West Point Lake is the hot spot for thousands of visitors each year. People enjoy the lake’s public swimming beaches, fishing piers, and campgrounds without a care in the world. However, every so often, an unsuspecting visitor is unfortunately the victim of a boat accident.
West Point Lake
West Point Lake covers 25,864 acres, spilling over from West Georgia to Alabama.
It was built in the 1960s for flood control, hydroelectric power, fish and wildlife development, and recreation.
Bald eagles and other rare species are often seen around the lake.
Boating accidents happen all the time, and the causes can vary. Sometimes a boat operator was traveling at reckless and unsafe speeds on the water. Other times, a boat owner may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol or otherwise negligent when operating the vehicle.
While many boaters follow safety rules and regulations set forth by the state, there are many who chose to drive recklessly. Sometimes operators are negligent, and as a result, people are hurt, with injuries ranging from a minor broken bone to more serious brain injuries. Whether the injured victims are passengers and operators of other vessels or swimmers, there is always a risk of long-term injury and enormous medical bills.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. The experienced attorneys at Scholle Law have represented personal injury victims for over 25 years. Call us at (866) 592-1296 orcontact us onlineto schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a West Point Lake boating accident lawyer today.
How Do I Get Compensation after a Boating Accident on West Point Lake?
In order to successfully seek compensation after a boating accident, you must prove that someone else was to blame for your injuries. This can take one of three forms: Intentional acts; a pure accident in which no one is at fault; or, most commonly, negligence.
In everyday usage, the term “negligence” simply means not paying attention or not taking proper care when doing something. However, the law has a specific definition for negligence: failing to use reasonable care when performing an action and therefore causing injury.
There are four elements that must be proven to show negligence. These include:
1. A duty of care
First, you have to show that the at-fault party had a duty of care to you. This means they were expected to take reasonable steps to avoid causing harm. When it comes to boating accidents, all vessel operators are expected to follow Coast Guard navigation rules, as well as all state and local lawsregarding operating a boat.
2. Breached duty of care
When the operator of a vessel does not exercise the proper caution around others on the water, they are said to have breached their duty of care. This can take any number of forms, from traveling at high speeds to boating under the influence to being too inexperienced to safely operate a vessel.
Third, you must show that the at-fault party’s actions directly caused your injuries. For instance, say a boating accident happens a few hundred yards from you. You become distracted by the accident and stop focusing on the water. While you are looking away, you run into a large boulder in the water. In this case, the person who caused the original accident cannot be held liable for your injuries.
4. Real damages
Just suffering an injury is not enough to successfully prove negligence. You must also show that you suffered real damages, or losses, because of the accident. This is relatively easy to prove with medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and more. In some cases, you may also receive compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, scarring and disfigurement, and other non-monetary losses.
Negligent vessel operators are not the only party who can be held liable in a boating accident. In some cases, the manufacturer of the vessel may be sued. The owner of the boat may also be held liable if they allowed an unqualified person to operate it. Your Georgia boating accident lawyer can help you identify who should be named in any future personal injury lawsuit you pursue.
Speak to a West Point Lake Boating Accident Attorney Today
Boating accidents can cause severe, sometimes fatal, injuries, and figuring out your next steps is not always easy. There are many different factors that can affect your case, such as the doctrine of comparative negligence.
The good news is, you do not have to face the aftermath of a boating accident alone. The experienced attorneys at Scholle Law have represented personal injury victims for over 25 years. Call us at (866) 592-1296 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a West Point Lake boating accident lawyer today.