Were you injured in a boating accident in New Jersey that someone else caused? You might be eligible for compensation if you suffered harm and loss due to the negligence of others. You deserve compensation for your financial and personal losses, and you don’t have to pursue your case alone. Turn to New Jersey boat accident lawyer Steven Ellman for help.
For over 35 years, attorney Steven Ellman has vigorously advocated for the rights and interests of injury victims throughout New Jersey. When someone else has injured you, you need an experienced lawyer to help you with your insurance claim or lawsuit. Steven Ellman has worked tirelessly for clients, developing a reputation for offering dedicated, compassionate, and personable service. Let him do the same for you.
Steven Ellman focuses on obtaining his clients with a fair resolution of their boat accident claims so that they have the money they need to move forward with their lives. He will take the time to listen to your concerns and goals, clearly and honestly lay out your options, and provide advice to help you make informed decisions in your case.
Reach out to the Law Office of Steven Ellman for a free initial claim review. New Jersey boat accident attorney Steven Ellman will discuss your legal options for financial recovery, and he’ll get to tell you how he can advocate on your behalf in pursuit of the accountability and justice you deserve.
What Are the New Jersey Boating Laws?
New Jersey’s boating laws are established by the New Jersey Boat Act of 1962. Important provisions of the act include:
- All vessels, except those registered under federal law or the laws of another country, sailboats used on private lands, or watercraft 12 feet or less in length, must carry a vessel number. (12:7-34.38)
- Documented vessels in New Jersey weighing 500 gross tons or less must be registered. (12:7-34.44a)
- Any vessel operator involved in an accident must help endangered persons and give their name, address, and their vessel’s identifying information to any injured person or the owner of any property damaged in the accident. Operators must also file an accident report with the state police for an accident that results in injury, death, or disappearance of a person, or property damage exceeding $2,000. (12:7-34.46)
- Operators must regulate vessel speed to avoid the risk of personal injury or damage to property caused by the wash or wave coming from the operator’s vessel. (12:7-45)
- No one may operate a watercraft while under the influence of alcohol or a narcotic, hallucinogenic, or habit-forming drug, or with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more. A conviction for operating a craft under the influence carries penalties such as fines and forfeiture of boating and driving privileges. (12:7-46)
- Operators may not disregard the safety or rights of others and operate their vessel in a manner that unnecessarily interferes with the free use of water or creates a risk of bodily injury or property damage. A conviction for reckless operation carries penalties such as jail time and fines. (12:7-47)
- Child passengers under age 12 must wear personal flotation devices whenever a vessel is underway. (12:7-47.1)
- No person under the age of 13 may operate a motor vessel. In contrast, people under 16 years old but at least 13 years old may operate vessels powered by an electric motor or vessels with motors of less than 10 horsepower. Operators in this age group who reside in New Jersey must complete a boat safety court approved by the Superintendent of State Police. (12:7-61)
- All vessels must have a readily-accessible U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device for each person onboard. (12:7-77)
Common Causes of New Jersey Boating Accidents
Some of the most frequent causes of boating accidents in New Jersey include:
- Distracted operation, including cell phone use while at the helm
- Improper lookout that fails to notice hazards such as warning buoys, shallow waters, rocks, or sunken debris
- Intoxicated operation
- Failure to follow navigational rules
- Operator inexperience
- Overloading a vessel
- Inadequate maintenance
- Operating in hazardous waters or adverse weather conditions
- Machinery defects, including design or manufacturing defects in engine parts or other equipment or machinery on a vessel
- Failure to activate navigation lights
What You Should Do If You Are Involved in a Boating Accident in New Jersey
If you’ve been injured in a boat accident due to someone else’s carelessness, you can take the following steps to protect your rights to seek compensation:
- Gather contact and identifying information from each vessel operator involved in the accident.
- Take photos and videos of the accident scene if possible.
- Report the accident to the State Police or other federal or state authorities as soon as possible.
