Boat-on-Boat Accidents in Georgia

Numerous boating accidents occur every year on lakes throughout Georgia and off of Georgia’s Atlantic coastline. A boat-on-boat collision happens when a boat (motorboat, yacht, pontoon, canoe, sail boat, etc.) collides with another vessel or personal watercraft (PWC). Many of these boat accidents occur because boat operators underestimate the dangers of watercraft or simply do not understand the "rules of the water" and boating safety regulations. Read on for more information about boat-on-boat accidents.

Types of Boat-on-Boat Accidents

Boat-on-boat accidents may involve any of the various types of vessels and watercraft available today, and an endless number of situations. Some of the most common circumstances causing and contributing to boat-on-boat accidents include:

  • Operating a boat at a speed too high for safety
  • A boat operator hitting a big wave or wake at an unsafe speed or angle
  • Failing to keep a lookout for other boats or watercraft
  • Not knowing navigational rules, such as rights-of-way on the water
  • Overcrowding or overloading a boat or PWC
  • Defective boat design, construction, or repair

Understanding how to properly operate a boat is crucial to avoiding a boat-on-boat accident while on the water. However, for most boats and PWCs, Georgia, like many states, does not require any specific instruction or training on how to operate watercraft safely. Rather, mandatory instruction is only required for operators under a certain age or for vessels over a certain length.

Factors Contributing to Boat-on-Boat Accidents

With little in the way of training or instruction requirements, many people operate boats without any specialized knowledge of the vessel’s operating characteristics, let alone how to avoid an accident if another boat or PWC is coming at them. Many boat operators are equally unfamiliar with state and federal boating regulations and safety rules, committing violations such as failing to display appropriate lights, not sounding the appropriate horn signals, failing to monitor radar, and not obeying posted signs. Any of these violations can lead to a boat-on-boat collision, and a combination of negligent behavior frequently accompanies fatal boating collisions.

Alcohol often plays a role in boat-on-boat accidents. In fact, over half of all boating accidents involve alcohol or drugs, and the U.S. Coast Guard warns that "alcohol is more hazardous on water than on land." Just as we are committed to winning compensation on behalf of people injured by drunk drivers, we work diligently to ensure intoxicated boaters are held accountable for their actions.

The Legal Team at KWFDM Can Help after a Boat-on-Boat Accident

If you or a loved one has been injured on the water in Georgia, the Atlanta boat accident lawyers at Katz Wright Fleming Dodson & Mildenhall, LLC can help. We have decades of experience handling a wide variety of personal injury claims, and we will put all of our legal skill and knowledge behind successfully resolving your case as well. Call 404-460-0101 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation today.

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