What Is the Cause of Most Fatal Boat Accidents?

boat accident

With the spring season approaching, many people are eager to get back out on the water with their boats and watercraft. However, the return of boating season also means the return of preventable, fatal accidents. If you plan on boating this upcoming season, it’s important to know the causes of fatal boating accidents in Georgia and what to do if the unthinkable happens.

What Causes the Most Boating Fatalities?

According to the American Boating Association, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) recorded over 5,000 boating accidents nationwide in one recent year. These accidents resulted in nearly 3,200 injuries and 800 fatalities. A recent USCG report indicates the top 10 primary contributing factors to boating accidents and boating fatalities in one recent year included the following:

  • Alcohol intoxication – 115 deaths
  • Operating in hazardous waters – 62 deaths
  • Boat operator inexperience – 56 deaths
  • Operator inattentiveness/distraction – 55 deaths
  • Bad weather conditions – 42 deaths
  • Speeding – 32 deaths
  • Inadequate lookout – 28 deaths
  • Violating navigational rules – 26 deaths
  • Mechanical failure – 19 deaths
  • Excessive waves or wakes – 14 deaths

According to the USCG report, Georgia accounted for 2.5 percent of boating fatalities in one recent year.

Your Legal Options If Your Family Has Experienced a Boating Fatality

If your loved one was killed in a boating accident in Georgia, your family might have the right to file a wrongful death claim to pursue compensation from the at-fault parties. Any of the following may be liable for a boating accident fatality:

  • Boat operator
  • Vessel crew, including the captain, deckhands, or engineers
  • Vessel owner
  • Boat charter company
  • Third-party marine mechanics
  • Boat or marine equipment manufacturers

Under Georgia’s statute of limitations, you have just two years from the date of your loved one’s passing to file a wrongful death lawsuit. However, there are exceptions to this deadline. A skilled Georgia boating accident lawyer can help you determine your legal options and how long you have to pursue them.

Recoverable Damages If You Lost a Loved One in a Fatal Boating Accident

Your family may be entitled to seek compensation for the losses you suffer due to your loved one’s death in a boating accident. The compensation you could be owed for a fatal boating accident includes the following:

  • Loss of your loved one’s wages and benefits that they would have earned had they lived
  • Value of the services your loved one provided to your family or household
  • Loss of your loved one’s companionship, care, advice, and counsel
  • Medical expenses incurred in treating your loved one’s fatal injuries
  • Funeral and burial costs

The Experienced Wrongful Death & Accident Lawyers at Geiger Legal Group, LLC Can Help

Have you lost a loved one to a boating accident someone else caused? Contact Geiger Legal Group, LLC today for a free, no-obligation consultation with our wrongful death lawyers about your legal options. Our family-run law firm will fight to hold those at fault for your loved one’s death accountable for their wrongful actions. We focus on helping people rather than maximizing the number of cases we handle, so you can expect our full and undivided attention to your case.

About the Author: Geiger Legal Group, LLC

In 1981, attorney J. Christopher Geiger began practicing law in Canton, GA, determined to provide personalized legal service to the people of Cherokee County. His son Casey followed in his footsteps, first practicing law in Colorado before joining his father in 2017 to form the Geiger Legal Group, LLC. Together, the father and son team have built a law firm that revolves around clients, not cases.