- Notify your insurer if you have boater’s insurance.
- Seek prompt medical attention to allow a doctor to examine you for any injuries you may have sustained in the accident.
- Follow your medical provider’s treatment plan and instructions.
- Keep any bills or invoices for expenses you incur for medical treatment or boat repairs.
- Gather your pay stubs or income statements if you need to miss work due to your injuries.
- Keep a journal to document the pain and difficulties you experience due to your injuries and medical recovery.
- Avoid posting about the accident, your injuries, or your legal claims on social media.
Finally, make time to speak with New Jersey boat accident lawyer Steven Ellman. The sooner you contact him, the sooner he can get started preparing and pursuing your compensation claims.
What Compensation Can I Recover from a New Jersey Boating Accident?
You may be entitled to recover compensation for expenses and losses you sustained due to a New Jersey boating accident someone else caused. Depending on the circumstances, financial recovery in your boat accident lawsuit or insurance claim may include money for your:
- Medical and rehabilitation expenses, including hospitalization, surgeries, doctor’s appointments, prescription pain medications, medical/mobility equipment, and physical/occupational therapy.
- Long-term care expenses you incur due to permanent physical impairment, including home health services, housekeeping services, or home renovations to install disability accommodations.
- Lost wages/income if you miss time from work or have reduced earnings from going on part-time or light duty due to your injuries.
- Loss of future earning capacity and employment benefits if you become permanently disabled from your job or other kinds of work.
- Physical pain and emotional distress.
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life due to physical disabilities or permanent disfigurement/scarring.
- Repair costs to fix damage to your boat or reimbursement for the value of your boat if it was destroyed or sunk in the accident.
How Does a Lawyer Prove Liability in New Jersey Boat Accident Cases?
Different parties may have liability for the injuries and losses you suffered in a New Jersey boat accident. Examples of negligence that might make someone liable for your injuries include:
- Negligent or reckless operation by a vessel operator
- Operating a vessel without required training or licensure
- Inadequate vessel maintenance by the boat’s owner
- Negligence by charter companies, including inadequate training of crew, overloading a vessel with passengers, or having inadequate safety equipment onboard
- Negligent entrustment by vessel rental companies
- Design or manufacturing defects in a vessel or its machinery
Proving that someone else’s negligence caused the boat accident that injured you requires strong evidence, such as:
- Police or Coast Guard accident or incident reports
- Accident scene photos and videos
- Surveillance or security camera footage
- Eyewitness testimony
- Vessel inspection and maintenance reports
- Post-accident vessel inspections
- Cell phone or radio dispatch logs
- Alcohol/drug screen results
- Weather and maritime reports
How a New Jersey Boat Accident Law Firm Can Help You
While you focus on your physical and emotional recovery following a devastating boat accident, let New Jersey boating accident attorney Steven Ellman focus on pursuing compensation and accountability from those responsible for the accident. He can do this by:
- Investigating the facts and circumstances of the accident to recover evidence like accident reports, eyewitness statements, and photos or videos.
- Identifying the party or parties at fault for the accident and who can be held liable for your injuries and losses.
- Working with expert witnesses to help build a strong, persuasive case.
- Determining the availability of insurance coverage to compensate you.
- Calculating your ongoing and future anticipated expenses so that he pursues maximum compensation.
- Helping you understand your legal options and preparing you for what to expect during your boat accident case.
- Filing insurance and legal claims on your behalf to begin pursuing financial recovery.
- Aggressively negotiating a fair settlement of your claims.
- Taking your case to trial if necessary to demand the best possible result for you in your case.
Contact a New Jersey Boat Accident Attorney Today
Hurt in a boat accident? Don’t wait another day to contact the Law Office of Steven Ellman for a free, no-obligation consultation. New Jersey boating accident lawyer Steven Ellman can discuss your legal rights with you and prepare you for what to expect during your boat accident claim.