Date:May 19, 2016
With the return of Spring to New Hampshire, and Memorial Day just around the corner, boats will soon dot the state’s many waterways.
Boating is great fun, but with so many boats comes a greater chance of boating accidents.
To get a clearer sense of how safe New Hampshire’s lakes are for boaters, New Hampshire Public Radio reviewed the U.S. Recreational Boat Accident Database, which includes data on recreational boating accidents that resulted in death or injury requiring more than first aid, and accidents in which there was vessel loss or damage of more than $2,000. They focused specifically on the data for Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire’s biggest body of water, and determined that boating accidents were most likely to occur at the end of the weekend: one-third of reported boating accidents happened on Sundays. Also, most reported boating accidents were clustered on the lake’s shoreline, in channels between islands, and in the lake’s inlets. And finally, 67% of reported accidents happened on “calm” waters. This could be because when it’s calm, there are more boaters on the lake.
If you have been injured in a boating accident, is it important that you have an understanding of what your legal rights are and what you can do to recover damages.
An experienced Manchester boating accidents attorney can review the facts of your case, its merits and value, and advise you how to navigate the personal injury claims process. In the meantime, here is an introduction:
There are several types of boating accidents which could lead to injury. As to each of these, whether the boat operator is liable for another person’s injuries depends on the degree of fault by the boat operator, weather and boat traffic conditions, the boat operator’s judgment, and whether the boat operator was capable of operating the boat at the time the injury occurred.
If a boating accident does occur, the degree of fault or liability of a boat operator could depend, in part, on whether proper safety equipment was on board. A boat operator having items on board such as flares, life jackets, navigational lights, throwing rings to each passenger, loud whistles and fire extinguishers could make the difference between a minor injury and a more serious injury and the boat operator’s liability. If the boat operator does not have the proper safety equipment on board, that could lead to or exacerbate the boat operator’s liability.
If you are injured in a boating accident, your right to recover damages is similar to that of a car accident. You would have the right to recover the reasonable value of your medical bills, your lost earnings and future earnings, and pain and suffering depending on the facts and circumstances of your case.
Not all boat operators have insurance or the assets to pay your damages if you are injured in a boating accident. It is important that you or your attorney ascertain those facts and your chances for a monetary recovery soon after your accident if you want to file a claim against a negligent boat operator. An experienced Manchester boating accidents attorney at Manning & Zimmerman can help you determine how to proceed.