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The State of New Jersey is known for its waterways, and people come from all over the country to enjoy them. Unfortunately, the amount of traffic on the water and the failure of some people to operate their boats safely leads to many boat accidents each year. Accidents on the water can be severe and pose an increased risk of death due to drowning.
When you suffer severe injuries in a boating accident due to someone else’s negligent behavior, you may be permitted to seek recovery for your damages under state law. Establishing a boating injury case can be complex, so it is critical to have a proven Mercer County boat accident lawyer by your side to help fight for your legal rights.
Common Causes of Boat Crashes in Mercer County
There are many possible causes of boating accidents. However, in local boating injury claims, the common causes of accidents on the water typically relate to a boat driver’s negligence and failure to operate the vessel safely. For instance, the following forms of boater negligence can cause otherwise preventable accidents:
- Inexperienced operation
- Lack of training
- Reckless driving
- Failure to abide by safety regulations or boating laws
- Lack of knowledge of boating laws
- Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Distracted driving
When an individual suffers an injury in a boating accident, it is essential to seek the help of a lawyer to review the circumstances of the collision. An experienced attorney could help determine the cause of a boat crash and identify potentially liable parties.
Determining Fault for a Local Boat Collision
Establishing liability can be one of the most challenging aspects of a boating injury claim. Boat collision cases present unique challenges, as the water can make it harder to collect evidence for a claim. When evidence is scarce, an investigation must involve securing witness statements, law enforcement reports, toxicology reports, and even expert reports to reconstruct the accident.
When determining liability for an accident on the water, it is also important to note that a license to operate a boat is required under state law. Evidence that a driver was operating a boat without the required license may be used to help establish negligence. Although this evidence can be helpful, there are often multiple occupants of a boat, and it can become hard to determine who was operating the vessel at the time of the collision.
Circumstantial evidence often becomes essential in boating accident claims due to a general lack of physical evidence. A dedicated Mercer County lawyer understands the complexities of establishing liability for a boat crash and could work to ensure the timely preservation of available evidence.
Comparative Negligence in Boating Accidents
Under state law, an injured individual may be barred from seeking recovery for a boat crash based on their own negligence Liability on the part of an injured individual is known as comparative negligence. Under New Jersey Revised Statutes §2A:15-5.1, individuals are not permitted to recover damages if they are more than 50 percent at fault for the boating accident and their injuries.
If an injured person’s comparative negligence is found to be less than 50 percent, however, they may still obtain compensation, but their recovery will be limited by their assigned percentage of liability. A knowledgeable Mercer County lawyer could thoroughly investigate a boat crash claim to determine which parties’ negligence was the leading cause of the accident.
Contact a Mercer County Boat Accident Attorney Today
When a boat collision occurs, you may greatly benefit from the assistance of a skilled attorney to fight for the recovery of your damages. An attorney could gather the necessary evidence to support your claim, including your medical records, insurance policies, investigative reports, and more. With a Mercer County boat accident lawyer by your side, you could rest assured that a seasoned legal representative is fighting for your best interests. Call today to get started with your boating injury case evaluation.