New Jersey has many lakes, rivers and coastal areas prompting countless people to take advantage of this natural resource by utilizing various watercrafts, including jet skis and boats. Unfortunately, watercraft operators may fail to operate their craft safely. According to the Safe Boating Campaign, New Jersey ranked number 7 among the top 10 states for reported boating accidents in 2015.
The U.S. Coast Guard reported the following statistics with regard to boating accidents in 2014. There were 4,064 accidents, 610 fatalities, 2,678 injuries, and $39 million in property damage. The boating accident fatality rate was 5.2 deaths per 100,000 registered recreational watercraft; a 10.6% increase over the fatality rate the previous year.
The top 5 boating accident types were:
The Coast Guard ranked the top 10 contributing factors in boating accidents; more than half of them can be attributed to operators. In order of rank, those factors are:
In fatal boating accidents, alcohol use was the leading contributing factor to the accident. Among boating accident victims who died, 78% of those fatalities were due to drowning.
Boating accidents present unique challenges, as water contact can deteriorate various aspects of evidence. It is more difficult to reconstruct boating accidents compared to motor vehicle accidents on a roadway. The investigation surrounding a boating accident or other watercraft accident may include securing witness statements and official maritime law enforcement reports, toxicology reports, and using forensic experts for water-related accident reconstruction and maritime expert evaluations.
Boating accidents often lead to serious injuries, such as amputations, brain injuries, spinal cord trauma or death.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, the best thing to do is to speak with a personal injury lawyer to secure legal advice about how to protect your rights and how to potentially pursue litigation relative to any injury you or your loved ones may have sustained.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in such an accident, you should seek legal counsel from a personal injury law firm with experience in this area of the law. The New Jersey personal injury lawyers at Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari have the skills, resources and experience to provide the representation required to handle claims of this nature.
Our personal injury law firm was established in 1929, and we have been serving all New Jersey communities for more than 70 years. We have been named among the Best Law Firms in New Jersey by U.S. News & World Report (see link below for further information), and our attorneys have received many distinguished awards. Contact us today for a free case consultation. We can explain your options under the law, and advise you how we can help you proceed. Contact us today at (973) 635-5400.
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If you need to consult a New Jersey personal injury attorney, you need to contact Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari. The initial consultation is always free.