Determining Liability for an Injury Sustained in a Watercraft Collision

Every summer, New Jersey’s waterways become dense with boats and other watercraft. Operating a boat or jet ski can be an exhilarating way to spend a summer day, but it can also be dangerous. In 2013, 123 boat collisions occurred in New Jersey’s waters. Of these, eight were fatalities.

In any accident where a party suffers damages, either to his or her property or through an injury, a negligent party may be identified and held responsible for the cost of the victim’s losses. In cases where one of the parties involved in an accident is injured, he or she may file a personal injury claim to attempt to receive monetary compensation for his or her damages. Examples of damages that monetary compensation for a personal injury may cover include:

  • Medical bills

  • Compensation for lost wages due to time spent out of work

  • Adaptive devices for a temporary or permanent disability

  • Pain and suffering, which are the damages that can not be quantified. These include scarring, bruising, and mental health problems that stem from the accident.

  • In a case where the victim dies, funeral expenses

If you are injured in a watercraft collision, the first thing you need to do is seek medical attention right away. This is not only to ensure that you make a full recovery, but also because as a victim, you are required to mitigate the damages for your injury if you decide to seek monetary compensation. Once you have received adequate medical care, contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your options for filing a personal injury claim.

Who is Responsible for the Accident?

Generally, the party that failed to observe safety regulations or acted negligently is the party held liable for damages when an injury occurs. Sometimes, more than one party may be held responsible for a collision. This is known as the modified comparative negligence rule, which states that when the party seeking compensation is found to also be partially at fault for his or her accident, the total amount of money he or she is entitled to receive is reduced by the percentage that he or she was found to be responsible for the accident. For example, if you are seeking $100,000 in damages and you are found to be 20% responsible for your accident, you may only be able to receive a maximum of $80,000. Any party who is found responsible for 51% or more of his or her accident is not entitled to receive monetary compensation at all.

If you have been injured in any type of watercraft accident, call The Law Office of Eric B. Hannum Esq., LLC. at 732-370-9596 to discuss your legal options for pursuing a personal injury claim. Do not wait to begin working on your claim – in New Jersey, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims is two years from the date of your accident. That means that once two years pass, you are no longer eligible to seek compensation.

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