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Georgia Law Office of Robert S. Windholz
Because of Georgia’s mild climate, outdoor recreation enthusiasts can enjoy hobbies, sports and other pleasures from early spring through the summer and well into fall.
Now that the first warm days of spring have arrived, among the most popular recreational pleasures in Georgia is boating. Nevertheless, while out on the water having a good time, few consider the potential dangers that lurk and can cause catastrophic injury and even death. In fact, severe personal injury can occur while boating on lakes and rivers just as easily as a car or truck accident can happen on the highway.
Fortunately, Georgia offers an abundance of public and private parks, lakes, rivers and coastal waterways. For that same reason, the Georgia law offices of Robert S. Windholz encourage you to take this opportune time to review some general laws of watercraft safety and accident reporting:
Before leaving the dock, all boats must carry at least one properly-fitting, U.S. Coast Guard approved, Type I, II, III or V PFD (personal flotation device) or life jacket for each person on board. Also required is at least one Type IV PFD, which would include ring buoys and floating cushions.
Additionally, the following rules apply to wearing personal flotation devices:
When operating a boat or personal watercraft, individuals must utilize a degree of care that avoids endangering others—including oneself, passengers, other boaters—or property. If an operator is involved in an accident, he or she must remain on the scene when that is both safe and practical. The operator will be required to exchange pertinent information with authorities and other parties involved.
Which activities fall within the category of negligent or reckless boating behavior in Georgia? Below is a general list:
Regardless of negligence, a boating mishap/accident must be reported in an expedient fashion if any of the following conditions result:
Any of the following circumstances would require that a written accident report be submitted on the Department of Natural Resources form within 48 hours of a boating or leisure craft accident.
Any other accident must be reported within five days.
Since boating laws can change, operators and passengers need to assume the responsibility of being informed. Georgia Boating Law Basics can be found at http://www.boatus.org/onlinecourse/ statelaws/Georgia.html.
The firm of Robert S. Windholz recently became involved in a boating incident case in which a highly attractive young lady was injured. In addition to the damage to her physical appearance, she also suffered internal injuries. Consequently, she required extensive abdominal surgery and plastic surgery to help offset some of the devastating injury and damage she suffered.
Again, boating accidents can lead to tragic damages and
injuries, including death.
If you have any questions regarding whether or not negligent or reckless boating behavior caused injury to you or a loved one, please consult a professional who knows the laws in your state as soon as possible. The Georgia law firm of Robert S. Windholz, located in Alpharetta, is available to assist you regarding any Georgia boating or watercraft accident. Please call us at 678.990.1584.