On average, there are approximately 50 serious boating accidents each year in New Hampshire. While this number might not seem high at first, each of these types of accidents could result in devastating consequences. Sadly, some of these accidents involved fatal injuries. It is worth noting as well that, per capita, New Hampshire has significantly more boating accidents than larger states like Colorado, Alabama or Pennsylvania.
If you have sustained an injury due to a New Hampshire boat collision, you are entitled to seek financial compensation for your injuries. An experienced attorney could evaluate your case and guide you in your pursuit of compensation. To learn more, contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, right away.
Common Causes Of Boating Accidents In New Hampshire
There are five broad types of boating accidents in New Hampshire, and the cause of each accident can vary by a large margin. While these accidents are very different, each could lead to a significant injury. Your attorney can carefully review the facts surrounding your crash and identify any factors that could have caused it. By understanding the factors in a crash, you increase your chances of identifying the at-fault party or parties. The five categories of boat accident include:
- Colliding with other vessels
- Colliding with fixed objects
- Going overboard
- Running aground
Collisions With Other Vessels
One of the more common types of boating accidents involves two vessels colliding into each other. There are a number of potential causes for these accidents. In many cases, inattentive or intoxicated operators may fail to notice the other boat until it is too late. In other cases, inexperienced boat operators may inadvertently cause a crash.
Colliding With Fixed Objects
Many of the hazards facing New Hampshire boaters are hidden in plain sight. Just below the surface of the water are rocks, trees, and other obstructions that could lead to a crash. When a boat operator is negligent, they could fail to notice an obvious hazard.
While the term boating accident conjures visions of a violent crash, one of the most devastating accidents can occur when a passenger falls overboard. By falling overboard, a boater risks drowning or being struck by another vessel. While the boat operator could cause a passenger to fall overboard, other passengers could also be responsible.
Grounding a boat is another common type of accident. These accidents occur when a boat strikes land, often with enough force to partially or fully leave the water. The jolt resulting from a sudden grounding can send passengers flying.
Flooding and sinking can happen to a boat even when there has been no collision. While a boat can sink following a seemingly minor collision with a fixed object or another vessel, this can also occur due to improper maintenance or a defective part.
Liability For Boat Owners And Operators
While many boat crashes occur due to the negligence of its operator, they are not the only party that could potentially face liability following an accident. In some cases, the owner of the boat could also face civil liability – even if they were not present at the time of the accident.
For a plaintiff to demonstrate at trial that a defendant boat operator was responsible for the accident, they must show the court that the other party was negligent. Negligence involves any careless, reckless, or wanton act that results in harm. If a plaintiff can show that the other boat operator was negligent, they could recover monetary compensation for their injuries.
A boat owner could also be negligent in an accident even if they were not present. The owner of a boat has the responsibility not to allow an unsafe operator to use their vessel. If a boat owner hands over the keys to someone that is intoxicated or unable to safely operate the boat, they could also be on the hook for damages.
Because of the severity and risk of death that many boating accidents involve, the damages awarded in these cases are often significant. While medical bills commonly make up the bulk of a damage award following a boat crash, there are other types of damages available as well. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Mental anguish
Contact A New Hampshire Boating Accident Lawyer Today
If you are confused about how to proceed after a boat accident, know that you do not have to take on this challenge alone. To speak with an experienced attorney about your claim, contact the Coates Law Office, PLLC, to discuss your case. Call 603-968-5762.