New Jersey offers an array of boating activities to be enjoyed throughout the year. Residents can take advantage of 127 miles of coast, as well as inland lakes and tributaries. However, with boating recreation comes boating safety responsibility.
Boating accidents can result in serious injury and death. According to the US Coast Guard, the total number of boating fatalities in 2014 was 610. This is an average of 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered vessels (a 10.6 percent increase from the previous year). Additionally, property damage from nationwide boating accidents averages $39 million per year.
Negligence in Common Types of Boating Accidents
Negligence occurs when a failure to act with reasonable care results in harm. Property damage and physical injury are both considered harm in the eyes of the court. To prove negligence, you must be able to link the lack of care to the harm done. Since multiple circumstances can lead to a boating accident, different parties may be at fault.
● Crashing into Another Boat – In the case of two motorboats colliding, both operators may be considered negligent. An injured operator may have a claim against the other operator if the injured operator is not more than 50% responsible for the collision. In the event of a motorboat and sailboat crashing, motorboats tend to be more susceptible to negligence claims than sailboats. This is largely because motorboats are legally required to keep a specific distance away from sailboats.
● Wake Accidents – Injuries and fatalities have occurred from sudden collisions with wakes. Intense, jolting force from large wakes can cause dangerous falls, either inside the boat or overboard. If the operator of the boat that caused the wake was boating recklessly or in no-wake zones, he or she may be liable. Operators of all vessels are required to be constantly aware and on the lookout for signs of danger. It the driver of the boat that hit the wake was distracted, he or she may be liable for negligence.
● Submerged Objects – This category includes rocks, jetties, or land. With a collision into a submerged object, each case is dependent on circumstances. Weather, visibility, fog, use of nautical charts, and level of safety displayed are all taken into consideration when examining potential liability. If the operator is cautious and mindful, following all safety guidelines, he or she will most likely not be at fault. However, recklessly speeding in dangerous weather conditions may be cause for a negligence claim.
Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo – New Jersey’s Boating Accident Lawyers
If you have been involved in a New Jersey boating accident, you may be facing medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. If the accident was the result of another’s negligence, Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo can help you determine the best strategy for moving forward. We will examine every detail of your case to position you for the best possible outcome. Founding partner Barry D. Cohen, Esq. has over 30 years’ experience with maritime litigation. With offices in Northfield and Cherry Hill, we can help you through this challenging time. Contact Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo for a free consultation about your case.