A boating accident case is one of the most complicated cases to prove fault due to unpredictable situations. However, it does not mean you cannot prove liability if you are involved in a boat accident. Different factors can lead to a boat accident, including negligence, malfunction, or the weather. When involved in a boat accident in Georgia, you have the right to file a claim against the party at fault. However, it is always challenging to determine fault in a boating accident. You require the input of a Georgia boating accident attorney and investigation professionals as water erases the trace of the accidents.
The Boat Operator
A boat operator might be responsible for a boating accident in Georgia if they did not apply safety measures for their passengers, were intoxicated when operating the boat, or were involved in reckless behavior during the operation. Boat operators must provide life jackets to their passengers at all costs, failure to which is regarded as a violation of boating laws. Therefore, they will be liable for the accident if they fail to provide the jackets. A boat operator can also be held responsible if they did not interfere with passengers’ reckless behavior if they knew about it.
The Boat Owner
According to the state of Georgia, a boat owner cannot be held liable for a boating accident, except in some situations. For instance, if the owner negligently loaned the boat to the operator and was aware that the person driving the ship was not careful enough, they can be responsible for the accident. The law operates on “owner consent,” which dictates that the owner must have consent that the person using the boat was not qualified enough. Another situation where the vessel’s owner may be liable in Georgia is if they failed to maintain their craft and apply safety measures to ensure the boat was in good condition.
The boat manufacturer can also be responsible for a boating accident in Georgia. Manufacturing and design defects hold boat manufacturers liable for boating accidents. However, there must be proof the accident resulted from a defect, and neither the owner nor the operator knew about it. However, if the operator or boat owner knew about the defect that caused the accident, the fault shifted to them rather than the manufacturer.
A passenger can also be liable for the accident. For example, if the passenger engaged in reckless and negligent behavior that led to the accident, they will be responsible for the accident. Such actions include distracting the operator, starting a fire in the vessel, and pushing someone overboard.
A Rental Company
The company might be liable for the damage if the boat was a rental. This mostly happens if the operator is a company worker or even if both the passengers and the operator rented the boat. Liability depends on the circumstances that resulted in the accident.
Five parties might be held liable for the damages incurred in a boating accident. It is crucial to call a lawyer if you have been involved in a boating accident to help you prove fault.