Articles Posted in Watercraft Accidents

The Murray Law Firm is taking an active role to curb a practice commonly known as “ambulance chasing.” In each of our blogs, we are informing our readers that, pursuant to the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct, a lawyer or anyone acting on behalf of a lawyer may not engage a potential client “through direct personal contact or through live telephone contact.”

As a personal injury and wrongful death law firm, we have long been aware of the unscrupulous practices of some attorneys in this field who use unethical and illegal measures to obtain clientele.

SAC EM Square.jpgThe immoral practices of a few have, unfortunately, given rise to a public distrust of many. The term ‘ambulance chaser’ has become synonymous with a field of law, which at its best, exists solely to empower people over corporations and insurance companies, to serve those harmed by the negligence of others and to guide everyday citizens to justice through what is often a daunting and complex legal system.

We are saddened to acknowledge that some in the field have tarnished this noble mission through a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, which is why we are proud to announce we are taking an active approach to ridding our community of those firms and attorneys that would harm the people and practice, which we care for so deeply.

The Murray Law Firm has achieved the Martindale Hubbell AV Preeminent rating, an honor achieved by meeting the highest ethical standards in our field, as attested to by judges and other attorneys who serve to better the practice.

In support of our commitment to high moral and ethical practices, in 2013 The Murray Law Firm created the S.A.C.’EM Campaign (Stop Ambulance Chasing Ethical Movement), which is committed to rooting out lawyers who violate Rule 7.3 of the Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct. Together, with our clients, the State Bar of Georgia and fellow attorneys committed to the highest ethical integrity, we will fight to stop this unethical practice that has become an epidemic in the legal profession.

If you have been injured and have been directly contacted by a lawyer or an individual acting on behalf of a lawyer, please notify The Murray Law Firm at 888.842.1616 and we will assist you in reporting the lawyer or individual to the appropriate authority.

MotherDaughterCanoe.jpgThe Georgia Department of Natural Resources is preparing for a safe Fourth of July weekend on Georgia waters. Operation Dry Water is a national initiative teaming up local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to increase enforcement of Boating Under the Influence laws over Fourth of July weekend.

As many Georgia boaters and swimmers hit the waters to celebrate Fourth of July, instances boaters operating under the influence of drugs and alcohol also surge, creating a potentially fatal mix. According to the Gainesville Times, Operation Dry Water began in 2009 and has now grown to include all 56 U.S. states, trusts and territories. In 2012, 337 BUI operators were removed from the water and over 14,500 boating safety citations were issued over the 72 hour holiday weekend.

In May, Georgia implemented a new BUI law, a response to the tragic death of two young boys killed by a BUI boater on Lake Lanier. The new law lowered the legal blood alcohol limit for boaters to .08, the standard legal limit for automobile drivers. The law also included new life jacket and boater education requirements.

This Fourth of July, Georgia waters, including Lake Lanier, will be guarded by mobile intoxication units and increased safety patrols to ensure boaters and swimmers enjoy a safe holiday weekend.

Please visit the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for more information on New 2013 Boating Regulations and Operation Dry Water.

The Murray Law Firm represents many victims and families who have suffered injuries at the hands of BUI boaters. On their behalf, we ask all Georgia boaters and swimmers to please enjoy the upcoming holiday weekend and our beautiful Georgia waters safely and responsibly.

New boater safety legislation, sponsored by Sen. Butch Miller, passed the House 146-17 Thursday March 21 and now awaits signing from Gov. Nathan Deal. The bill previously passed the state Senate 50-0.boat safety cdc site.jpg

The bill tightens boating restrictions, including tougher boating-under-the-influence laws, boater education courses, and life jacket age requirements. The new legislation would increase age requirements on boat and personal watercraft operation. It also lowers the BUI blood-alcohol limit to .08, mirroring motor vehicle limits.

As warm weather approaches and Georgia families head back to the water, we remind boaters to operate all water crafts safely. Last year alone, boaters suffered 36 drownings, 12 fatalities, 53 injuries and 180 BUIs. The Murray Law Firm has represented numerous clients injured or killed in boating and water craft accidents and, on their behalf, we ask everyone to do their part to keep our waters safe this season.

The CDC offers boater safety tips to Reduce Your Risk:

Wear it. Properly fitted life jackets can prevent drownings and should be worn at all times by everyone on any boat.

Don’t Drink. Alcohol use affects judgment, vision, balance, and coordination, and is involved in about a third of all recreational boating fatalities. Boating under the influence of alcohol is just as deadly as drinking and driving. Not only is it dangerous to operate a boat while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it’s also illegal in every state in the United States.

It’s not just boat operators at risk from drinking while boating. Passengers are at greater risk of injury as well. In fact, 46% of all boating fatalities occurred when vessels were docked, anchored, or drifting. Due to sun exposure and heat, both operators and passengers are likely to become impaired more quickly, drink for drink, when on the water. So play it safe and avoid alcohol when you’re on a boat.

Take a Course. More than 7 out of every 10 boating incidents are caused by operator error. Boating education courses teach the rules for safe operation and navigation of recreational boats, and can help boat operators keep their passengers safe.

Get a Vessel Safety Check. The Vessel Safety Check (VSC) is a free public service provided by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and U.S. Power Squadron volunteer organizations. For more information on the VSC Program, visit their web site: www.vesselsafetycheck.org
Know about carbon monoxide (CO). Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas that is emitted by all internal combustion engines, such as boat engines and onboard motor generators. In the early stages, the symptoms of CO poisoning are similar to seasickness, but CO can kill in a matter of minutes, whether you are inside or outside of your boat. To avoid CO poisoning, be aware of the risk, ensure sufficient ventilation, properly install and maintain equipment, and use CO detectors, especially in living and sleeping areas.

The Murray Law Firm has extensive experience representing clients who have been injured in boating and swimming accidents and we offer our legal expertise, if needed. If you would like a free case evaluation, please call us toll free at 888.842.1616.