With summer almost here, many families are planning outdoor vacations. This often means spending the day at Harvey’s lake or a trip to the Jersey shore for recreational boating and jet skiing. “Safety first” should be the rule for any boating trip. A boat operator and boat owner must exercise reasonable care to prevent injuries to passengers, swimmers or others boaters around them. Unfortunately, not all boaters follow the safety rules.
So, what happens if you’re injured or are the victim of a drowning accident while boating this summer?
This usually depends on whether you were hurt because of the negligence of another boater vs. due to your own carelessness. In order to recover compensation for your injuries, you will need to prove the damages were caused by the negligence or recklessness of another. This will include showing that the other boater owed you a duty of care, that they breached the duty, and that the breach was the cause of your injuries. For instance, if you were injured water skiing because another boater was distracted and carelessly ran into you; you could bring a claim against that boat operator to compensate you for your injuries.
Brent Wieand, is a boat accident lawyer in Pennsylvania who proudly represents clients throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey who have suffered personal injuries or lost loved a one in a boating accident. For a free boating accident legal consultation call Brent Wieand at 1(800) 481-5206.
Common Contributing Factors
With all of the water options Pennsylvania and New Jersey have to offer comes a high risk of boating accidents. Some factors that commonly contribute to a boating accidents in recreational vessels and jet skis, or sometimes even a ferry and commercial vessels include:
- Inexperienced boaters
- Boat operator error
- Distractions and failure of a boat operator to pay careful attention to the waterway
- Boating while intoxicated
- Vessel equipment failure
- Adverse weather and/or water conditions
- Failure to wear a life jacket
Do Pennsylvania or New Jersey Boaters Need to Carry Insurance?
Unlike car insurance, boat insurance is not mandatory in most states. As of 2015, neither Pennsylvania or New Jersey requires boaters to buy an insurance policy for your boat. However, many boaters do carry insurance coverage which can protect help their personal assets in the event someone is injured or drowns.
One reason a boater may not carry boat insurance is because of the common misconception that that their boat is covered under their home insurance policy. Unfortunately, this is generally not the case. While home insurance sometimes provides limited coverage to smaller boats on your property, usually it will not cover most large items, such as motor boats. If you are unsure as to whether you boat is covered you should consult with your insurance agent or attorney before boating.
Since boating can be dangerous, attorney, Brent Wieand, strongly recommends that all motor boat operators carry insurance coverage to protect them in case of a serious boating accident.
How Long do I have to File an Injury Claim?
With limited exception, the statute of limitations on negligence claims in Pennsylvania and New Jersey is two years from when the accident occurs. You must file your claim within the statute of limitations or you will lose the right to file a lawsuit. Even though two years may seem like a long time, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible after the accident. An attorney can help protect your legal rights and make sure key evidence is preserved for trial.
If you were seriously injured and need a Pennsylvania or New Jersey boat accident attorney who works on a contingency fee basis, call Brent Wieand today at 1(800) 481-5206 or fill out a description of your claim through the online contact form.