Boat Accidents: Propellor/Engine Safety Defects

If a person is injured or killed as a result of the negligent operation of a boat or as a result of a boat engine manufacturing or design defect, under Georgia law, the injured person or the family of those killed, may have the right to seek compensation and other forms of redress in a suit against the operator, seller or manufacturer of the boat.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG) estimates that in an average year, approximately 200 to 250 non-fatal injuries and an additional 25-35 deaths are reported as a result of a person being struck by the propellor and/or propulsion unit of a boat.
These cases are not as unusual as one might think. In one memorable case handled by the Georgia injury lawyers at Finch McCranie, LLP, our client was seriously injured when his outboard engine suddenly jumped from neutral into forward gear resulting in his being struck by the propellor. After notifying the manufacturer of the engine of the accident, they sent one of their experts to inspect the boat. At the time of the inspection, the boat was in the water; however, it was being supported by an overhead crane. While videotaping their expert’s inspection of the boat, we were able to document the defect when the boat, suddenly and without warning, jumped from neutral into forward gear on its own almost throwing the manufacturer’s expert into the water. In that case, the manufacturer had utilized a defective gearbox part which, when worn, allowed the boat to jump into forward gear.


If you have been injured as a result of the negligent operation of a boat or as a result of the negligent design of a boat, boat engine or any other product related to the boat, please contact one of the Georgia injury lawyers at Finch McCranie, LLP for a free consultation.

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