Each year there are over 4,000 boating accidents reported in the US resulting in approximately 550 deaths nationwide. The primary contributing factors in boat accidents include operator inattention, operator inexperience, improper lookout, excessive speed, and machinery failures. Alcohol use is the leading contributor to fatal boating accidents. It was listed as the leading factor in 16% of deaths where the primary cause of the accident was known.
Boat operators are required to act in a responsible manner. This includes carefully navigating the waterways and keeping their vessels in good repair. Unfortunately, some recreational boaters fail to recognize the danger boating can present. Too frequently, accidents happen because the driver was distracted, drunk or boating at an excessive speed. A negligent boat operator can be held liable for damages caused to passengers or other boaters.
Philadelphia Boat Accident Injury Law Firm
If you were hurt in a boat accident, you may be able to recover compensation for non-economic damages such as pain, suffering, and loss of quality of life, as well as economic damages, including property damages, medical bills and expenses, lost wages and future income loss.
To speak with a boat accident attorney, call the Wieand Law Firm today at (215) 666-7777. Our law office is based in Philadelphia and we represent boat accident injury victims throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The consultation is completely free. In addition, we work on a contingency fee basis. This means that we only collect a fee if you receive a settlement or award.
Pennsylvania Boat Accidents
Federal regulation and Pennsylvania law require that boating accidents which involve death, disappearance, injuries requiring medical treatment beyond first aid, and property damage exceeding $2,000 be reported to the state. According to government statistics, in 2014, there were 78 reported boating accidents in Pennsylvania. This was an increase of 11% from 2013. Out of the reported accidents, 45 injuries were reported which required medical treatment.
In recent years, the most common type of boating accident in Pennsylvania has been capsizing. Other boating accidents involved:
- Passengers falling overboard
- Collision with another vessel
- Skier Accidents / Mishaps
- Striking submerged objects in the water
- Collisions with fixed objects
- Fires and explosions
- Boats striking persons in the water
- Persons being struck by the boats propeller
- Boat falling over a Dam
- Hitting ground / sinking
- Boat passenger Mishaps
- Persons struck by objects in boat
- Fall in the vessel
In Pennsylvania, there were 17 reported deaths due to recreational boating accidents in 2014. Only 3 of the 17 victims were wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.
New Jersey Boating Accidents
All boaters in New Jersey are required to follow the Navigation Rules International/Inland. The majority of these rules were implemented for the safety of boaters. Rules include that operators of boating vessels must keep a proper lookout, operate at a safe speed and use “good seamanship.”
Most boating accidents occur when boat operators fail to follow New Jersey’s safety rules. In New Jersey, there are approximately 120 boating accidents reported year over year. Sadly, around five percent of these accidents are fatal. If you were injured in a New Jersey boat accident the Wieand Law Firm can help. He specializes in personal injury and wrongful death cases and represents victims of boating accidents throughout the state of New Jersey.
Operating while Under the Influence (OUI)
Alcohol use is a contributing factor in well over 200 boating accidents each year nationwide. Of reported alcohol-related boating accidents, approximately 75 are fatal and over 187 result in injuries each year.
New Jersey boaters are not permitted to operate a vessel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A boater is considered intoxicated if he/she has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more. Persons with a BAC of 0.08% to 0.10% will be fined and lose their operating privileges for a period of 12 months. If a boat operators BAC is higher than 0.10% they are subject to higher fines and greater penalties. There are even greater penalties for second and third offenses, such as fines up to $1,000, imprisonment not less than 180 days and loss of privilege to operate a vessel for up to ten years. In addition, out of state drivers may also lose their driving privileges in the state of new jersey.
Call an experienced Philadelphia boat accident attorney at the Wieand Law Firm for a free legal consultation at (215) 666-7777
The Wieand Law Firm practices throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. We are proud to serve Southeastern Pennsylvania including Berks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties, as well as the New Jersey areas of Pennsauken, Gloucester and Camden NJ.
Disclaimer: This website is for information purposes only. It is not legal advice and should not be used as legal advice.
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