyer.
While operating a watercraft vessel can be fun, keeping track of the hazards above and below the water is important. Before heading out on the water, boaters should always assess weather conditions. Rain and storms will affect every vessel, and if weather affects visibility, it is less likely for an operator to recognize potential hazards. Weather can also change quickly, so if clouds start forming or winds pick up, operators should move their vehicles as quickly as possible to a safe position.
One of the most important things to be aware of on the water is other people. Other boat operators can cause an accident, especially if you are not paying careful attention. Likewise, it is vital to avoid swimmers or anyone else in the water.
Fixed objects can also result in serious boat accidents. Some of these hazards may be obvious, like docks or the shoreline. However, submerged objects that are not as visible can pose even more of a risk, especially in shallow waters where contact with these hazards could damage a boat. These hazardous objects may include large rocks, tree stumps, and other debris beneath the water’s surface.
Even when no hazards are present, boat crashes can occur due to human error or carelessness. Thus, boat operators must use their best judgment and avoid obvious dangers. However, when a boat accident occurs due to operator negligence, a Dawsonville attorney could help injured survivors pursue legal action.
Not every boating accident provides viable grounds for a personal injury case. To successfully recover compensation, an injured party and their attorney must prove four elements of negligence.
The first step in proving negligence requires showing that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care and breached this duty. All boat operators owe a duty of care to anyone they share the water with to act reasonably and prevent collisions. It is possible to breach this duty in a variety of ways. An operator may be negligent because they were driving recklessly or under the influence of alcohol. A plaintiff also must prove causation—the link between the defendant’s breach of duty and the plaintiff’s injury—and the extent of compensable damages.
The process of establishing fault for a boat wreck is not always easy. Unlike a car crash, visiting the accident scene and completing a meaningful investigation is more challenging. Evidence from a boat collision can sometimes get lost below the water’s surface. Fortunately, a knowledgeable Dawsonville lawyer knows how to perform a comprehensive investigation into all available evidence and build a case demonstrating how negligence caused a boating accident.
If you sustained injuries in an accident on the water, now is the time to discuss your legal options with a seasoned attorney. A personal injury claim could provide you with the financial compensation you need and deserve to move forward.
Put your case in the hands of an experienced Dawsonville boat accident lawyer at Smith Hulsey Law. Reach out as soon as possible for your initial consultation.
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