Going out on the water is a great way to clear your head and enjoy nature. But a relaxing day could be ruined if you get into an accident with an irresponsible boater.
Boating accidents can cause devastating injuries. Because help is often far away and hard to reach, even minor injuries could cause severe distress before the victim gains access to medical treatment.
If a mishap involving watercraft has left you with injuries, you could be entitled to money damages from any negligent parties. Contact a New Brunswick boat accident lawyer for advice about how best to proceed to get appropriate compensation for your losses.
Operators of motor-powered vessels and personal watercraft must have a New Jersey boating license. People who boat in canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddle boards, and other human-propelled vessels do not need a license. Applicants obtain a boating license by completing a boating safety course, passing a written exam, and paying the applicable fees at the Department of Motor Vehicles.
Boating while under the influence of alcohol is prohibited and the State Police strictly enforce the prohibition. The legal blood alcohol level is .08, but a person could face boating under the influence charges with a lower level if their behavior or reflexes indicated impairment.
In the case of a mishap that causes only minor property damage, a vessel operator must make a report to the State Police within ten days. When an accident results in major property damage, serious injury, death, or if a person is lost overboard, New Jersey statute 12:7-34.46 requires an operator to contact the police by the quickest means available.
When a person suffers an injury on watercraft, effective first aid might be unavailable. Several hours might elapse before the injured person gets professional medical treatment. In the meantime, keeping an injury clean, dry, and immobile on a boat could be nearly impossible.
Common injuries people suffer in boating accidents include:
Recovering from such injuries can be a lengthy and arduous process. Sometimes boating injuries are permanent and catastrophic. Consulting a local injury attorney soon after an accident could help an injured person and their family understand their options and make realistic plans for the future.
Many operators of recreational vessels have limited experience. In most cases, boating accidents are the result of operator error or negligence. An operator who is speeding, disobeying navigation laws, boating under the influence, or failing to take adequate precautions to ensure the safety of others, could be liable for the damages of anyone who suffers an injury due to their conduct.
Sometimes maintenance issues result in a mechanical failure. In that case, the boat owner might have liability. If a mechanical failure resulted from a defective part, an injured person could hold the boat’s manufacturer responsible. If the accident occurred at a marina, mooring, or dock, the property owner might have liability.
There could be multiple negligent acts or omissions leading to a single watercraft accident. A savvy injury lawyer could investigate the circumstances of a particular incident to identify negligent conduct and bring all the wrongdoers to account.
Seeking damages after a mishap involving watercraft could seem daunting. Insurance companies might try to induce you to agree to a quick settlement and you might lean toward accepting the offer just to put the matter to rest.
However, it is always worthwhile to consult with a New Brunswick boating accident attorney before talking to an insurance company. You could get a candid appraisal of the strength of your claim, and sound advice about how to proceed. Make an appointment to speak with a knowledgeable advocate today.