Boats & Watercrafts Injury Attorneys in Atlanta & Marietta, GA
Injuries or deaths caused by boats and other watercraft are often horrific.
Some injuries are caused by defective designs. The vast majority of boat defect injuries or deaths occur when a person contacts the boat’s propeller. Boat propellers spin hundreds, if not thousands of times a minute. The blades on a propeller are designed to be sharp, so they can cut through the water. Boat manufacturers must make boats as safe as possible so that occupants are not placed into the path of a spinning propeller. Sometimes, however, boat manufacturers make boats that trade a safe design for exciting looks, and that rarely ends well.
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Defective boat designs can place occupants in the path of a spinning propeller in a number of different ways:
- Boats can submarine underwater unexpectedly when crossing waves or wakes, sometimes waves or wakes created by the boat itself. This causes people to abandon the boat, or even be washed out of the boat. This phenomenon is called many different things in the boating industry, including bow swamping or swamping the boat (the most common phrases), bow submerging, taking water over the bow, and even chili dipping.
- Boats can turn or maneuver in such a way that properly-seated occupants are ejected.
Boat and watercraft defects can also harm or kill occupants in other ways, such as:
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from boat engines, which can be breathed in by occupants or those being pulled by a boat during normal operation.
- Unguarded pinch points, which can result in finger amputations or other serious injuries to hands and feet.
These defects can also extend to other watercraft, such as jet-skis. Those defects manifest in a variety of different ways, but some of the more common defects are:
- Loss of steering and control when the driver lets go of the throttle.
- Water jet propulsion that seriously injures occupants who fall off the back.
When a person’s injury or death was caused by a defect that can be changed, we often pursue these cases beyond the courtroom to help ensure that manufacturers recall unsafe products and protect the others who will be injured in the future. Since there is little to no meaningful regulation in the boating industry, jury verdicts are the only proven method to make the industry wake up and change. There are many well-documented instances where jury verdicts have changed the boating industry for the better (as they do with any industry).
Boating and other watercraft injuries can also be caused by human error. In those cases, we pursue the persons responsible, along with their insurance companies, and hold them accountable for their errors. Cases of human error often involve incidents such as:
- Boats or watercraft colliding with one another, or with fix objects such as docks, pilons, or even debris.
- Boating under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- Boat or watercraft operators running over swimmers, or persons who are waiting to be picked up after falling off of a tube, water skis, a wakeboard, or a surfboard.
- Persons who operate a boat or watercraft in a reckless way that exposes others around them to danger.